Tagged: Opening Day

Opening Day Fills Fans With Euphoric Emotions: Baseball Is Back

April 4, 2010.

 

One-hundred and fifty-one days of withdrawal between Shane Victorino’s groundout on Nov. 4 and Josh Beckett’s opening pitch at Fenway Park on April 4. 

 

It starts tonight at 8 p.m. ET when the game’s two biggest rivals, the Yankees and Red Sox clash.

 

It begins in Boston, but where will it end?

 

Magic begins. Miracles happen.

 

The sound of the wood bat striking a 98 mile per hour fastball. The feel of your hand inside a freshly oiled glove.

 

The days start getting a little longer, the weather a little warmer. Springtime is here.

 

25 men, nine coaches, a front office and an entire stadium full of fans all pulling together.

 

Baseball is America’s sport. America’s pastime.

 


IMG_3486.JPGThere’s a feeling of optimism within each of the 30 teams today.

 

A fresh start. A new chance.

 

An opportunity to prove that their transactions over the winter have put them in position to be the best team in baseball. This could be the year.

 

The pennant will be raised in New York for the first time since 2000. The Phillies will try to make it to the game’s biggest stage for the third consecutive year. National media is taking notice of the Colorado Rockies for the first time.

 

The dirt has been watered. The lines are chalked. The smell of the freshly cut grass lingers in the air. Pine tar is spread up the first 17 inches of the bats.

 

Tell Fenway Park to strike up “Sweet Caroline” in the eighth inning again and “Tessie” after a Red Sox win. Wrigley fans can join in the infamous “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” singing during the seventh-inning stretch.

 

Each jersey is pressed. Each light and each seat in the stands has been checked as the scoreboard lights up for the first time.

 

Contracts are finalized. Lineups are penciled in. But the road to the postseason is anything but certain.

 

 

 


IMG_3488.JPGSummer nights will soon settle in where there is no better place to be than at the ballpark. Fans of all ages will soon fall asleep to the voices of Peter Gammons, Harold Reynolds, and Karl Ravech on Baseball Tonight.

 

The boys of summer.

 

Inside the stadium, concession lines will form as hot dogs are cooked. Ketchup, mustard, and all of the condiments of your choice.

 

Sunflower seeds, peanuts, and cracker jacks.

 

Fans willing to shell out $11 for a hot dog and soda, and not ashamed to do so–just for a chance to witness something great. The chance to see someone great. The chance to witness history.

 

A towering 450-foot home run. Hustling around first base and sliding into second for a double down the line. Taking one step too many and getting caught in a pickle. A 6-4-3 double play.

 

Stains on the jersey from a diving catch deep in the outfield. Collisions at the plate.

 

Infuriated managers. Ejections.

 

Catchers giving pitchers signs. Pitchers shaking off the catcher’s sign.

 

A suicide bunt to score the tying run. A grand slam. Hitting for the cycle.

 

Extra innings. Game-winning walk-off hits. Fireworks. Excitement. Celebrations.

 

Grown men dog piling on top of each other.

 

Joy.

 

Baseball brings euphoric emotions to each of its fans.

 

Dreams begin for children today. Dreams for their team. Dreams of playing someday.

 

Dreams for adults. This game allows them to become kids. Fathers and sons enjoying their first glimpse of the new season while playing hooky from work and school.

 

We witnessed extraordinary events in 2009: a no-hitter and a perfect game. Gary Sheffield’s 500th home run and Randy Johnson’s 300th career win. Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home and The Kid returning to Seattle.

 

What will be in store for 2010?

 

Button up your jersey. Tighten your newly-polished cleats. Adjust your cap and get ready. The boys are back in town, ready for a 162-game dogfight for the chance to be crowned the world’s greatest.

 

Baseball is back.

 


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This article is also featured on Bleacher Report.

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2009 Brings Optimism For Colorado Rockies Fan

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With the 2009 season upon us, I couldn’t help but pull out my personal copy of 21 Days: The Rockies Run for the Pennant.

 

Even today I get chills when I see highlights of Todd Helton drilling a walk-off home run over the right field fence off of Takasha Saito and racing around the bases before throwing his helmet and leaping into his mob of teammates. Goosebumps spread throughout my body as footage shows Matt Holliday diving headfirst into home to score the game winning run to send the Rockies to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.

 

Reminiscing on those memories will bring a grown man to tears.

 

I don’t care what type of team is put on the field or what anyone says about a team’s chances in a given year. Watching and remembering what the Colorado Rockies did in 2007 gives any fan the optimism that this is their team’s year.

 

The beauty of Opening Day is that it is the only time that your team is guaranteed first place.

 

Everyone is 0-0. It’s a fresh start.

 

The Rockies’ run at the end of the 2007 season will go down as one of the greatest streaks in baseball history.

 

Manager Clint Hurdle later stated, “Man cannot script what sport can create.”

 

It transformed hearts and turned Denver into a baseball town–even if they were bandwagon fans and it only lasted that season.

 

The feelings and emotions accompanied with the run brought more joy to me personally than any other sports moment. It made me concentrate my full attention on the game and lose focus on my schoolwork and everything else going surrounding me.

 

It was an improbable run. Something I will be telling my children and grandchildren about 50 years from now.

