There is no better feeling in this world when you go to your first major league baseball game and you first walk trough the tunnel and see the field. It is bigger than it looked on TV, 10 times more beautiful and these players who you adore are suddenly inches away. The smell of the food on the grill fills your nose and you squeeze your dads hand because in a way it’s overwhelming. In that very moment you don’t have a worry in the world , nothing matters it’s just you, your family, and the beautiful ballpark standing right in front of you . I have gone to hundreds of baseball games and even though it not might be as pure, I still have the same reaction I did as my first time walking out and seeing the field. There is one day in particular where everything seems a little more beautiful. The grass is cut a little nicer, the sky is always a little more blue, and the atmosphere is always a little more electric. That day is known as opening day which I believe should be a national holiday in this country.
Every year in early April 30 teams brace to endure a 162 game season spanning thousands of miles across the country competing against the game’s best. One thing that every team has in common is on opening day every one has the same opportunity to succeed. The Milwaukee Brewers will be tied with the Chicago Cubs for first place in the NL central and the Oakland Athletics are tied with the Texas Rangers in the Al West. Every team has a clean slate, fresh arm, and new bats. Some new managers along with many new faces. This is the start of something special and many players have endured a long and cold offseason and are pumped to play the sport they love. Spring training lasts nearly 2 months and after a while it gets boring playing meaningless games. For the fans, the opening day experience is something that is incomparable to any other major sport. I have been going to the Phillies home opener for the last decade and I can honestly say I look more forward to this day more than I do with any other day of the year. I wake up nice and early like a kid on christmas morning as I am anxious to make my way to down to the ball park. The Phillies always open up their home schedule with a 3:05 game so I like to leave around 12. I get dressed up head to toe in my phillies gear, put my shades on, and embrace for the magical day that is to come. As you cross over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge you can see Ctizens Bank Park the realization sets in BASEBALL IS BACK!
The minute you walk into the complex you can feel the excitement in the air. The 40,000 people that are tailgating in the parking lot and about to enter the stadium are sharing the same excitement that you and I are. There is always a giveaway during opening day and it usually is some sort of collectible. A half hour before first pitch is thrown the pre game festivities begin. The Phillies have a tradition where the whole team hosts a small parade on South Broad as they walk up to the stadium symbolising the start of a brand new season. The parade is of course led by the best mascot in all of sports, the Philly Phanatic. They then cut through Ashburn Alley in center field, walk down a flight of steps, and make their way on a red carpet to the infield as season ticket holders are there to greet them. After both teams are lined up on their respective baselines after being introduced by the public address announcer, a huge American Flag that stretches the span of the entire outfield and is a sheer thing of beauty. Then the Philadelphia Boys Chour comes out along with 50 people holding a state flag with one person for each state. As the National anthem is sung, the american flag is flown and 40,000 people put their hands on chests as a fly over of the stadium is performed from the military and the crowd erupts. After it all you are all fired up and are ready for some ball to be played. The home team runs out on the field takes their position, the starting pitcher warms up,and the fans settle in and what happens next is the most beautiful 3 hours one can expirence.