Opening Day

By: Charlie Lisk-April 4, 2008

The dull murmur of the crowd echoes in late March. The smell of hot dogs fills the nostrils of patrons. The ivy is impeccably domant on the walls at Wrigley. The bronze busts in left-center at "The House that Ruth Built" are polished to a fine shine. The vendors are yelling at the top of their lungs "peanuts" or "cracker jacks". Fenway Park concessions are selling their flat "be-ahs." And of course, the first pitch by the President of the United States.

It is a time for renewal. It is a time for redemption. It is a time for Cubs fans to start screaming, "This is our Year!" And for the last 15 years, it is time for the Pirates to begin their perennial losing season. It is time for Big Papi to come through in the clutch. It is time for collisions at the plate. It is a time for remembering past greats. It is time for brush backs and pay backs and, of course, Boomer’s cries of "Back, Back, Back…GONE!!!" It is time for pitcher’s duels instead of Home Run Derby’s. It is time to see Pedro go on the DL again. And even though I can’t stand the Bronx Bombers, it is time to say goodbye to a legendary place…Yankee Stadium. But most of all, it is a time for fathers and sons and fans alike to enjoy their time at the ballpark. After watching the many spring games in Arizona or watching Billy Crystal take his hacks in Tampa at Legends Field, it is finally time to hear those glorious two words…"Play Ball". 

For six, and for the lucky teams and fans seven, months people get in their cars or take the trains or cabs or buses and fill the cathedrals that have been erected to these great franchises. They yell and scream and cheer and believe that for three or four hours they can escape their own little world and lose themselves in the great game of baseball. 

But we have to enjoy it while it lasts. 

Enjoy the rain delays that we complain about happening. Enjoy the TV commercials that we have to endure to get back to the game. Enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow fans, home and opposing. Enjoy the late night extra inning games that we can’t miss and are worn out for the next day.

Enjoy your time at the ballpark because this season will be over before you know it. And then the wait for next season begins again.