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The Holiest of Holy Days

play ball header

By Phil Hecken

I’m sure I’m not the first person to opine that the first Monday in April should be a national holiday. But it should be. Opening Day is certainly viewed by many as the greatest day in the history of the world, and many celebrate it like it is. It’s the day when the greatest sport in the history of the planet begins anew, when every team is undefeated, and hope springs eternal. Or, at least it used to be that way.

Sadly, what for decades began at Crosley or Riverfront, with the Cincinnati Reds “officially” opening the season, has now morphed into a despressing spectacle of “Sunday Night Baseball” games and “Opening Series” played in Japan or Puerto Rico or Mexico. But every year, until recently, baseball opened in the Queen City. Yes, for decades, the first pitch always took place in Cincy, and to this day, the Reds remain the only team to ALWAYS open the season at home. It’s little consolation to those who revere tradition, where opening day is still treated as a holiday in the city with the oldest continuously operating baseball franchise.

Yes, they still begin the season in Cincinnati and it’s technically the the first day game on the first Monday of the season. The city still hosts a big parade, and folks young and old come out to watch. A great time is had by all, and those who don’t get the day off usually come down with a case of 24-hour polio, while the fans rejoyce. Fashion usually revolves around wearing Reds gear — and I can’t decide if this is the greatest or worst pair of stirrups I’ve ever seen. Probably the latter. For more pics of Cincy’s Opening Day festivities, look here.

Moving away from Cincinnati, it’s really a day for celebration across the nation, whether your team is opening at home or on the road. While all sports celebrate their own openings, no sport does it like baseball. Whether it’s a giant flag spanning the outfield, a huge banner splashed across the outfield wall celebrating last year’s World Series win, or just balloons, bunting or fireworks and more giant flags, it’s a sea of red, white and blue — a not-so-subtle reminder that this is STILL America’s national pasttime. Yeah…baseball does it up right for opening day.

Many of you, I’m sure, treat opening day as a national holiday as well. I still do, although I no longer play hooky from work (back in the day, I probably saw ten or so Mets home openers live), but I’ll have Monday’s game on the radio, as I do every year. The last year I went to Mets Opening Day was 2001 (although I didn’t take that picture). I’ll DVR the game, because, unlike any other game, opening day is the only regular season game where the full roster of each team is introduced to the crowd.

Despite the current fascination with garish commercialization, there’s still something special about seeing Jerry Dior’s graphic justaposed with the words “Opening Day” and the ubiquitous bunting. And, there have been some pretty amazing moments to happen on Opening Day throughout history.

I know many of you have your own “traditions” for opening day, just as I have mine. For at least the past ten or more years, I’ve watched The Natural and/or Field of Dreams the weekend before Opening Day, I have a special “Mets” tie I wear on Opening Day, and I always try to eat a hot dog (sadly, there is no ‘stadium mustard’ in these parts) for lunch, so Gulden’s Brown or Gold’s will have to do. I always listen to the game at work, living and dying with each pitch as though it were the seventh game of the World Series, instead of the first game of 162. And, for the past half-dozen or so years, I’ve re-read what has become my most eagerly awaited column of the year.

So, how about you? Do you have any traditions? Are you going to the game and playing hooky tomorrow? Do you wear any team gear to school/work, watch any baseball movies? Let’s hear ’em. Because, folks, the season may begin tonight in Fenway, but tomorrow is Opening Day.

~~~

The one constant through all the years … has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.

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Benchies HeaderOpening day always brings a sense of excitement, anticipation, a rebirth. Unless, of course, you’re “Ol’ Eddie.” Then opening day brings a whole new set of emotions. Here’s Rick:

~~~

Opening Day or game 162. pitchers and catchers need to talk, be on the same page…even if it’s softball, even if the pitcher’s been around so long he reportedly dated Abner Doubleday’s sister, even if catcher’s just joined the team after being released from…marriage.

And with that, enjoy your full color Sunday Benchies.

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squiddie files 2From The Squiddie Files: Sitting presidents have thrown out the first pitch on opening day 47 times. William Howard Taft became the first on April 14, 1910. That year, Walter Johnson threw a complete-game one-hitter and the Senators beat the Philadelphia Athletics, 3-0. This year, President Obama will mark the 100th anniversary of Taft’s ceremonial opening day pitch when he tosses out the first ball at Nationals Park. Here’s Lance Smith with a look back at Opening Days of yore:

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It was one of the rites of Spring. The sitting President and other local dignitaries would make the trip to Griffith Stadium, shake hands with Clark or Calvin and toss a ball from the Presidential box (and NOT the pitcher’s mound) to mark the start of another baseball season. Even after the Senators had moved to Minnesota (replaced with the soon to be Rangers) and moved to District of Columbia Stadium (later Robert F. Kennedy Stadium) the tradition continued. Most of these first pitches made it into Life magazine.

