Sunday, March 31, 2013

Opening Day

There's nothing like it.  Nothing.

This is the day I wait for every year.  Even knowing the Yankees are, at best, an 88 win team, hope springs eternal.  The game is back.

My game.

It's the sure sign of the warm weather.  The smell in the air - it's different.  The days are getting longer.

The crack of the bat (they should be wood).  The popcorn and hot dogs.  The roar of the crowd.

The music, the organ (where they still play them).  The movies.  The audio.  No game - none - plays better on the radio.

Vincent Edward Scully.  You should know that name.  Just call him "Vin."

The history.  None better.  The myths.  The icons.  Willie, Mickey, the Duke, Joltin' Joe, the Babe, the Iron Horse, Stan the Man, Hammerin' Hank, and Yogi and Donnie Baseball - they move into Mo and Jeet (who some call "the GOAT").

The starting lineups.  The ceremonial first pitch.  And then.  Finally.  Those two words - so simple in their creation but married together jointly forever:

Play. Ball.

And it's more than that.  With spring, the races get tighter in hockey and basketball.  Their second seasons are about to begin, and what's better than the Stanley Cup Playoffs?  Plus the NCAA is down to the Final Four (after today).

Tonight, they'll have their little thing for national TV as ESPN opens the season.  The whoring out of sports continues in grand fashion.  But tomorrow, let the pageantry commence.  Enjoy the "Title Sponsor Here dot com Parade" in Cincinnati.

For me, I'll find a way to get a break in my day to be by a radio (or even a TV - perhaps via my iPad) for Yankees/Red Sox.

The game - my game - is flawed.  They all are.  Baseball has problems.  We'll get to them.  For now, a few hours, I continue to enjoy the romance of it all.  It is among the things I hold most closely.

It's my favorite day of the year.  A national holiday.
That's baseball, and it's my game.  Y' know, you take your worries to the game, and you leave 'em there.  You yell like crazy for your guys.  It's good for your lungs, gives you a lift, and nobody calls the cops.   -Humphrey Bogart
Check this wonderful video out from 1958 on "The Ed Sullivan Show."  Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and Bill Skowron (forever, "Moose") join Jack Norworth to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."  Who's Jack Norworth, you might ask?  Watch the video.  Also of note is Yogi wishing a speedy recovery to Roy Campanella after his car accident that left him paralyzed.

Lastly, a little baseball mythology is required to get you ready.  I've learned to treat The Natural as two different pieces of work - the book versus the movie.

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