Well, we’ve done it again!
Against all odds, we’ve outlasted another Winter onslaught of No-Damn-Baseball. I’m writing these words on the eve of America’s Greatest Holiday. That’s right, Opening Day 2016 is almost upon us.
It’s a day we anticipate as much the new season of our favorite “TV” show, but we don’t have to dread the inevitable bummed-out reality of all 10 episodes being over and done with in a single weekend.
Opening Day brings people together like other holiday heavyweights, but there are no presents to shop for and no awkward banter to sit through while stuffing your face.
Nope. Opening Day is a merciful opening of the flood gates. We joyously wade into its abundance. 162 games! Wonderful Gluttony!
A lot of writers and baseball people are starting to call for a shorter season. They say, “let’s keep things from losing steam during the dog days, before the postseason begins.” I understand the argument, but I love the length of the season. Every year is its own volume in the ongoing sage of The Game. The plotlines are endless, the characters diverse and colorful, each chapter unique and different from the last. It’s no surprise that baseball plays a prominent role in the culture of so many peoples. Through its history, Baseball’s stage has been dotted with personalities and stories so rich and well developed that we can’t help turning them into things of folklore.
Each season it all flows by us anew, subtly smoothing and shaping our own, personal stories.
Not to mention that the patient march of the long season assures that for about seven months, a baseball game might backdrop anything that happens in your life. Good times, bad times, you know I’ve had my share. And Baseball has been a constant companion of mine through the bulk of it. The current fate of the Braves season or offseason puts a little time stamp on my memories. Just for reference, I suppose.
Maybe I’ve described a relationship with The Game that seems just a little silly to some readers. But I’m sure that I’m preaching the good word from the perspective of others. Whatever your brand of fandom, let’s have a moment of Thanksgiving here on Opening Day. Baseball is a truly wonderful phenomenon that enhances the life of so many. No matter what happens this year, let’s all remember to raise a glass to The Game once in a while; to all that adorn its stages and all that watch with baited breath.
So here’s to Baseball: Cheers/Salud/Kanpai/Gun Bae/Gānbēi ! ! !
And this season, remember Satchel Paige’s 3rd Rule for Staying Young and Living a Happy Life: “Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.”
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