Warehouse Windows

This novel was inspired by years of following baseball as a Mets fan, interning with the Minor League New Jersey Cardinals and the Baltimore Orioles, and culminating with landing a dream job with the New York Mets. These posts are some of those moments and events that inspired me.

Opening Day > Christmas Day

It felt a bit weird to be publishing the chapters about Opening Day around Christmas and New Year. Dodging snow, bundling up to head outside, and stocking the fireplace all could not be any further than the ideal pristine thoughts of the perfect Opening Day. Warmth. Sunshine. Perfection.

However, the more I thought about it, the more it feels. Christmas and New Year are about hope and new beginnings. It is about possibilities, starting over, and joy. For those of us that love baseball, oftentimes there is more excitement around Opening Day than Christmas for all the same reasons, plus the fact that if everything goes right, you get to feel that excitement every day for more than six months.

When I was younger, I was always so excited for Opening Day. In my book, it was a holiday. Anything is possible for your team, even if the pundits tell you winning is impossible for your team. It starts a long stretch where, nearly any day, anything can happen. On any pitch, the little things like an impossible diving catch, a bunt that stays just inside the third baseline, or a ridiculous pitch that leaves the batter frozen are always possibilities and have their own excitement about them. On any day, the big things can happen like a perfect game or someone hitting for the cycle. And it all begins on Opening Day in the warmth of a hopefully beautiful sunny day and doesn’t end until a cold brisk autumn night. How could someone not be excited about that?

In more recent years, Opening Day has snuck up on me. Whether it is lost faith in the Mets or just being busy, baseball comes upon me like quickly and unexpectedly (not unlike Christmas these days). However, Opening Day always feels special. I get introspective and recall Opening Days of the past. Darryl Strawberries long home run into the roof in Montreal, Gary Carter’s game-winner in his first game as a Met and Alberto Castillo’s 14th inning game-winner in my first game working for the Mets all come to mind.

When it came to Opening Day in the novel, I wanted to show three sides of it. More importantly, for the Player I wanted to show that even the most hardened beat down individuals will still hold an air of hope around Opening Day. Regardless of what is ahead and what is behind, I like to think that even the grizzled veterans enjoy and welcome opening day…that it is a special day for them, as well. I don’t know if that is actually true, but I like to think it is.

In the current climate, however, it is frustrating with the lockout. Right now, March 31 is the scheduled Opening Day, but who knows if that actually happens. However, regardless of when “Play Ball” is shouted, it will feel like Christmas morning.

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