Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day

Ski gloves, ski hat, thermal underwear, turtleneck, fleece, rain/snow gear. Yes, I am ready for another opening day at Yankee Stadium.

It is not even April. A big snowstorm is predicted for tomorrow not too far up the road in the Berkshires. Yet, my thoughts today turn away from everything winter related, as I picture green grass, warm sunlight, and days of summer. "Play ball" is not just a cry for the game to begin, but a triggering mechanism for a flood of memories and emotions.Yankee baseball has been an integral part of my existence since the first day that I stuck a glove on my hand.

Over the last 50 years, life has drawn my attention in many directions. People, places and things one day are determined by me to be the most important aspect of being, and the next deemed irrelevant. But not the Yankees. From the days of the Mick, Yogi, Whitey, through the down times of the late 60's and early 70's, to the reincarnation with Steinbrenner and everything, good and bad, that he brought with him, from Catfish, Reggie, Winfield, and Donnie baseball, to the era of Derek, Bernie, Mariano, Andy and Jorge, to the arrival of Roger and A-Rod, through the steroid era and to the present day when CC will take the mound, I have been unwavering in my dedication to everything pinstripe.

While the world rages on, and I seem to catch but fleeting glimpses, this team of 25 men has drawn my undivided attention. And so, no matter the weather forecast this morning, despite the fact that I may well be wet and uncomfortable for most of the afternoon, like the postman, neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow can keep me from my appointed rounds. And when that first pitch is thrown, and I begin my soliloquy for the next 162 games on everything Yankee, I will be in a spot that is warm, protected and comfortable. Well, at least I will be if my hand warmers are working well, and the wind is not blowing too hard in my face.

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