This is Opening Day in baseball. Another baseball season starts, as teams strive all through the spring and summer to bring glory, honor-- and a pennant-- to their long-suffering fans.
I am among a hearty breed of fan that originated over 140 years ago-- I am a fan of the Cincinnati Reds. I come by it honestly-- I grew up just a bit over an hour away from the Queen City, in Connersville, Indiana. I have a genuine love for both Cincinnati teams-- the Reds in baseball, and the Bengals in football (oh, please help me there!) But I digress.
In many places, Opening Day is a commencement-- a culmination of hopes and dreams. In Cincinnati, it is even more than that-- it is an unofficial municipal holiday. Fron the annual Findlay Market parade, to the famous players and Hall of Famers returning, to the first pitch of the season at Great American Ball Park-- Opening Day is special in Cincinnati. This year, it will be even more special-- with the first interleague Opening Day in history. The Cincinnati Reds will host the Los Angeles Angels in the season lid-lifter. It seems appropriate for a couple of reasons-- the Reds were the originator or professional baseball, and both teams are expected to be good to excellent all year long.
The late Commissioner of Baseball, Bart Giamatti, said it best-- Baseball is meant to break your heart. It starts in the spring when everything is blooming, then dies away when the leaves are changing and falling off the trees. And leaves you to face the fall alone." Even so, enjoy the love affair while you have it!! Play Ball-- whether you are a Reds, Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox, or even the odd Indians fan (ahem, Doug Carroll)... and to one and all... Play Ball!!