There are a total of 30 Major League Baseball teams, and there was a full slate of 15 games on Opening Day yesterday. Every baseball fan around the world gets to watch their favorite team play and celebrate the start of a new baseball season with each other. After a long (and, for me, a much-needed) break, it’s good to have the best sport back on television again.
Opening Day means so many things, but primarily, it means a fresh start. Players have shifted around the sport through trades and free agency, teams may have brought in a new coaching staff or new manager, and fans get to create new narratives (satirical or not) regarding their favorite players on their favorite teams. It’s also the time when memories are made; when parents can bring their children of all ages to the ballpark to experience the magic of an Opening Day baseball game.
I think this picture that YES Network analyst Jack Curry captured (and a picture that it seems like some other Yankees reporters and media posted) is a perfect representation of Opening Day and the magic behind it.
Happy Opening Day. Coverage on YES starts at 11:30 AM. pic.twitter.com/reOT6Np3sR— JackCurryYES (@JackCurryYES) March 30, 2023
There are so many things to digest in such a simple picture. The two aspects that stand out first? The sky is clear and the grass is the best looking green color you will see over the course of the regular season. And even though you can’t smell it, if you’ve ever been to a ballpark, one look at that freshly cut grass and the distinct aroma hits like a freight train. Even though it was a crisp 39 degrees at first pitch, the weather was more than worth showing up to the ballpark to watch the Yankees take on the San Francisco Giants in the Bronx.
So, not only is the backdrop gorgeous and the main color of the playing surface as vibrant as ever—especially in combination with the gorgeous white and navy of Yankee Stadium and the seats—but there are the people around the ballpark doing their jobs.
Some of those people may be reporters on the hunt for an Opening Day story or finding a spot to set up for a small video clip to be posted to social media; others are the grounds crew getting prepared for the big day ahead; you can even see the flag-holders for the national anthem practicing their formation in preparation for what’s going to take place in only a few hours. The batting cage is empty, waiting for the first player to step foot into the batter’s box and take a swing. The pitcher’s mound, although covered, is also waiting for the inevitable first step and throw from a coach.
To reflect a little bit, my job here at Pinstripe Alley is one I truly enjoy, and it would be such a privilege to work full-time in the baseball world one day. Why? Because of what makes something like Opening Day such a spectacle. It’s not just the almost perfect weather (which won’t happen every time), but the energy in a baseball stadium from the clubhouse and in the stands even before the fans arrive knowing that a new season of baseball is on the horizon. Fans of every sport get excited when the regular season starts back up again, and as an avid consumer of multiple, I can say without a doubt that Opening Day has a feeling that other sports do not.
Altogether, Opening Day isn’t just the beginning of the MLB regular season. It’s a spectacle. Rookies across the league like Anthony Volpe make their debut; a new captain of a historic franchise in Aaron Judge plays his first game in the role and leads the team to victory; and we members of the media get to sit back, relax, and let everything unfold in front of us. Of course, we’ll have to get some work done along the way, but fortunately, a sport with as many nuances and storylines as baseball makes it pretty darn easy.
Cheers to the start of the 2023 baseball season everyone. I hope your Opening Day was as fantastic as mine.