Decked out in Sedona red, crowds are gathering at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, for Opening Day. Soon I’ll enter the gate with my family and friends, my eyes will mist, and I will likely cry. OK, I’ll definitely cry and not because of last year and the obvious uphill battle my home team faces this season.
I love a good struggle and learned about the ups and downs of sports as a kid growing up in football country. Later I added other sports to my follow list to include Olympic sports, basketball, and tennis, the sport my husband played in college.
My son, Aiden, brought baseball into my life when he was a very little kid. When our family moved to Arizona, we chose the Diamondbacks to be our team because we had no previous loyalties and its root, root, root, for the home team.
We love our team like we love our family, through ups and downs. Loyalty is bittersweet.
I’m misty-eyed because of the up and down memories of eleven Opening Days. We always bring friends, sometimes very large groups, to include those who don’t know baseball. Yet. We want everyone we love to love baseball, too.
As with anything we love, there are bumpy times. I recall the year that my soon-to-be son-in-law and I locked horns for the first time. We laugh about that now. And the year my boys brought girls instead of their teammates. Something about being “just friends.” I’m still not laughing about that. The cliché is true; our children grow up fast.
We’ve come a long way from sitting in the nosebleed seats when my young daughter and I struggled to figure out who “that guy they keep showing on the screen” was. He was some guy named Albert Pujols. Now my daughter is grown, married, and a mother herself living in Washington State. She is allowed to follow the Mariners, but not to cheer for them more than for the D-backs.
And this year, for the first time, Aiden will not attend with us. I will miss him deeply and with enormous gratitude and pride. Instead of sharing a Churro Dog with me, my son, the one who started it all, will be playing college baseball.
Do you follow baseball? If so, what is your favorite team? If not, what are your favorite sports or activities that you will enjoy this spring?
Like Easter and spring, today is full of hope and new life. With a baseball hat on my head and a beer in my hand I toast to Opening Day, to spring, and to you. Cheers! ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc