“Baseball Opening Day-Welcome Back Old Friend”
Baseball is back – 2019-style. It’s green grass, blue sky, baseball under the sun, domed stadiums and designated hitters. Remembering all the history and records of the games, the stars and years gone by.
Baseball is the personality on the field. Teddy Ballgame (Williams)…Stan-the-Man (Musial)…Duke of Flatbush (Snider). It’s the M & M Boys, (Mantle and Maris), Sey Hey (Mays), Jackie (Robinson) and Charley Hustle. (Rose). It’s the Bambino (Ruth) and the Iron Man (Gehrig), the Georgia Peach (Cobb), Reggie Bar (Jackson) and the Wild Horse of the Osage (Pepper Martin.)
Baseball is all about the teams. Murderer’s Row (Yankees)…the Gashouse Gang (Cardinals), the Gints (Giants) and D’em Bums (Dodgers). It’s the Lumber Company (Pirates), the Big Red Machine (Cincinnati), the Running Redbirds (Cardinals), and those Fightin Phils (Phillies). Its “1st in War-1st in Peace-Last in the American League (Senators), the Bronx Bombers (Yankees) and the Amazing’s (Mets.)
Baseball is places too. The House that Ruth Built (Yankees Stadium)….the Green Monster (Fenway)….the 8th Wonder of the World (Astrodome)….the Stick (San Francisco)…Coogan’s Bluff (Polo Grounds)…Ivy covered walls (Wrigley Field) and the Fans in Flatbush (Ebbets Field.)
Baseball is also about owners. The Boss (Steinbrenner)….Charley O (Finley)…The Mahatma (Branch Rickey) Veeck as in Wreck (Bill Veeck) and Cornelius McGillacuddy (Connie Mack).
Baseball is about managers. The Major (Ralph Houk)….Smokey (Walter Alston)….Casey at the Bat (Stengel)…Billy-the-Kid (Martin.)
Baseball is about the broadcasters too, Vin Scully, Mel Allen, Jerry Coleman, Jack Buck, Bob Prince and Harry Caray.
Baseball is about opening day, when Bob Feller of the Indians threw a no-hitter; Ted Williams hit .446 in career opening days and they threw snowballs not fastballs at CNE Stadium in Toronto.
Baseball is teams of days gone by, the St. Louis Browns, the Washington Senators, Montreal Expos, Philadelphia & Kansas City A’s, the Boston Braves, and Seattle Pilots.
Baseball is numbers: 60 (Ruth-HRs)…61 (Maris-HRs)…714 (Aaron-HRs)…254 (Hack Wilson-RBIs)…76 (Barry Bonds HRs)…401 (Ted Williams batting average)…4,256 (Pete Rose hit total).
Baseball is bubble gum and trading cards. Father’s taking sons to their first game. Foul Balls, hot dogs and autographs. Rainouts and beanballs and out of town scoreboards. It’s lying under the covers late at night listening on a transistor radio. It’s learning to keep score. Playing catch with your dad, grand dad or uncle. It’s the smell of the ball park, the crack of the bat, the cheering of the crowd.
Baseball is back, and every team, every fan, starts on opening day, feeling good about itself. It’s the new look at Dodgers Stadium, Angels Stadium or the gem that is Petco Park.
Angels, Dodgers, Padres, great to see you.
Baseball is back. Welcome back old friend.