Holy hell, Opening Day is less than 24 hours away. There are few things in the world of sports that make me happier. Tonight’s Dodgers-Padres game doesn’t count, and neither do the 2 Dodgers-Diamondbacks games in Australia more than a week ago. Well they count in the standings, but they don’t resonate the same way as Monday’s Opening Day does.
The return of White Sox baseball means a few things. One, baseball is back. Two, winter is over. And three, the occasional phone call/text from friends and family after an exciting White Sox win can resume (hopefully more frequently than last season).
Sure, I get phone calls and texts from friends and loved ones during Bears or Bulls games, but it’s not quite the same as during a Sox game. There’s nothing like a game-winning, walk off White Sox HR, followed by a barrage of texts and phone calls to celebrate the win.
Baseball is just different. The sounds are different. The smells are different. The sights are different. Walking into U.S. Cellular Field, the smell of grilled hot dogs and caramelized onions immediately smacking you in the face, there’s nothing like it. I can’t wait for that tomorrow.
I can’t wait to hear Gene Honda’s voice on the PA giving player introductions, combined with the collective chatter of White Sox fans in the stadium anticipating seeing some of the White Sox newest acquisitions.
I can’t wait to celebrate the return of baseball. Sure, you wouldn’t have to ask me twice to attend a Sox game with you, because it’s one of my favorite things. Good, bad, or otherwise, I missed my Sox for the past 6 months. While I enjoy talking about baseball, and debating a good/bad off-season move, and any other random baseball discussion I may have had with you on Twitter, nothing beats Opening Day. And being there makes it that much more special.
And while I’ll relish every moment of tomorrow’s game and festivities, I’m going to miss my friend Sam even more. He and I and a couple other friends attended last year’s Opening Day. While it was my first Opening Day in many years, it was Sam’s last. Sam passed away in August.
I’m going to wear the Sox jersey that Sam traded me to the game tomorrow. I’m going to wear it to honor him. As excited as I am now anticipating tomorrow’s game, I also feel sad because I miss my friend. Opening Day was one of Sam’s favorite days. And I’m gonna make sure tomorrow is a great day, in memory of Sam. Miss ya buddy. Go Sox!!