This is what Dodger Stadium will look like today as the Los Angeles Dodgers open the baseball season against their longtime rival San Francisco Giants. Photo courtesy of truebluela.com
EXPRESSING MY AFFECTIONS FOR A NATIONAL PASTIME THAT I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER FOR FORTY YEARS
Today is a day that, next to Christmas and my birthday, is my favorite day of the year.
Indeed, as the former Boston Red Sox slugger and future Hall of Famer David Ortiz expressed, I strongly feel that Opening Day should be made a national holiday in this country.
Hey, it could replace Columbus Day, as we’d go from a day commemorating a guy who not only did NOT discover America, he set the reels in motion of exploitation and enslavement,
To a day where we celebrate a sport that in mine and millions of others’ hearts is STILL considered the significant pastime in America;
Especially when one considers the problems football (READ: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) and basketball (READ: Bribery scandals in college hoops) are having that while they may not completely kill those sports, they may well lead folks to return to baseball as being the top game in their hearts.
I think – at the risk of sounding sappy, sentimental, pompous, or a combination of those three descriptions – Opening Day symbolizes renewal.
Everyone’s undefeated, and even if your team has the same chance of winning as a snowball’s chance of not melting in Saudi Arabia during the summer,
As the cliché goes, “Hope Springs Eternal” and even the fans of teams like the Oakland Athletics and the Miami Marlins (who are losing to the Chicago Cubs as we speak) are smiling today as Major League Baseball begins its 143rd season.
Which is 41 years older than the next major sports league in North America, hockey’s NHL.
As For Me Personally…
I have expressed on this blog how I took to baseball as a kid, how the Dodgers playing in the 1977 World Series and the classic little league movie The Bad News Bears were the bugs that bit me and began my affection for the game.
Indeed, this June 18th (my birthday) it will be forty years ago to that day that I will have attended my very first Major League game at Dodger Stadium;
I’ll be describing and commemorating that day in detail in this blog on that day, which I’m confident you will enjoy.
I’ll also – in a syndication with my sports blog, SoCalSportsAnnals.com, be writing an article naming my all-time African-American baseball team, which I think is important not only due to the great Jackie Robinson, but to all the great baseball players of African descent who came before and since.
I’m also planning on expressing why I think there are relative so few African-Americans in the majors compared to the 1960s, 70s and even 80s on this blog and SoCal Sports Annals; I hope you’re looking forward to reading that, too.
But for now, as I sit here in my Dodgers jersey and cap, I’ll go on about my day with a happy mood that…
BASEBALL IS HERE!
And of course I’ll be watching the games on ESPN today, including my Dodgers as well as the other team calling the Los Angeles area home, the Angels.
Happy Opening Day to all those who love the game as much as I do!
Baseball’s essential tools – I particularly like this picture because of the glove; I’m a first baseman. Photo courtesy of itemlive.com