It’s finally here.
The one day of the year when all the contenders line up at the starting line even.
The slates have been wiped clean, and everybody has the same record.
Hope springs eternal.
Only one thing can make this girl this giddy on this April day:
The start to my very favorite season of the year. Major League Baseball’s Opening Day.
Tonight around 5:45, I’ll grin like a cheshire cat when a smiley elderly person scans my ticket and says “welcome home” as I enter the ballpark for the first time since last September. I’ll buy a draft beverage because I think it’s just wrong to drink a beer from a plastic bottle. I’ll take my seat among the 42,000+ other hopefuls at Minute Maid Park. I’ll stand, put my hand over my heart, sing every word and tear up as someone famous probably only in Texas sings the National Anthem. And at 6:05, I’ll clap and cheer as Mississippi-boy Roy O. delivers the first pitch of what may possibly be a very fine season for my Houston Astros. And, around 6:30, I’ll feel a bit deflated when/if Roy O. gives up a solo home run. (you know it’s probable.)
Sure, the odds are against us. No one who matters is saying we’re destined for the playoffs. I can’t find anyone who thinks this is anything other than a rebuilding season. Call me naive, call me stupid, but call me a FAN.
I’m a fan of the game of baseball. I go to games for the intensity of a pitcher’s duel, the zing of a line drive homerun, the turn of a double play, the thrill of a safe slide into home. But mostly, I go to games to hang out with my summer family.
These folks love the game as much as I do. Sure, we want our team to win, but regardless of the score, we’re out there rooting, cheering, laughing, heckling, and having a ball of our own.
To me, that’s what Astros Baseball is all about. It’s good stuff, people. Win or lose, good times are had at Minute Maid Park.
You’ve got 81 games to see for yourself. Get out there.