Kids and Goats,
I write this “fanpost” to solicit your opening day memories, and to share my favorite…
We, as Cardinal fans, had a somewhat rough winter. Jocketty leaving. Eckstein leaving. Mo on board. Rolen vs. LaRussa. The resigning of Miles. The signing of Izturis. Paletta’s pitchers. Juan Gonzalez (arf). The pitching sta(ph infection.).
Spring Training was somewhat better. Some nice surprises, and we learned that Colby hype may be worth believing. The important thing about Spring Training is that it provides us, as fans, with glimmers hope and allows us to get know our local 9 again. Storylines that become reality – and baseball is back.
So now it’s almost here…the unofficial national holiday known as Opening Day. (I exclude for the purpose of this fanpost the recent games in Tokyo – that was MLB Marketing Day, and while a nice gesture, a bit on the goofy side). The one day when we shouldn’t gripe about LaRussa, debate Reyes, or question the resigning of Miles. Although we do have to stare at the biggest mud puddle in eastern Missouri (don’t get me started).
Damn, I love Opening Day. It’s my favorite day of the year. It’s that day when all is right with the world and your team is in 1st place. The sun shines and the crack of the bat is louder than you remember it. The fans are excited, the players have smiles on their faces, and the patience of winter is rewarded with the smell of hotdogs, peanuts, and beer. Summer yawns out before you. The flags and pennants snap in the breeze a bit tighter, and for one day of the year – just one mind you – everything seems likes it’s going to be ok.
So anyway - my favorite Opening Day Memory: I returned from “a desert vacation at government expense” in early April 2006. We bought standing room only tickets for Opening Day – the first game at the new stadium - and wheeled the stroller right behind the bleachers in right center. We shared a pretzel, he fell asleep in the 3rd and we left in the 5th (slight case of “overstimulation” in the 1yr old). Pujols hit a homer that we saw – but I don’t remember much of the game. Too busy staring at my little boy at his first ballgame. That’s it. No autographs, no miraculous plays. Just my family at a ballgame. Last year, he made it through the 6th, sitting on our laps. And we shared a pretzel. This year, I have the distinct pleasure of taking my 3yr old son to his 3rd Opening Day and listening to him laugh every time someone says “Poo-holes.” Next year, his brother will join us, and we’ll have to split the pretzel three ways.
Damn, I’m looking forward to Monday.