Legends On Deck

There Is Nothing Like A New York Opening Day

 

Ron Darling puts it best: there is nothing like an Opening Day of baseball in New York.

From the early beginnings of Major League Baseball in the late 1800s, to the dominance of Babe Ruth, Murderer’s Row, and the Yankees in the 1920s and 1930s, to the three team dominance of the Yanks in the Bronx, the Giants in Manhattan, and the Dodgers in Brooklyn during the 1950s, and to modern day baseball with the Mets coming over in 1962, NEW YORK is a hotbed for America’s Pastime.

When Opening Day hits around this area, you have the feeling that Spring is here and Summer is only a few short months away. Baseball fever takes over, especially in the tri-state area. The air is filled with optimism and promise, and just a feeling you can’t shake. Baseball is pride, and pride is forever.

I had a distinct privilege last season to go to my first Opening Day at Citi Field and it was quite the emotional moment. My father had always talked with pride regarding how incredible the Opening Day experience was for him back as a kid, going to Shea Stadium frequently in the mid 1960s going to an Opening Day. He loved those times. My father had passed away the November before, and knowing that I was going to my first Opening Day and he wasn’t around to see it broke my heart. The pageantry, the glitz, and the glamour of the time choked me up bad. There was nothing like it. I was mystified.

Today, I listened on WOR 710 to the Opening Day festivities, and the goosebumps on my arms were out in full effect. Hearing a packed house cheer as Pete McCarthy and Wayne Randazzo did their pre-game shows made me smile. Getting the tone of Howie Rose’s voice as he did the pre-game festivities pumped me up to hear Jacob deGrom throw his first pitch at 1:10 PM. Watching the family of the late New York Police Department officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos throw out the first pitch and have a moment of silence for the law enforcement who protect us on a daily basis made me teary eyed. Today was absolutely incredible.

Knowing the rich and storied history of New York baseball, combined with the passion and fan base of NYC, Opening Day is held in high regard. A packed house in Citi Field, combined with pride to be wearing the blue and orange, is great for the game. Hearing fans chant “Let’s Go Mets” and leading these men onto victory make me smile. Opening Day in New York is when everything is possible, and the future looks bright in front of the biggest lights imaginable. There is an aura around this day, and I feel it so hot and heavy.

“Opening Day in New York: there is nothing like it.” Ron Darling was, is, and will always be 100% right.

(Feature Photo: J. Meric/Getty Images)

Jon Harder

Editor at Legends On Deck
Jon was born in Queens and now resides in New Jersey. He is a die-hard Mets fan and believes HoJo should be in the Mets Hall of Fame. Not only is Jon a contributing writer on Legends On Deck, but he also is the founder of @HardwayHQ, host of the #TheHardwayPodcast and somewhat plays Air Hockey on http://HardwayHQ.com. You can follow Jon on Twitter @TheJonHarder