Baseball, Opening Day and fresh starts

It’s perhaps my favorite day of the year. Baseball. Opening Day.

I have a few rituals. I always watch my team, the Fightin’ Phils. And I clean my Phillies shrine and burn a little red candle for good luck. What the hell, it can’t hurt.

Calling on the spirit of Larry Bowa and Dickie Knowles ...

Calling on the spirit of Larry Bowa and Dickie Noles …

There’s something magical about Opening Day. It’s a fresh start. Everything starts anew. Zero to zero. Anything can happen.

One of my fondest childhood memories is riding my lime green bike with the banana seat to Mr. Food to buy packs of baseball cards. They cost 15 cents a pack. I would buy as many as I could afford, saving enough money for a pint of Icy Tea in bright orange cartons.

I would sit outside on the curb with my brother and our friends, the summer sun lighting up our faces as we opened our packs and sipped our drinks. Inside the wax wrapper, anything was possible. We shuffled through the cards looking for Phillies players. Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski. These were gold. After making a few curbside trades, we shoved our stacks of cards in our pockets and pedaled home, our fingers white from the powder-coated sticks of gum.

That’s the thing about an unopened pack of baseball cards. Anything is possible.

That’s the thing about Opening Day. Anything is possible.

It’s funny, but I don’t feel the same excitement today as I have in previous years.

It’s not that the Phillies are pegged to win only 70 some games this year or that the majority of their players are almost as old as me (ok, so maybe not that old).

It’s that I don’t feel the need for a new start these days. Things with W are good. Better than good. Maybe better than ever. And I have my writers’ group and a work in progress. I have so much besides baseball to look forward to.

Most of my life has been spent starting over, wiping the slate clean. Trying again and again and again. Letting go and moving on.

But right now I don’t feel that need. I feel like staying put. Digging my heels in at the plate and swinging for the fences.

If you’re interested, you can read last year’s post on Opening Day here.

9 responses to “Baseball, Opening Day and fresh starts

  1. Great post! No doubt Opening Day is one of a kind! I really enjoyed your piece, and would love to hear what you think of my opening day post! You can find it here

    Thanks for letting me read your blog!

  2. It’s a great place to be. Yes, dig in those heels. That memoir is going to be a home run.

  3. The “magic number” for every team is 162. (Yes, I’m ignoring the games in Australia or whatever for the sake of poetic license!) It’s a gorgeous day. As an entirely fallible human being, I adore a sport where the very best hitters get hits three or four out of ten attempts. And the Phillies are my NL team – because I’m a Seattle M’s fan, and you all took on Raul Ibanez and Jamie Moyer, two of our all-time best players (and people).
    Play ball!

    • Philly loved Rauuuuuul (they’re not booing, they’re saying Raul) and Jamie Moyer. One of the baseballs on my shrine was signed by Moyer. Great guy. Always signed for the kids before and after games. Each of my three has a Moyer signed ball. The guy was a class act, a throwback. Hope your Mariners have a good year. I can say that because the Phillies play in the NL.

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