This has become one of my favorite posts to write every year. It’s a time honored tradition. It’s like laying out the cookies and milk the night before Santa comes to visit you. And before you laugh–I think it should be recognized as some type of national holiday.
Who is going to have the Jason Heyward moment that is destined to be remembered forever to kick us off tomorrow? Or does Jason decide to do something like that once again on the first pitch he sees? Who’s going to throw the first no-hitter? Does anyone have Rickey Henderson’s 105 stolen bases in them?
Is this the year that Adam Dunn finally tops 50 home runs? Does Jay Bruce knock his 35 out of the park? Do the Phillies or Red Sox ride off into the sunset as the Miami Heat-like bad guys of baseball? Or does Cinderella come knocking with Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez as her date?
Can Aroldis hit 105 on the gun some warm summer night? Why do I have the feeling someone hits in 40 or 45 straight this year?
Get ready to say your first hello’s to Mike Moustakas, Brandon Belt, Dave Sappelt, and Freddie Freeman. And prepare your possible final goodbyes to old friends like Chipper Jones and Hideki Matsui.
Is this Albert Pujols’ final season in Cardinal Red? Does Bryce Harper find a way to log some big league at-bats before the 162 is through?
The answers all lie ahead of us still; and the fate of everyone in the baseball fraternity begins to unfold starting tomorrow afternoon. The great American sport begins again to write us another beautiful, season-long chapter in our lives.
And Opening Day falls on a weekend this year. It’s like baseball’s beautiful half wrapped gift to us all. While every other sport has some sort of turmoil surrounding it, baseball marches on. Through it all, we’ll always have our wonderful game to make us proud. While it’s not without it’s challenges, it’s as pure as it’s been in a long time.
If you truly love the game of baseball–and it’s likely if you find yourself here that you do–take a few moments to enjoy tomorrow. And Friday. And Saturday and Sunday are part of the celebration as well. You’re not guaranteed to take in 85 or 90 Opening Day experiences. But we’ve got tomorrow. And we’ve all got hope don’t we? Because sometime the Pirates and Royals are going to climb out of the cellar and start something special.
It’s Opening Day, and we’ve made it to another year of the greatest sport on earth.
Diamond Hoggers salutes you, the baseball fan on Opening Day 2011. Follow Diamond Hoggers on Twitter live from Opening Day in Cincinnati for the 7th straight year, joined by our sidekick from The Golden Sombrero.