Let’s look at some photos!

In 1941 Franklin Delano Roosevelt threw out the first pitch and sang the national anthem. (Note the photographers often framed FDR so his disablities weren’t apparent. The hand supporting him in the second photo would probably be cropped out before publication.) The Senators lost to the Yankees 0-3

By 1944, FDR was too ill to attend and so Vice President Henry A. Wallace was sent to see the Senators lose to the Philadelphia Athletics 2-3. Wallace shook hands with the Senators and Connie Mack and signed a few autographs. The photographers stayed to cover the game.

In 1946 Harry S Truman and his family came to see a Red Sox victory (3-6). (Have you noticed that players took off their caps when they met the President?) When the President threw the ball it was not to a specific player, but to the players from both teams.

Truman was back in 1951 to watch the Senators beat the Yankees 5-3. Truman always appears to be enjoyed the toss. Maybe it’s just the resulting scramble for the ball.

Dwight Eisenhower (is that LBJ sizing up the seat?) came in 1953 to watch Washington lose to New York 3-6. Ike and his Veep meet the Griffiths. OK, Presidents do seem to enjoy this . I think this guy’s job was to stop any balls headed towards the President.

In 1961, the new Senators opened with a loss against the Chicago White Sox (3-4) Minnesota (home of the old Senators) Senator Hubert H. Humphrey was there to watch John F. Kennedy throw out the first pitch. In 1962 the Senators moved to a new stadium and JFK was there to throw out the first pitch. A rain delay meant he wasn’t there to see the Senators beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1.

I was hoping to make it from FDR to Richard Nixon, but I can find no Life photos of Lyndon B. Johnson throwing out a first ball. As a substitute, I’m including this photo of the Monterrey Little League team meeting Senator Johnson, Clark Griffith and Vice President Nixon. Nice stirrups, kids.

Finally, Richard Nixon meets Ted Williams and Ralph Houk in 1969. (Yankees won 8-4) Nixon brought the whole family as he had done in 1958.

~~~

Great work Squiddie.

People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. — Rogers Hornsby

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scoreboardGuess The Game From The Scoreboard: In keeping with the spirit of today’s post, you can probably safely assume the “theme” of things. As such, today’s guest scoreboard comes from Lance Smith, with another wonderful blast from the past. Ready? Guess The Game From The Scoreboard. Date, location and final score, please, and be sure to link to your answer. And, as always, if you enjoy the game, please send me some new scoreboards! Drop me a line. Thanks!

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uni template 2Back again with more Uniform Tweaks, Concepts and Revisions today. Lots to get to, and if you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

~~~

We begin today’s tweaks with Mark Kiehn, who has a very interesting concept for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

My ideas for new Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniforms: Home, Away, Alternate

~~~

Next up is Barry Woods, who has some ideas for the Dirty Birds:

I read your blog every day, and am a huge Falcons fan. I really like some things about the Falcons uni’s now, but hate some things about them, so here goes. First off, gold is one of the team colors, so I am going to use it. As for the jesrseys, I changed the sleeves to eliminate the mess they have now, and have same colored sleeves and side panels (except for the black jersey). The black jersey I went solid black, with a red collar, and solid white pants just to have a different look. All of the socks, pants, and jerseys are interchangeable though, so you could mix and match however you felt like. The main thing to me was incorporating the gold, which to me is a great compliment to red and black.

~~~

Moving on, we have Paul Lee, who has a rather verbose new take on the LA Lakers:

Man! I’ve been waiting for this!

I’d like to propose new tweaks (mainly colors) for all three Lakers’ jerseys, and, on a related note, reverting the Staples Center floor back to the Forum colors.

Home Gold jersey would stay the same, except that the color of the number would be purple with white outlines (instead of white with purple outlines). White numbers paid tribute to West and Baylor days, but new purple numbers would honor Magic and Kareem days.

Away Purple jersey would stay the same, except that the color of the number would be gold with white outlines (instead of white with gold outlines). Lakers have always had white numbers on away jerseys, so a change is due. Plus, this would make it the exact opposite of the home colors, where gold and purple are swapped.

Home Alternate White jerseys would be changed the most, with the neck trim now in gold, and both the word “Lakers” and the numbers on front and back of the jersey be in gold with a purple outline. The current Jeannie Buss-designed, Chick Hearn tribute is just too purple for my taste, especially when it appears to be so blue-ish on TV.

