A Baseball Fan’s Official First Day of Spring
Okay, first, some disclaimers before I celebrate the first day of spring on Wednesday, February 14, 2018:
- I teach world geography. I know that the spring equinox, marking the first day of spring, happens on March 20 of this year.
- I know that some baseball seasons have already begun. I have two baseball-playing sons, one in college and one in high school. The college mini-me has already pitched in a game, while the Little Fella has been practicing for a couple of weeks already in anticipation of his ninth-grade team’s opener. One of Older Brother’s high school teammates picked up a win in January! Really? January?!?
- I further realize that Wednesday of this week is Valentine’s Day. Not a conflict. Mrs. Right and I always celebrate on the 15th. The restaurants are emptier. The candy is half price. We get our spending money from the mid-month check, usually on the 15th. It’s a no brainer. It’s one of the things I love about us.
That said, Wednesday, February 14, 2018, marks the first day of spring for me and many other baseball fans across the fruited plain. That is the day that “pitchers and catchers report” to spring training. Those are magic words to diehard fans of the sport. Romantic, really. It marks a change in attitude, a reason to hope. No matter the weather outside, no matter the accumulation of frozen precip on the ground, no matter the winter slush–the big boys are beginning to stir. “Pitchers and catchers report” is the baseball equivalent of “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”
The baseball first day of spring is when “hope springs eternal in the human breast,” as that great baseball sage Ernest Lawrence Thayer once wrote. And what greater motivator is there in the human existence than hope?
Every team has at least a handful of fans who think that if everything falls right this year, then maybe….
- It’s the hope that kept Cub fans believing for over a hundred years.
- This year, it’s the hope that Marlins fans…well, maybe not…not this year…and they only have that one truly devoted fan, anyway, right? The beauty of baseball is that even Marlins fans have hope for the future.
- It’s the hope that the front office is going to add that one last piece in the next few days, right? Red Sox fans, I see that big bat that you desire. Twins fans, I see the pitchers that could change the trajectory of your club.
- It’s the hope of Cardinals’ fans that the first injury report of the spring doesn’t contain “out for the year” for a key player once again.
- It’s the hope of Astros’ fans to repeat.
- It’s the hope of 29 teams that money won’t be able to buy the Yankees another trophy.
- And the hope of Yankees’ fans that it will.
Happy First Day of Spring
Grown men are reporting to play a kid’s game in warm places today. Real people are living our dream. Baseball, where we live, can’t be too far behind. Wax poetic, people. Notice a little extra spring in your step today.
Happy first day of spring, baseball fans!
And GO CARDINALS!!!
Al Ainsworth tells good, clean stories. Click here to read about him and his books.