Put Me In Coach: It’s Opening Day!

There’s nothing quite like it in sports. While there was a North American game last night, today is officially opening day for Major League Baseball.

And there is no better time for sports fans than opening day. For me personally, there is no sport better than baseball. There are a number of reasons for this.

1. There is no clock. The game is not over until the last man is out. No matter what the score is, a team always has a chance to come back.

2. It requires precision and skill like no other sport. Don’t get me wrong. I am not diminishing the skills of hockey, basketball and football players. But there is nothing harder to do in sports than hit a baseball. A batter is hitting a round object with another round object that is coming at him at speeds of up to 100 mph, thrown from a mere 60 feet away. Deion Sanders was one of the NFL greats. He was a decent baseball player. Michael Jordan is still the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. He hit .202 in Double A ball.

No sport lives for the moment like baseball. Sure there are last minute goals, buzzer beaters and Hail Mary passes but baseball’s moments are legendary:

  • Bobby Thompson’s ‘Shot Heard Round The World.’
  • Bill Mazeroski’s walk off home run against the great NY Yankees.
  • Hank Aaron hitting number 715.
  • Carlton Fisk waving his home run fair in the 1975 World Series.
  • Sid Bream beating the throw by Barry Bonds in the 1992 ALCS to send the Braves to the World Series
  • Joe Carter’s walk off home run against Mitch Williams in the 1993 World Series.
  • Unlikely hero Aaron Boone’s walk off home run in the 2003 ALCS.

There’s also that tension when a pitcher is closing in a no-hitter or perfect game. Many have been spoiled with just a few outs to go but when it happens, it’s freaking awesome.

Baseball also has the rich history. I love to read about Ebbet’s Field, The Polo Grounds. The stories about Candlestick Park are legendary. People even talk about the ugly time of artificial turf when baseball fields looked like something out of a cheap video game.

Then there are the people who call the game. Some of us are old enough to remember Mel Allen – if not calling games, then the voice of the great weekly show, ‘This Week In Baseball.’ There’s Vin Scully who is the greatest of all time. There are those we miss like Phil Rizzuto, Harry Carey. And those we all love to hate – Joe Buck and Tim McCarver (who thankfully has retired) are two and I don’t know of a single White Sox fan who actually likes Ken Harrelson despite being told fans love him. 

So tonight, sit back, relax and enjoy opening day.

Put me in coach….