I would also love to see the logo on all three shorts changed to the full Lakers logo, and not just the alternate “L” logo. A full Lakers logo might also look nice on the back of all three jerseys, between the collar and the player name, though the team would probably use the crappy “L” logo, if implemented.

To summarize:
1) Home jersey will stay the same, except the colors of the numbers (front and back) with be purple with white outline (instead of white with purple outline). Logo on back optional.

2) Away jersey will be the same, except the colors of the numbers (front and back) with be gold with white outline (instead of white with gold outline). Logo on back optional.

3) Third jersey will be exactly the same as my proposed away jersey, except all areas in purple will be swapped with white, and white swapped with purple. Logo on back optional.

Just my two-cents. I’m sure the NBA would love to sell more Kobe jerseys anyway.

Notice, unless the logo design is added to the back, none of the designs have been changed, only the colors.

Paul Lee

~~~

And finally, we have Andrew Greenstein, who has some thoughts on how to improve the Celtics:

Hey Phil. Hope all is well with you. Here’s a concept I came up with for a redesigned Celtics uniform. You might want to post it on your blog and see what people think about it.

Andrew M. Greenstein

~~~

Thus endeth the tweak show. Check back next time for more.

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OK ladies and gentlemen, that’s all for today. Enjoy the game in Boston tonight, but save your energy for tomorrow. Remember, it’s not an “official” holiday, but it should be. Uh-oh, I hope I’m not coming down with something.

~~~

I love Opening Day. I think we all do, whether it’s the players, coaches or front office. It’s just a special day in our American culture. It’s weaved into the fabric of what we are, and I think it’s a great day. — Bud Black

 

74 comments to The Holiest of Holy Days

  • Hott Rodd | April 4, 2010 at 7:07 am |

    dammit, phil! Tricked me.

  • Hott Rodd | April 4, 2010 at 7:32 am |

    But at least now I know the baseball season stats monday, or today, did not know that.

  • The Jeff | April 4, 2010 at 7:33 am |

    [quote]I read your blog every day, and am a huge Falcons fan. I really like some things about the Falcons uni’s now, but hate some things about them, so here goes. [b]First off, gold is one of the team colors[/b], so I am going to use it. [/quote]

    No, no it isn’t. METALLIC GOLD, also known as Old Gold is one of the team colors, due specifically to the 1966 throwback alternate. That’s it. Athletic gold (aka yellow) is NOT a Falcons color, nor has it ever been. Replacing the yellow in your concept with the silver that’s actually in the official color scheme would make a lot more sense, and probably look better.

  • besty | April 4, 2010 at 8:07 am |

    Those Buccaneer tweaks may be the best I’ve seen since this all started. Very clever yet still a kinda simple concept and bringing back the dreamsicle in a better way. Brilliant.

  • SlimAndSlam | April 4, 2010 at 8:26 am |

    Re Guess the game:

    After I figured out the answer, I forgave myself for not recognizing the stadium on sight:

    http://www.retroshee...

  • Jerry | April 4, 2010 at 8:32 am |

    Ike’s VP was none other than Richard Nixon.

  • J T. Ramsay | April 4, 2010 at 8:47 am |

    My sister-in-law scored opening day tix @ Nats stadium via a co-worker who happens to be Elijah Dukes’ cousin. We got the tix before he was cut, so I’ll be arriving with my family bright and early to see the President pitch and hope Halladay throws a gem.

  • timmy b | April 4, 2010 at 9:42 am |

    HAPPY EASTER, EVER’BODY!!

  • Ben | April 4, 2010 at 10:12 am |

    As a Falcons fan, it pains me to say that I love the Bucs concept. I mean that just looks clean and quite clever at the same time.

    As for the Falcons mockup, even with the correct gold color, I’m not sure if that design works. The best use of the gold is in the helmet where it is quite subtle.

  • FormerDirtDart | April 4, 2010 at 10:15 am |

    was going to ask if Nixon was a lefty (or southpaw since that “L” word might make him role over in his grave) and they gave him the wrong glove?
    http://www.gstatic.c...
    But with a little closer examination I can see his right arm & hand at his side.

  • JAson | April 4, 2010 at 10:27 am |

    I like the idea of the hot dog on Opening Day, so I think I will treat my co-workers to a hot dog lunch tomorrow. It will be a good addition to my traditonal stirrups & Indians jersey!

  • Joe D | April 4, 2010 at 10:27 am |

    Can somebody please tell me yes/no if the Yankees are wearing a gold champions outline tonight ?

    I notice there is a New Era cap nonetheless, it would be the first for them.

  • Seymour Huffinstuff | April 4, 2010 at 10:42 am |

    Florida Gators wearing new matte-finished batting helmets today. Coaches still sporting glossy.

  • Teebz | April 4, 2010 at 11:09 am |

    “The one constant through all the years … has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”

