Major League Baseball always talks about the need to market itself, especially to the younger generation. A national Opening Day could be a good first step. A good second step would be for school districts around the country to shut it down for a day when their hometown team plays its home opener.
I don’t know how to go about it, but if I had a son or daughter I would take them out of school to go to Opening Day. That’s what my late father did on April 7, 1970, when he took my brother and I out of school for the day to watch the Indians on Opening Day against Baltimore.
Despite his note, the school did not approve, but he took us out anyway. His reason was we would take more from being at that game with him than anything we would have learned that day in class.
He was right. Baseball was very big in our home, and it still is in our family. That’s how you cultivate the fans of tomorrow.
Looking back, he was right, and it is one of my fondest memories of him.
My dad got it 46 years ago. I wonder how many fathers around the country will it today and take their kids to Citi Field.
My other favorite Opening Day memory was last year. I had been hurt the year before and spent nearly seven months in a hospital and didn’t go to the park for an Opening Day for the first time since 1988. I remember watching on TV from the hospital and promised myself I would go the next year.
Which, I did. There was a sense of accomplishment I will always remember.
I’ve watched on television Opening Days since 1966, but the memories of plays are scattered. Both those two memories were personal and that’s why I remember them vividly. To me, baseball’s Opening Days are about being personal, about who you watched them with and the circumstances in your life at the time.
So, what about you? What are your favorite Opening Day memories?