Opening Day

By Helen Headrick

Ah, baseball.  The advent of the season brings a release from winter’s hold, the promise of blue skies and warm days.  It doesn’t matter if it’s kids playing a pick up or scheduled league game in a park, over 50’s trying to get around the bases on gimpy legs or the Cardinals taking the field, it’s a time to play, watch and enjoy.  Baseball is magical.

Baseball brings people together.  They may be fierce competitors during the game but afterwards, it’s smiles and laughing over missed swings or plays.  From Little League to the major league, it is just pure fun. Kids bring their gloves to Busch Stadium, positive that this time, this game will bring a home run ball right into it.  And if a grown-up grabs that ball first, more times than not, it still ends up in a child’s glove. Baseball is magical.

Baseball embeds itself into our memories.  An old timer will reminisce about sneaking into Sportsman Park, while an usher was looking the other way.  And that memory brings a grin and happiness. People go old school and listen to the game on the radio, because it feels right and makes them happy.  Players visit a children’s hospital or nursing home, bringing life and energy to the residents. With grins all around, a new happy memory is formed. Baseball is magical.

There’s Opening Day and then there’s Opening Day for the Cardinals.  Opening Day at Busch Stadium brings a sense of majesty and wonder. Around and around the warning track goes a parade of Hall of Famers in convertibles, Clydesdales pulling beer wagons, Fredbird dancing, service men and women marching and dreams.  There’s the induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame and maybe a fly over from Scott AFB. The crowd goes wild, as they say. Once the festivities are over, the real fun continues from the first pitch to the last out. Baseball is magical.

Soccer may be the world-wide sport but here, in America, from small towns to big cities, baseball in our game.  Because baseball is magical.