    I must admit that there is nothing better than hearing these words by William Patrick Kinsella, proud Canadian and devoted baseball fan. The few lines are short, but the message they carry holds so true and speaks volumes.

    Play ball!

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 11:10 am |

    [quote comment=”383977″]Florida Gators wearing new matte-finished batting helmets today. Coaches still sporting glossy.[/quote]

    Not a new concept. The original Pirates hardhats had a matte, faux suede finish.
    Can kind of see it on this card…
    http://cgi.ebay.com/...

    —Ricko

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 11:12 am |

    More matte Pirates…
    Felipe Montemayor, Roman Mejias, Roberto Clemente…
    http://www.davesdoug...

  • Squiddie | April 4, 2010 at 11:48 am |

    Couple more Pirate helmets

    Front

    Side view

  • jesse | April 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm |

    [quote comment=”383976″]Can somebody please tell me yes/no if the Yankees are wearing a gold champions outline tonight ?

    I notice there is a New Era cap nonetheless, it would be the first for them.[/quote]
    Nope, think Paul covered it earlier this week.

  • LI Phil | April 4, 2010 at 12:20 pm |

    pretty sure a lot of teams’ first batting helmets were matte finishes…

    be interesting to see if it catches on again (that’s the seibu lions)

    not sure if i like the idea of a matte helmet for baseball…there’s something so right about a shiny, polished helmet, er… glossy helmet before the inevitable artificial matte kicks in

  • John in Athens | April 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm |

    Tomorrow, I will shave the beard that has been growing on my face since the last out of the 2009 World Series.

    It will be shaved at 11am which is when the New York Mets are scheduled to take the field for warm-ups.

    Opening Day has been on my mind every morning for the past five months.

    YA GOTTA BELIEVE that I’m ready for tomorrow!

    (ps – Opening Night, like Opening Series’ in foreign lands, are like celebrity softball games that just happen to count in the standings. They should not be mistaken for the real, actual Opening Day. Which is tomorrow.)

  • David Gratt | April 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm |

    I’ve never seen a more intense place for opening day than Detroit (not that I’ve been to that many opening days outside of NYC).

    I had the privilege of seeing a few there at Tiger Stadium…and *everyone* was excited. All of the local tv stations, the public radio, the newspapers, people who didn’t really care about baseball. And the crowd outside of Tiger Stadium was so happy (this is before the game started and the Tigers would take the field with their customary deficit and everyone got cranky – can’t we at least win on opening day?)

    I think it had to do something with opening day celebrating the end of winter, the beginning of spring after the long detroit winter, and finally being able to go outside and do stuff again (even if it only was 38F for the game).

    Tiger Stadium was always beautiful for Opening Day.

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm |

    [quote comment=”383983″]pretty sure a lot of teams’ first batting helmets were matte finishes…

    be interesting to see if it catches on again (that’s the seibu lions)

    not sure if i like the idea of a matte helmet for baseball…there’s something so right about a shiny, polished helmet, er… glossy helmet before the inevitable artificial matte kicks in[/quote]

    I always figured the matte finish on the early helmets was because the thinking was to keep them from looking different from the softcaps. Especially that was the case with the Pirates, I imagine because a) they originated them, and b) they wore their helmets on defense, too.

    For most teams, though (including the Pirates), it then quickly progressed to, “Hey, we ain’t fooling anyone, we’re wearing helmets.” The move then was to just go ahead and keep them nice and glossy.

    So really this is kind of regression to something that was ill-conceived to begin with. Like we don’t know those are helmets?

    Or worse, instead of prohibiting pine tar buildup, changing the finish on the helmets.

    —Ricko

  • LI Phil | April 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm |

    [quote comment=”383984″]Tomorrow, I will shave the beard that has been growing on my face since the last out of the 2009 World Series.

    It will be shaved at 11am which is when the New York Mets are scheduled to take the field for warm-ups.

    Opening Day has been on my mind every morning for the past five months.

    YA GOTTA BELIEVE that I’m ready for tomorrow!

    (ps – Opening Night, like Opening Series’ in foreign lands, are like celebrity softball games that just happen to count in the standings. They should not be mistaken for the real, actual Opening Day. Which is tomorrow.)[/quote]

    so…something like this, then?

    yeah…tonight’s just for show…tomorrow’s for dough

