There’s nothing quite like Opening Day.
The first smell of fresh cut grass. The first bag of peanuts. The first crack of the bat.
It all has a nostalgia to it that takes me back to my youngest days with a ball and a glove playing pickup ball with the neighborhood kids. The warm summer evenings as the sun dips closer to the horizon, youngsters running and laughing in the street. An innocent freedom that separates you from the rest of the world, where the only worry is that mom’s shout from the front door to come home for dinner will be heard before one last at-bat.
Those are the flashbacks that race through my mind with the first pitch of each season. For me, there’s nothing quite like it.
Baseball has always been a big part of my life. The memory of when I first saw kids in my neighborhood play the game is one I will never forget. I remember watching curiously as they organized the bases, collected the bats and picked teams.
I was only three or four years old and all I wanted to know was what they were doing. My oldest brother was one of those kids and I knew he could help. I ran to him asking what they were playing. The answer: Baseball!
I had to know more. I said I wanted to play. I asked to know the rules and what I was supposed to do. All of these questions going unanswered. The one thing I remember was being told to go sit on the porch where I could watch and learn. Not the answer I wanted to hear.
But before the game even started in our front yard, it ended. A neighborhood bully broke things up with his bad attitude and mean spirit. I’ll save that story for another blog entry.
Today is dedicated to Opening Day.
If you ask me, Opening Day should be a national holiday. Seriously. Baseball, America’s sport, has been played in our country for nearly two centuries. There’s no greater reason to have an American Holiday than Opening Day.
Labor Day? Really? All I know is that on Labor Day growing up my dad used it as an extension to the weekend of work. It was primarily a day used to work in the garden and bolster our food storage. We bottled tomatoes, peaches and pairs and made homemade grape juice by the gallons all from our garden. I had to constantly remind my dad that Labor Day was not a day of labor but supposed to be a day free from labor as we celebrated the end of summer and beginning of fall.
Well, what better way to celebrate the beginning of spring and the end of a long winter than by officially commemorating Opening Day as a good, old fashioned American holiday! How many times have you heard the term, “There’s nothing more American than apple pie?” Well, baseball is!
As a holiday, Opening Day should be celebrated with all things American. It should be a day of barbecues, fireworks and yes… apple pie too! And we should go back to our baseball roots on that day too with all Opening Day games being day games.
The first Monday in April each year should be designated as the official Opening Day.
So if you’re proud to be an American, then celebrate with me next weekend!
I hereby declare Opening Day a national holiday!
This is the first in a series of blogs by Sam Farnsworth titled “Baseball Cards, Box Scores and Backyard Ball.”
Follow Sam on Twitter @samfarnsworth11 and on facebook “Sam Farnsworth Kktv”