Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day


Opening day is a clean slate. It's green trying to push the droll winter the hell out of the way. It's grass-cutting season. It's little league practice until dinner time.

Opening day is a looking forward and in-the-moment day. Twenty-five years ago it would have been a day closer to swimming off the Oxford Ferry Dock time (generally late April, early May).

Though I'm more of a football fan than baseball, opening day of baseball season is one of my favorite sports days. Period. And though I'm more of an Orioles fan than a Nationals fan, I'm jazzed to be heading to the Nats' season opener this afternoon.

I can't recall how many Orioles' opening days I've been to. With a father who is a CPA, it hasn't been many. Which is why, in part, I'll feel like a kid when we take a crew from work and head across the street to Nationals Stadium. The other part of giddy will be the $8 beer in my hand and subsequent $8 smile on my face...

Baseball moments--both playing and spectating--are woven through my almost 39 years. Learning to play catch in the backyard with my dad; hitting a bottom of the last inning game-winning double over Jeff Wilson's head in right field so the Oxford Little League beat Cordova; being at Mike Mussina's first Oriole start at Memorial Stadium; being at the game when Eddie Murray, again an Oriole, hit his 500th home run; ...opening day for the Nationals 2011 season.

Opening day is renewal. It's change of seasons. It's backyard cookouts. It's Chuck Thompson and Brooks Robinson doing play-by-play. It's leaving work early with friends and co-workers and taking in America's game.

4 comments:

Kelly said...

the NATIONALs!?!?!!!?????

Michael Valliant said...

Such an odd thing for me, not being a DC sports fan. But I think working next door to the stadium, and driving directly past it every day and going to a few games last year, got me into it.

The Nats aren't what the O's are to me, but being a National League team, etc., I figure I can pull for both :)

Stephen G. Bardsley said...

MV, OK I was there with my pop, as I always am opening day games. You should make your fellow bloggers aware that the picture on this post of you and your beautiful wife is NOT from yesterday! Pop and I were actually wearing Ski gloves and parkas! Beers are also $8.50 before the tip, so a twenty dollar bill gets a round for two. As probably the biggest O's fan, and Ravens fan that you know of besides yourself, you have my blessing on routing for the NATS. Your point about O's American league, and NATS National League is what makes it OK. How lucky are we to have two big league clubs within an hour!
OPENING DAY......PRICELESS!
Bards

Michael Valliant said...

An excellent point, Stephen - the photo was indeed last year and it was for damn sure much colder on opening day :)

Glad you got up there. I thought the Nats had a chance when Werth and Zimmerman got on the corners with LaRoche up to bat, but nothing doing.

The O's on the other hand...:)