  • =bg= | April 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm |

    You better believe opening day in Cinti is bananas. I was in quite a few Opening Day parades..the weather is either beautiful or BEYOND brutal. No in-between. Check it out- looks like a chilly day but not too cold for a convertible..

    http://img.photobuck...

  • JB Early | April 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm |

    Thanks Phil for a great baseball centric column. The encroachment of college hoops on MLB – the sport that started it all in America, is a travesty. What happens in march should stay in March.

    Good eye Lance, that is indeed Lyndon Johnson, who likes Ike’s seat. But sad the way he got it.

  • interlockingtc | April 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm |

    Great entry, Phil.

    I’ve never made it to a Twins opening day, strangely enough. (Of course, I boycotted the Metrodome my last few years in MN). I guess the parents figured the four hour drive with six kids on a school night just wasn’t worth it. Go figure.

    Instead, we followed the Twins of Killebrew and Oliva and Carew on the radio throughout the year and eventually, later that summer, made the annual visit to the Met. And it may be hard for some to understand, but finally arriving in suburban Bloomington (which was surrounded by freeways and corn fields and an international airport) and coming upon this sight…

    http://ballparkdiges...

    …was the most thrilling and exotic experience a sports loving lad growing up in the corn fields of Minnesota could have.

    I wonder if the generation after me had the same experience when the finally arrived at the Metrodome.

    Like Ricko wrote yesterday, and I paraphrase…Things seem right again in Minnesota.

  • TulsaFan | April 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm |

    Actually, the BRAVES are the oldest continuously operating baseball franchise beginning play in 1876. The team currently known as the REDS didn’t play until 1882 after the cincinnati team before them was kicked out of the league for playing on Sundays and selling beer.

  • BW Radley | April 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm |

    Here\’s your opening day photo of LBJ from 4-13-1964:

    http://a.espncdn.com...

    (http://www.retroshee...)

    Also, that\’s Calvin Griffith with LBJ, Nixon and the Monterrey Mexico Little League team. Clark Griffith died a couple of years before Monterrey won the Little League World Series in 1957-58.

  • BW Radley | April 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm |

    [quote comment=”383991″]Actually, the BRAVES are the oldest continuously operating baseball franchise beginning play in 1876. The team currently known as the REDS didn’t play until 1882 after the cincinnati team before them was kicked out of the league for playing on Sundays and selling beer.[/quote]

    Actually, the current Braves franchise was established in 1871 as a member of the National Association, the antecedent to the National League. The current Cubs franchise was also a charter member of the NA, but because of the Chicago Fire (Mrs. O’Leary fabled cow) they dropped out of the NA in 1872-73, and returned in 1874.

    To be even more technical, the Braves have more of an actual claim to the mantle of the 1869-70 Cincinnati Red Stockings team than do the current Reds franchise. Team manager/GM/CF Harry Wright was hired in late 1870 to form the Boston team (which also assumed the name Red Stockings) and brought along his brother George (SS), Charlie Gould (1B) and Cal McVey (RF) from Cincinnati.

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm |

    [quote comment=”383993″][quote comment=”383991″]Actually, the BRAVES are the oldest continuously operating baseball franchise beginning play in 1876. The team currently known as the REDS didn’t play until 1882 after the cincinnati team before them was kicked out of the league for playing on Sundays and selling beer.[/quote]

    Actually, the current Braves franchise was established in 1871 as a member of the National Association, the antecedent to the National League. The current Cubs franchise was also a charter member of the NA, but because of the Chicago Fire (Mrs. O’Leary fabled cow) they dropped out of the NA in 1872-73, and returned in 1874.

    To be even more technical, the Braves have more of an actual claim to the mantle of the 1869-70 Cincinnati Red Stockings team than do the current Reds franchise. Team manager/GM/CF Harry Wright was hired in late 1870 to form the Boston team (which also assumed the name Red Stockings) and brought along his brother George (SS), Charlie Gould (1B) and Cal McVey (RF) from Cincinnati.[/quote]

    Pretty sure a key distinction is that the Reds are still in the same city, and that’s the point of the Opening Day tradition.

  • concealed78 | April 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm |

    The first Monday of April should be a national holiday, and the first pitch should happen in Cincinnati, something that happened for 113 years (sans 2 for rain outs). Baseball is rich with tradition, and it needs to get back to little things like this, instead of stupid gimmicks that don’t really help the sport. Then something happened to the schedule in 1990 with the Reds opening on the road, and as far as I can tell, the first Opening Night game happened on 04/03/94, with St. Louis @ Cincinnati.

    And it turns out the Cardinals / Reds games isn’t even the first scheduled game tomorrow, the Phillies / Nats game starts 5 minutes sooner.

    As for traditions, I’ll either tape the game if I can, or listen to it on the radio.

  • Kevin | April 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm |

    Just something I noticed…

    I know Michigan’s use of it’s football helmet for other things have been mentioned (hockey helmet, oars for the crew team, catcher’s masks, etc.). But yesterday, Michigan played Wisconsin in softball and I noticed that the Wisconsin softball team’s batting helmets look like their football helmets.

    http://www.mgoblue.c...

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 3:14 pm |

    [quote comment=”383995″]The first Monday of April should be a national holiday, and the first pitch should happen in Cincinnati, something that happened for 113 years (sans 2 for rain outs). Baseball is rich with tradition, and it needs to get back to little things like this, instead of stupid gimmicks that don’t really help the sport. Then something happened to the schedule in 1990 with the Reds opening on the road, and as far as I can tell, the first Opening Night game happened on 04/03/94, with St. Louis @ Cincinnati.

    And it turns out the Cardinals / Reds games isn’t even the first scheduled game tomorrow, the Phillies / Nats game starts 5 minutes sooner.

    As for traditions, I’ll either tape the game if I can, or listen to it on the radio.[/quote]

    Yeah, but it’s REALLY important (much MORE important, obviously) we get see the frickin’ Red Sox and Yankees the Sunday night before, every damn year it seems, because that’s “the greatest rivalry in sports.” I know that’s true because ESPN said so.

    —Ricko

  • Mike Engle | April 4, 2010 at 3:29 pm |

    So when did the Presidential First Pitch morph from POTUS throwing the ball from his seat to the playing field, to POTUS on the mound throwing to the catcher?

  • Dave Mac | April 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm |

    I say that those stirrups are the BEST I’ve ever seen. :) Good job, fine girl.

    I’ll be at Opening Day tomorrow!

  • Chris from Carver | April 4, 2010 at 3:57 pm |

    [quote comment=”383997″][quote comment=”383995″]The first Monday of April should be a national holiday, and the first pitch should happen in Cincinnati, something that happened for 113 years (sans 2 for rain outs). Baseball is rich with tradition, and it needs to get back to little things like this, instead of stupid gimmicks that don’t really help the sport. Then something happened to the schedule in 1990 with the Reds opening on the road, and as far as I can tell, the first Opening Night game happened on 04/03/94, with St. Louis @ Cincinnati.

    And it turns out the Cardinals / Reds games isn’t even the first scheduled game tomorrow, the Phillies / Nats game starts 5 minutes sooner.

    As for traditions, I’ll either tape the game if I can, or listen to it on the radio.[/quote]

    Yeah, but it’s REALLY important (much MORE important, obviously) we get see the frickin’ Red Sox and Yankees the Sunday night before, every damn year it seems, because that’s “the greatest rivalry in sports.” I know that’s true because ESPN said so.

    —Ricko[/quote]
    It’s also important not to present the game at a reasonable time when the fans most interested can watch it, but at a time more favorable to the west coast, you know because they care so much about the Red Sox & Yankees.

  • The Hemogoblin | April 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm |

    [quote comment=”384000″][quote comment=”383997″][quote comment=”383995″]The first Monday of April should be a national holiday, and the first pitch should happen in Cincinnati, something that happened for 113 years (sans 2 for rain outs). Baseball is rich with tradition, and it needs to get back to little things like this, instead of stupid gimmicks that don’t really help the sport. Then something happened to the schedule in 1990 with the Reds opening on the road, and as far as I can tell, the first Opening Night game happened on 04/03/94, with St. Louis @ Cincinnati.

    And it turns out the Cardinals / Reds games isn’t even the first scheduled game tomorrow, the Phillies / Nats game starts 5 minutes sooner.

    As for traditions, I’ll either tape the game if I can, or listen to it on the radio.[/quote]

    Yeah, but it’s REALLY important (much MORE important, obviously) we get see the frickin’ Red Sox and Yankees the Sunday night before, every damn year it seems, because that’s “the greatest rivalry in sports.” I know that’s true because ESPN said so.

    —Ricko[/quote]
