By Richard Cuicchi | March 31, 2013 at 06:35 PM EDT | 2 comments
It’s not the quite the same as being at an actual Opening Day baseball game, but my son’s and my ritual for that day is just as special. For several years, Lee (now age 35) and I have “reserved” Major League Baseball’s Opening Day Monday to spend the entire day over-dosing on baseball. For both of us, everything else is a lower priority that day—work, wife, kids, weight-watching—I mean everything.
It’s the day we get rejuvenated for the upcoming, grinding 162-game season. It’s the day our fantasy teams look like sure bets to win the season title. Before the first pitch of the day, it’s the only time when all the Major League teams, including our favorites, are in first place. More importantly, it’s the best of days my son and I get to share our common passion for the “grand old game.”
With cable, satellite, and internet TV packages nowadays, one can literally watch every game played on one of baseball’s “holy days.” And that’s exactly what we do. The schedule for Opening Day usually has games starting at 12:00pm, 3:00pm, 6:00pm, and 9:00pm. One TV will have the premier game on for each time slot, and a second TV is used to switch back-and-forth between other concurrent games. We’ve been known to also have MLB’s internet-broadcasted games running on a personal computer, just to make sure we aren’t missing any great plays.
With the first game starting at noon, we get to do our tailgating (on the back patio) prior to that, which is usually when we grill the BBQ ribs and start the beers. Hot pastrami and swiss sandwiches, muffalettas, potato salad, and ice cream usually fill out the rest of the menu for the day. We don’t settle for just hot dogs and peanuts that you usually get at a stadium game!
At some point in between the games on TV, before we get too many beers and too much food in us, Lee and I will get out the baseball gloves and play the proverbial father-and-son “pitch and catch”. It may be the only time we do it during the season (as we have been known to burn out our arms in about 20 minutes), but there’s nothing like sharing that kind of moment.
Before the day is over, we’ll have debated who will prevail in the AL East Division--the Yankees (my favorite) or the Red Sox (his favorite), made our predictions for the teams in the playoffs and World Series, and planned our annual trip to see some Major League games during the summer.
I missed the opportunity with my own father to enjoy an occasional game of “catch.” One reason was that the game of baseball was not something he relished; but another factor was that his farming activities were essentially a “sun-up to sun-down” job, when I was growing up. But that’s okay—Dad taught me about a lot more important things in life. For example, always a very practical person, my father frequently reminded me as a youngster that if I knew my Catechism lessons as well as the backs of my baseball cards, I’d have a better chance of getting a “box seat” in Heaven.
Hence, I consider myself blessed to have a son who equally shares a passion for baseball and lives just across town, so that we can experience this kind of day and create these fond memories. Lee and I keep talking about one of these years we’ll actually attend a real Opening Day game together in a real Major League city. But, nah, it probably wouldn’t be the same…
Do you have a similar experience you’d like to share? Have you ever attended an MLB Opening Day game—what was that like?