MLB Opening Day 2014
By Jason Burke
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Opening Day is upon us. This is a very special time of year for baseball fans. Every fan of baseball has an emotional connection to the game. Whether you are a casual fan or a diehard, there is something that speaks to you about baseball. Whether your team has just won the World Series, or they are facing the Curse of the Billy Goat, Opening Day is a fresh beginning filled with numerous possibilities.
In Oakland, we are hopeful for another Divisional Title, while also looking forward to seeing if Josh Donalson can repeat his breakout year. Across the Bay, the Giants have one of the best catchers in the game, and get the joy of watching him on a daily basis. The Yankees have one final year of Derek Jeter to cherish. Some fans may not like him due to some amazing feat he accomplished against their team, but everyone respects him.
Numerous teams have young prospects getting their first crack at a full season in the big leagues. The Mets are now hopeful that they can clinch a wild card spot with all of the injuries to the Braves pitching staff. The Indians and Royals want to make sure that the Tigers don’t run away with the division. The Marlins have Jose Fernandez, one of the best young arms in the game. Finally, the Angels have arguably the best player in baseball. Maybe this is the year he propels them into the playoffs.
On Opening Day, every team has hope. Every fan gets to see their favorite player back in uniform. We get to see friends we have made at the ballpark after months apart. We get to be superstitious about what makes our teams win or lose, and it all seems normal. More than anything, there is fun to be had in debating why a certain team or player is better than another. We get to talk baseball!
I talked about an emotional connection to the game. Mine comes from one of my earliest memories. I was in first grade, and it was my birthday. Over the intercom, I was told to come to the office and to bring all of my belongings. I got there and my parents were waiting for me. I asked my mom where we were going and she simply said, “Take me out to the ball game” in a whimsical tune. That afternoon I was able to watch the Oakland A’s against Cal Ripken’s Orioles with my family.
There is something about baseball that bonds us all together. Perhaps it’s because nobody quite sees the game the same way. We are each sharing an experience, but creating one of our very own at the same time. There is no time keeper, no buzzer. We are allowed to enjoy a day in the sun with our favorite beverage until the final out is recorded.