    It’s also important not to present the game at a reasonable time when the fans most interested can watch it, but at a time more favorable to the west coast, you know because they care so much about the Red Sox & Yankees.[/quote]

    Boo hoo. We have to wake up early to watch football on Saturdays and Sundays every weekend of their seasons. You can deal with games running a little late every now and then.

  • concealed78 | April 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm |

    [quote comment=”384001″][quote comment=”384000″][quote comment=”383997″][quote comment=”383995″]The first Monday of April should be a national holiday, and the first pitch should happen in Cincinnati, something that happened for 113 years (sans 2 for rain outs). Baseball is rich with tradition, and it needs to get back to little things like this, instead of stupid gimmicks that don’t really help the sport. Then something happened to the schedule in 1990 with the Reds opening on the road, and as far as I can tell, the first Opening Night game happened on 04/03/94, with St. Louis @ Cincinnati.

    And it turns out the Cardinals / Reds games isn’t even the first scheduled game tomorrow, the Phillies / Nats game starts 5 minutes sooner.

    As for traditions, I’ll either tape the game if I can, or listen to it on the radio.[/quote]

    Yeah, but it’s REALLY important (much MORE important, obviously) we get see the frickin’ Red Sox and Yankees the Sunday night before, every damn year it seems, because that’s “the greatest rivalry in sports.” I know that’s true because ESPN said so.

    —Ricko[/quote]
    It’s also important not to present the game at a reasonable time when the fans most interested can watch it, but at a time more favorable to the west coast, you know because they care so much about the Red Sox & Yankees.[/quote]

    Boo hoo. We have to wake up early to watch football on Saturdays and Sundays every weekend of their seasons. You can deal with games running a little late every now and then.[/quote]

    At least your games end at a decent frickin’ hour. We’re all not night owls & we have to get up early. And 9am & 10am is not “early”.

  • Chris from Carver | April 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm |

    [quote comment=”384002″][quote comment=”384001″][quote comment=”384000″][quote comment=”383997″][quote comment=”383995″]The first Monday of April should be a national holiday, and the first pitch should happen in Cincinnati, something that happened for 113 years (sans 2 for rain outs). Baseball is rich with tradition, and it needs to get back to little things like this, instead of stupid gimmicks that don’t really help the sport. Then something happened to the schedule in 1990 with the Reds opening on the road, and as far as I can tell, the first Opening Night game happened on 04/03/94, with St. Louis @ Cincinnati.

    And it turns out the Cardinals / Reds games isn’t even the first scheduled game tomorrow, the Phillies / Nats game starts 5 minutes sooner.

    As for traditions, I’ll either tape the game if I can, or listen to it on the radio.[/quote]

    Yeah, but it’s REALLY important (much MORE important, obviously) we get see the frickin’ Red Sox and Yankees the Sunday night before, every damn year it seems, because that’s “the greatest rivalry in sports.” I know that’s true because ESPN said so.

    —Ricko[/quote]
    It’s also important not to present the game at a reasonable time when the fans most interested can watch it, but at a time more favorable to the west coast, you know because they care so much about the Red Sox & Yankees.[/quote]

    Boo hoo. We have to wake up early to watch football on Saturdays and Sundays every weekend of their seasons. You can deal with games running a little late every now and then.[/quote]

    At least your games end at a decent frickin’ hour. We’re all not night owls & we have to get up early. And 9am & 10am is not “early”.[/quote]
    A 3 hour game isn’t as bad as the 4 hour affairs the Red Sox and Yankees put on damn near every time.

  • pru | April 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm |

    [quote comment=”383988″]You better believe opening day in Cinti is bananas. I was in quite a few Opening Day parades..the weather is either beautiful or BEYOND brutal. No in-between. Check it out- looks like a chilly day but not too cold for a convertible..

    http://img.photobuck...

    Opening day is apparently the only day that is “bananas” in Cincy. I just bought 11th row tickets from the Reds for next Sunday’s Cubs/Reds series finale. As a Cubs fan in Louisville, these are the worst last minute tickets I have been able to get to a game in Cincy for the last 5 years.

  • Nick | April 4, 2010 at 6:30 pm |

    Happy Easter to all in the UW universe.

    May every good uni stay the same, and every bad uni be changed to a good one. May the Vegas Gold
    revert to true Old Gold, may sleeves return to football jerseys, may basketball teams where the entire teams wear t-shirts under their jerseys just go ahead and return to sleeved basketball jerseys already – preferable durene!

