MLB Opening Day
Opening Day. The very thought of it brings such sweet, sweet music to my ears…
As I crest the mid-point on life’s arc, the allure of that old-fashioned right of spring is a more welcome reality check—a more welcome moment of clarity, than ever before.
When I was twelve I’d skip school. Now I skip work, so that I might bear witness the season’s very first pitch. And with that finally in the books, after a long winter’s hiatus, here comes a universal sigh of relief—for all things in the world, for the moment at least, are right.
Rejuvenated, I cruise around town on my own personal Baseball Good Will Tour, glad handing any human in a baseball hat, regaling them, with back slaps and shouts of “Beautiful day for a ball game eh? Let’s play two!”
But my renewed lease on life is sometimes unexpectedly derailed. For along the way I find that there are a few amongst us who feel that the game has betrayed them. Salaries are too high. Ticket prices as well. The whole institution, in their opinion, has copped to a Luxury Box mentality.
Now if you’re a true fan, you understand the heart, the meaning, of this unique game. You understand its essence. Its potential--its connection to your roots.
But no matter how I rationalized it in my head, something about these encounters stayed with me. Haunted me. Offended me. So I go deeper and reflect-- stripping the game down to its sandlot basics: one pitch at a time--one game at a time. I revisit the meaning of the game’s structure. A structure balanced on the concepts of hope, failure and redemption.
It is these fundamental principles that drive the sport. They are what make it special. You can’t replace them. And no matter what the business of baseball may dictate—you can’t take them away. For they are all that really matters. So, to those who doubt, I say focus on them. Rely on them. Though the culture around the game has changed, the game has not.
Maybe I’m a naive romantic, living in my own rose-colored lollipop Field Of Dreams. But this game of throws the ball, hit the ball, catches the ball, and serves a truly valuable purpose in my world. I count on the game’s Zen like configurations and lessons for inspiration. I count on it to give me a semblance of order and structure--to influence the way I go about my craft--my daily routines. And perhaps more importantly, I need the game to reconnect me to the past. And in turn, to connect me to the future…
Maybe I should to grow up.
But you see as my beard sprouts more white hairs, my eagerness for this Opening Day moment, and all it may foreshadow, has never soured-- from my days as a stickball swinging kid in New Haven, to my adventures h in Adulthood Land, today in Los Angeles.
So for whatever it is worth, here’s to a happy Opening Day—with all of its promise, and possibilities. This season enjoy a baseball game for the sake of it just being a baseball game. Dig watching your team – win or lose- because you can.
And no matter what, remember, it’s a beautiful day for a ball game again… so let’s play two.