Monday, March 28, 2011

FullCountPitch - Opening Day Memories

Later this week, another set of Opening Day games will be upon us. (Notice I capitalized both words. The opening of the baseball season should be a national holiday; after all, it is the national pastime.) Even though your team may open the season on the road, it truly is not Opening Day until the home opener. Nothing is better when the season and home openers coincide. Having to wait a week for your home opener is just maddening. Whether you actually go to the game, watch it on television/computer or listen to it on the radio/computer, it’s one of the best days of the year.

It’s the kind of day when Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes hits three home runs to open the Cubs’ 1994 season. The day that a future Hall of Fame member, Bob Feller, no-hit the Chicago White Sox in 1940.

It is the day your team is as good as any other team. It doesn’t matter if you end up 30 games under .500 after 162 contests; on Opening Day all things are equal. Pitchers’ ERAs are a perfect 0.00; batters can hit a 1.000. The stands are packed, the stadiums are in pristine condition, and everyone is nice. It’s a party; it’s a happening. And nothing is more disappointing than losing on Opening Day. Your team isn’t going 162-0, but 0-1 is just an ugly way to start the year.

Let me share some of my favorite and/or most memorable New York Yankees Opening Days with you.

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Andy Pettitte Hideki Matsui Reggie Jackson Mickey Mantle Roger Maris Paul O'Neill Wade Boggs

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