Assumption of Command

04 April 2005

The Long Dark Winter is Over.

I am so excited today. Today is the official End of Winter. Why is today a special day? Because, today is Opening Day. It is the day that families and friends get to go back to the ballpark and watch their home team play ball. It is the beginning of a brand new season. With that new season brings hope that your favorite team will do well.

Today starts the part of the year where nearly every night, you can listen to long lost friends. They are the friends that you might not know face to face, but you know their voice and they are as welcome in your home or car as just about anybody else. They are the radio broadcasters that describe the actions with just their voice. A voice that sometimes has been with you for decades. The voice that you grew up listening to. But it is also the new voices that you are still getting used to. They are like old friends. They always know exactly what you want to know. You know the voices so well, that just the slightest inflection gets your attention.

Today starts the part of the year where you can go to the stadium, not just for the game, but for the experience: The wonderful evening weather, Mascots shooting hot dogs all over the stadium, the Seventh inning stretch, Singing "Take me out to the ball game" during the Seventh inning Stretch, the video board Limbo during the Seventh inning stretch, diving outfielders, Fly overs by loud fighter jets, Rooting for relish to beat mustard and catsup in the hot dog race, 6 run 9th inning comebacks, Game winning home runs,

Sold-out crowds, box seats, club seats, bleacher seats, view level seats, nose bleed seats, spectacular home-run saving catches, Kiss Cam, seeing a daughter refuse to kiss her dad on Kiss Cam, Seeing the 70 year old man kiss his wife on Kiss Cam, Seeing the 70 year old man pump his fist in the air while his wife tries to hide after kissing his wife on Kiss Cam, the ceremonial first pitch(s), Autographs, singing "Hit the road Jack" when the bad guys pitcher must be pulled.

Booing an intentional walk, seeing the next batter hit a home run, Negro League throw back day Uniform day, Home runs into to the water spectacular, Lima Time, dominating closers, brush back pitches, the third base coach giving the signs, rain delays, remembering when the team was really good, "LEMONADE, LEMONADE, WOOOOOOOOOOO!", the 6-4-3 double play, vendors that throw peanuts 3 sections over, "STEEEEEEEEERIKKE", the grounds crew, the box score, finally catching that foul ball, batting practice, extra innings.

The Grand Slam, High fiving total strangers after the Grand Slam, making fun of your friend who was in the bathroom during the Grand Slam, “Pitchers got a big Butt”, Fireworks, Booing the Yankees, bobble head dolls, keeping a scorecard, Singing with Cab Calloway, Striking out the bad guy with 2 outs and the bases loaded, pinch hitters, the smile on everybody’s face after a big win,

but most of all it is being able to enjoy all of this with friends and family.

I hope everybody enjoys the baseball season as much as I would be.

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