 

Ernie Harwell, the narrator of the documentary, said, “In the end, the Rockies’ run for the pennant will be remembered as a band of brothers. Believing when no one else believed, reaching a level that no one thought they could reach, but meeting all challenges with the confidence, resiliency and spirit of a champion.”

 

Many are already writing the 2009 Rockies off. Vegas is giving the Rockies 75:1 odds of winning the World Series–good for fourth worst in all of baseball.

 

Obviously most don’t believe it can happen.

 

I’m convinced, however, that our offense is better than it has been in years. Players will be running around the bases on a consistent basis this season. Our defense will support the pitcher and our base running is improving each day. Our bullpen is rock-solid while our starting rotation has some young arms that have plenty of potential.

 

And what better way to head into the new season than closing out spring training on a three-game win streak and winning seven of their final nine games?

 

21 Days closes with several Rockies’ players reciting an inspirational quote once written by Vince Lombardi:

 

“A man can be as great as he want to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you’re willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”

 

Some say I have blind love for the Rockies, but I’m ready for another improbable run.

 

It can be done.

 

 This article is also featured on Bleacher Report.

Opening Day Fills Fans With Euphoric Emotions: Baseball Is Back

CoorsField.JPG

April 5, 2009.

 

One-hundred and fifty-eight days of withdrawal between Brad Lidge’s strikeout to win it all at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark on Oct. 29 and the opening pitch in the very same stadium. 

 

It starts tonight at 8 PM ET where the reigning champs play host to the Braves.

 

It begins in Philadelphia, but where will it end?

 

Magic begins. Miracles happen.

 

The sound of the wood bat striking a 98 mile per hour fastball. The feel of your hand inside a freshly-oiled glove.

 

The days start getting a little longer. The weather a little warmer. Springtime is here.

 

25 men, nine coaches, a front office and an entire stadium full of fans all pulling together. 

Flyover.JPG

Baseball is America’s sport. America’s pastime.

There’s a feeling of optimism within each of the 30 teams today.

 

A fresh start. A new chance.

 

An opportunity to prove that their transactions over the winter have put them in position to be the best team in baseball. This could be the year.

 

The pennant will be raised in Philly. The Rays will try to prove last year wasn’t just a fluke. The Yankees are in a new home, and will try to make a comeback after not being invited to the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

 

Will money prove to win championships? Or can Kerry Wood’s new home take the Indians to the top? Will Francisco Rodriguez be the answer to the Mets’ late season chokes?

 

The dirt has been watered. The lines are chalked. The smell of the freshly cut grass lingers in the air. Pine tar is spread up the first 17 inches of the bats.

 

CoorsField.JPG

Tell Fenway Park to strike up “Sweet Caroline” after the sixth inning again and “Tessie” after a win. Wrigley fans can join in the infamous “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” singing during the seventh-inning stretch.

Maybe year 101 will be the lucky year for the Cubs to finally break their curse.

 

Each jersey is pressed. Each light and each seat in the stands has been checked as the scoreboard lights up for the first time.

 

Tulowitzki.JPG

Contracts are finalized. Lineups are penciled in. But the road to the postseason is anything but certain.

Summer nights will soon settle in where there is no better place to be than at the ballpark. Fans of all ages will soon fall asleep to the voices of Peter Gammons, Harold Reynolds, and Kurt Ravech on Baseball Tonight.

 

The boys of summer.

 

Inside the stadium, concession lines will form as hot dogs are cooked. Ketchup, mustard, and all of the condiments of your choice.

 

Sunflower seeds, peanuts, and crackerjacks.

 
 

FSN2.JPG

Fans willing to shell out $11 for a hot dog and soda, and not ashamed to do so–just for a chance to witness something great. The chance to see someone great. The chance to witness history.

A towering 450-foot home run. Hustling around first base and sliding into second for a double down the line. Taking one step too many and getting caught in a pickle which turns to be a 1-3-6-1-4-3 out to end the inning.

 

Stains on the jersey from a diving catch deep in the outfield. Collisions at the plate.

 

Infuriated managers. Ejections.

 

Catchers giving pitchers signs. Pitchers shaking off the catcher’s sign.

 

A suicide bunt to score the tying run. A grand slam. Hitting for the cycle.

 

Extra innings. Game-winning walk-off hits. Fireworks. Excitement. Celebrations.

 

Grown men dog piling on top of each other.

 

 


Reflection.JPG 

Joy.

 

Baseball brings euphoric emotions to each of its fans.

 

Dreams begin for children today. Dreams for their team. Dreams of playing someday.

 

Dreams for adults. This game allows them to become kids. Fathers and sons enjoying their first glimpse of the new season while playing hooky from work and school.

 

We witnessed extraordinary events in 2008: two no-hitters, Manny Ramirez’s 500th career home run, Ken Griffey Jr. hitting his 600th, a phenomenal showing by Josh Hamilton in the Home Run Derby, the longest All-Star Game, and two historic stadiums hosting their final games.

 

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What will be in store for 2009?

Gary Sheffield’s 500th career home run? Randy Johnson’s 300th career win?

 

An unassisted triple play? The game’s 18th perfect game?

 

So button up your jersey. Tighten your newly-polished cleats. Adjust your cap and get ready. The boys are back in town, ready for a 162-game dogfight for the chance to be crowned the world’s greatest.

 

Baseball is back.

 

This article is also featured on Bleacher Report.

 

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