So, maybe the 2013 Major League Baseball season did open Easter night. Despite MLB’s desire to get in an early prime-time start, for the true baseball aficionados, the season starts today, regardless of whether that’s official.
Baseball was meant to start on a Monday, the one Monday of the year that fans find tolerable. It’s a surer sign of spring that a Pennsylvania groundhog, a harbinger of the Masters, warmer weather, cookouts and trips to the beach and elsewhere. After a winter of staying inside, it’s time to get out and enjoy that wonderful ol’ sun.
Opening Monday is also a time of promise. Everybody (well, everybody except the two Texas team that played last night) starts out even. Even fans of the Chicago Cubs have hope today ... hope that, no doubt, will again vanish in a few weeks, but for today, it’s there. For fans, every team’s still in it and this could be the year.
Baseball, in many ways, is a mystical sport, one that remembers and pays tribute to its history and the greats who have been on the field years and decades earlier. We know names like Ruth, Gehrig, Bench, Aaron, Mays, Mantle, Williams, Robinson, Yastrzemski, Maddux, Griffey, Ford, Koufax, Gibson and DiMaggio. Their feats still haunt the fields, stadiums and cities where they amazed adults and children alike with their skill, strength, determination and hustle.
And we’d be remiss not to congratulate Buster Posey for the impact he’s had on the game — and on the San Francisco Giants’ wallet. He walks out on the field after signing a long-term deal that’s worth a total of $167 million, making him the best-paid catcher in the National League and with a total contract value second only to Joe Mauer of the American League Minnesota Twins. Quite an accomplishment for the young man from Leesburg who has, in a brief three years, already enjoyed a career that would be the envy of thousands of pro baseball players. He’s still early in his career, but it has the potential to be one of legend.
And that may be what is so appealing about the sport. Despite misguided leadership from time to time and silly decisions like allowing the All-Star Game to decide home field advantage in the World Series, baseball brings a sense of continuity to lives that are far too hectic.
Everything these days is on a timer, it seems. Baseball games, however, do not stop because of a clock. Technically, they could continue indefinitely.
Months from now, as the
autumn settles in and the greens of spring and summer fade to reds, golds and browns, the die will be cast. But today, we’re
just starting down that long
path, full or energy and vigor, waiting to hear those magic words ...