There is nothing quite like Opening Day.
Growing up, I remember going to Opening Day with my father numerous times to Three Rivers Stadium. It was a national holiday for me. I remember being able to miss school to watch baseball. It was literally a dream come true. Even after going off to college and leaving the city of Pittsburgh, I always try to make it back for this glorious day.
This year just feels different from others, though. I’m not heading back to Pittsburgh. I’ll be in my office working all day. But I think a lot of it has to do with last season.
There is nothing more mentally draining to a fan than the 162 game baseball season. I’ll stick to that. Football has weekly games where you get crazy for a few hours a week. Hockey fans are as passionate as any, but the season lasts 82 games with four off days a week. Baseball is a 162 game marathon and last season’s marathon saw the Pirates practically die of heat stroke heading down the home stretch. It was the probably the biggest emotional roller coaster I’ve ever had in my short life. And it ended poorly.
But Opening Day cures everything. For 20 years, Pirates fans have said “this is the year” as hope springs eternal. Forget last year. Forget the year before. Forget the streak. Just enjoy baseball.
Like I said before, this year feels different for me after last season. But you can bet that at 1:35, I’m going to have MLB At Bat pulled up on the iPhone cheering on my team. And all the bad taste in my mouth from last year will go away for a few hours, knowing that baseball season is officially here.
Let’s go Bucs.