Baseball is back and all is right with the world, if only for a day.
There’s something about Opening Day. The sight of the banners and freshly cut grass, the smell of sewage and Dodger Dogs in the air (who can tell the difference, anyway), and the knowledge that another season is upon us and hasn’t had a chance to hurt us yet.
I love the beginning of the season for its potential. It’s Schrödinger's baseball season: your team is both terrible and great simultaneously, who is to accurately say which will be your reality?
You can read the projections and predictions that all of the very smart baseball writers will put together, and generally they are fairly accurate. But baseball, as the kids say, is weird. Which allows us the glimmer of hope when the season starts anew.
There’s something almost intoxicating about a fresh start. The mistakes of the past are wiped away and we have a chance to start again and strive for something different. Hopefully something better.
Maybe it’s a new school, a new job, a new home, or simply a new year. We celebrate these opportunities to hope for a better tomorrow.
The same can be true in a smaller way with baseball and the role it plays in our lives.
Most teams aren’t going to make it into the playoffs on any given year, let alone win it all. And maybe some teams aren’t even trying to be successful because they find it more beneficial to fail, who am I to say? But as fans, we go into every season hoping for something to look forward to; looking for that thing that will define a season in our memory.
Maybe that thing will be winning the World Series, but most likely it won’t be. And that’s okay, it doesn’t have to be in order for the season to be meaningful.
For most of us, baseball is a companion to the rest of our life. We remember games by what we were doing, where we were or who we were with. We remember seasons by what we were going through that year.
So maybe the Opening Day joy is really just an extension of our hope for a fresh start, a better year, and the potential for a happier tomorrow.
So enjoy this brief window where anything is still possible. The everyday grind will be upon us soon enough and we’ll lose that Opening Day wonder; wishing, much like with life, that we could go back to that point where anything seemed possible.