March Comes In Like A Lion. March Goes Out with A Four Bagger Over the Right Field Fence. (source unknown)
Major League Baseball’s opening day is March 30. Opening day is a religious and patriotic American holiday. Face it. Even God is a baseball fan. You don’t believe me? Here’s the proof. When the baseball season begins, the days get longer, the temperature warms, flowers bloom, and trees turn green. If that is not a message from our maker about baseball, I don’t know what is.
Remember what God himself said in the movie, “Oh God!?”
I don’t do miracles. They are too flashy. They upset the natural balance. Oh, maybe now and then, just to keep my hand in. The last miracle I did was the 1969 Mets. Before that, I think you have to go back to the Red Sea.
If you don’t want to believe what George Burns said when playing the role of God…Just look at the first words of the Bible—Chapter one, verse one of Genesis. The very first words of the bible talks about baseball. It says, “In The Big Inning.”
Baseball is America’s game. It is the sport that most closely reflects the American Dream. It’s about how freedom gives every American the opportunity for prosperity and success, no matter where they started.
We dream that our family and children will be better off than we were if they work hard. That is also the dream of baseball, especially on opening day. What the team did last year gets thrown out, and players who work hard can go from bust to boom.
Teams can go from lousy one year and make the World Series the next. Heck. Like the 1969 NY Mets, teams can go from awful to World Champions in the same season. But that takes some extra help from above. In 1969 Chicago was leading the division. But during a game at Shea Stadium, where the Mets played, a black cat appeared out of nowhere and walked across the Cubs’ dugout; The next day, the Mets were in first. If that wasn’t done by a higher power, I don’t know what is.
Opening Day is the most optimistic of days because every team is tied for first place before the first pitch is thrown. And we believe that every untested rookie has the opportunity to be a Hall-Of-Famer or, at the very least, better than the veterans who were on the team before them.
It’s a game most of us played growing up. Sure, we played basketball and football also. But basketball is a game for very tall people, and most NFL players seem seven feet tall, four hundred pounds, and could crush a car with one hand. If we found ourselves in the middle of an NFL game, most of us would receive major (if not fatal) injuries. Baseball players seem like “regular guys.” While watching an MLB game, many fans believe they could play professionally given a few months to train.
This is a sport of individuality. Football and basketball have individual stars, but those stars depend more on team play. An excellent quarterback performance can be ruined by a lousy offensive line, a lousy defense, or because he plays for the NY Jets. But a great hitter on a tear can carry a team for weeks, and so can a great pitcher or two. A hot player’s effect on the rest of their team is more significant than in other sports.
While there are “team plays” such as shifts, hits, runs, double steals, etc., when it comes right down to it, most of the time, baseball is a battle between one pitcher and one hitter.
And just like any little American kid can become president (but why would they want to), any MLB player can be a hero. How many “non-stars” have delivered the game-winning hit or gotten hot during the playoffs or World Series. That is the dream of America’s game. It’s the every-man game. Many pitching superstars have never thrown a no-hitter, but many mediocre players have. Johnny Vander Meer is the only player in history to pitch no-hitters in consecutive starts, but during his entire career lost a few more games than he won (W/L: 119-121).
Baseball is a game of patience and balance. Taking the first pitch, don’t be too aggressive at the plate and swing at bad pitches, a pitcher setting up a hitter, corner infielders playing closer to the line, the catcher framing the pitch, etc., more than on any other sport, this is a thinking person’s game.
Baseball is essential in politics. For example, it was one of the things that exposed Hillary as a fraud. She was a loyal Chicago Cubs fan until she decided to run for the NY Senate seat. Then she started saying she was a NY Yankees fan. This was a major flip-flop. If you are a fan of one team that lasts for your entire life, you don’t change unless the team moves. There are still people who grew up as Brooklyn Dodgers fans who will never utter the Los Angeles team’s name. (except when the team’s name is preceded by a curse word).
Even though “dem Bums” left Brooklyn in 1957, 65 years ago, many fans who grew up saying, “wait till next year,” still have voodoo dolls representing former Dodger owner Walter O’Malley because he moved the team to Los Angeles or Robert Moses former planning Commission who fought against the team when they wanted to build a new stadium in Brooklyn; He wanted them to move to Flushing which eventually became the home of the Mets.
When your team moves, that fandom bond is broken, and you can pick another team. But only a liberal flip-flopper would do it for political reasons.
The opening day of the greatest sport ever created by man is a great American holiday despite the fact it’s not yet recognized s as a federal holiday—banks closed, no mail, and days off for everyone to go to the stadium of their choice or watch it on TV.
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson described opening day as a time when all teams were created equal. They are endowed by their general manager with life in the big leagues, the liberty to make good plays, and the pursuit of the happiness of winning the World Series,
If we do have a national; rainstorm on March 30 and no games are played, don’t be surprised if President Biden makes a speech to blame the inclement weather on former President Trump and what Biden chose “MAGA Republicans.”
Growing up, our teachers told us there are four seasons; Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring. But those teachers lied. There are only two seasons in America– baseball and the rest of the year.
On Thursday, have a beer, a hot dog, and a box of Cracker Jacks. May you have a joyous MLB season, and may your team do well (but not as well as my NY Mets).