|Chicago Cubs sweatshirt, vintage 1991|
Sunday was Opening Day for Major League Baseball. Saying it that way is somewhat redundant because there is only one “Opening Day” and that’s for Major League Baseball. The NFL may have opening weekend, and the NBA and NHL open sometime in the fall but those are no big deal. College sports open seasons all the time, but none of those or any other Opening Day is special (except maybe for the opening day of The Masters golf tournament, this Thursday).
The St. Louis Cardinals opened the season Sunday at the Chicago Cubs with the Cards 3-0 winners over the Baby Bears. It was Opening Day as the sports world turns to the 162 regular season schedule of baseball, the original America’s pastime where the only meaningful clock is the one that tells the time of the first pitch. There are no time clocks to fight against, those that say when the game will end. If you’re impatient and prefer definitive start and stop times of games, do not subject yourself to the fun of being at a baseball game. It ends when it ends; that’s when you go home or to a nearby bar to celebrate or commiserate. After yesterday’s game, the optimistic and loyal Cubbies fans know their beloved team (0-1) is probably mathematically eliminated from the playoffs not to mention the World Series.
The Cubs hold the record for the longest drought between World Series titles, last winning in 1908. The Cubs last World Series appearance was in 1945, the last time the team won the National League pennant. The Cardinals, the Cubs' biggest rival, have won 12 World Series titles and 19 National League pennants. This season, there is more optimism for the Cubs, picked by Sports Illustrated to finished third in the NL Central Division with a projected 82-80 record. However, Cubs fans may be the most optimistic fans of all professional sports, always hoping for the best and putting positive spins on the season ahead.
Yes, Sunday was Opening Day with one special game. Today, the other 28 teams open their seasons. It’s that special time of year: Play Ball! And, by the way, Go New York Yankees!
Dictionary.com word of the day
diddle (verb) [did-l]: to cheat; swindle; hoax