    And in homage to UW fearless leader PL, may the Mets uniform carnival come to an end, may the Black be ditched, and may the Snow Whites be worn with Blue and ONLY Blue Caps and details until the Metropolitans have clinched the pennant!

  • The Hemogoblin | April 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm |

    [quote comment=”384002″][quote comment=”384001″][quote comment=”384000″][quote comment=”383997″][quote comment=”383995″]The first Monday of April should be a national holiday, and the first pitch should happen in Cincinnati, something that happened for 113 years (sans 2 for rain outs). Baseball is rich with tradition, and it needs to get back to little things like this, instead of stupid gimmicks that don’t really help the sport. Then something happened to the schedule in 1990 with the Reds opening on the road, and as far as I can tell, the first Opening Night game happened on 04/03/94, with St. Louis @ Cincinnati.

    And it turns out the Cardinals / Reds games isn’t even the first scheduled game tomorrow, the Phillies / Nats game starts 5 minutes sooner.

    As for traditions, I’ll either tape the game if I can, or listen to it on the radio.[/quote]

    Yeah, but it’s REALLY important (much MORE important, obviously) we get see the frickin’ Red Sox and Yankees the Sunday night before, every damn year it seems, because that’s “the greatest rivalry in sports.” I know that’s true because ESPN said so.

    —Ricko[/quote]
    It’s also important not to present the game at a reasonable time when the fans most interested can watch it, but at a time more favorable to the west coast, you know because they care so much about the Red Sox & Yankees.[/quote]

    Boo hoo. We have to wake up early to watch football on Saturdays and Sundays every weekend of their seasons. You can deal with games running a little late every now and then.[/quote]

    At least your games end at a decent frickin’ hour. We’re all not night owls & we have to get up early. And 9am & 10am is not “early”.[/quote]

    *college student*

    The hell it’s not early. I haven’t seen kickoff for an early NFL game in a couple of years.

    Also, Sunday football gets in the way of church for those people on the west coast who go.

  • Justin | April 4, 2010 at 7:01 pm |

    So I was cruising through Facebook and came upon this picture:

    http://sphotos.ak.fb...

    For those that don’t know, Dr Dre has a line of high quality headphones that I guess he’s promoting at Opening Night. I heard he’s throwing out the first pitch too.

    Couple notes: NOB on Sox home jerseys looks out of place no matter who it’s on. And I know we’ve seen LOB on some small school’s jerseys but I’ve never seen a NOB paired with a logo instead of a number.

  • John in Athens | April 4, 2010 at 7:27 pm |

    [quote comment=”383987″][quote comment=”383984″]Tomorrow, I will shave the beard that has been growing on my face since the last out of the 2009 World Series.

    It will be shaved at 11am which is when the New York Mets are scheduled to take the field for warm-ups.

    Opening Day has been on my mind every morning for the past five months.

    YA GOTTA BELIEVE that I’m ready for tomorrow!

    (ps – Opening Night, like Opening Series’ in foreign lands, are like celebrity softball games that just happen to count in the standings. They should not be mistaken for the real, actual Opening Day. Which is tomorrow.)[/quote]

    so…something like this, then?[/quote]

    Except better looking and not wearing the enemy colors.

    YA GOTTA BELIEVE!!! … right?

  • scott | April 4, 2010 at 7:27 pm |

    [quote comment=”383998″]So when did the Presidential First Pitch morph from POTUS throwing the ball from his seat to the playing field, to POTUS on the mound throwing to the catcher?[/quote]

    Not only presidents, but other celebrities and first-pitch throwers. The change seemed to take place sometime in the 1980s.

  • Johnny O | April 4, 2010 at 7:50 pm |

    I know it has been mentioned before, but I absolutely can’t stand the new Nike undershirts that expose the swoosh right below the neck of the players. It is very annoying, and the first pitch hasn’t even been thrown out yet.

  • jesse | April 4, 2010 at 8:19 pm |

    PLAY BALL!!

  • LI Phil | April 4, 2010 at 8:30 pm |

    [quote comment=”384008″]

    YA GOTTA BELIEVE!!! … right?[/quote]

    every year

    /on another kind of interesting note…im NOT getting the game (eff the yanksawks anyway) on the deuce…but on YES

    i always thought these SNBs were espn exclusives…any bahstinians getting this on nesn and not espn?

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 9:01 pm |

    I will admit to not following player movement anyhere as closely as used to, so I have to ask…

    How many different Opening Day shortstops have the Red Sox had the past decade or so? Seems like there’s a new one every year.

    —Ricko

  • Doug in GA | April 4, 2010 at 9:04 pm |

    [quote comment=”384012″][quote comment=”384008″]

    YA GOTTA BELIEVE!!! … right?[/quote]

    every year

    /on another kind of interesting note…im NOT getting the game (eff the yanksawks anyway) on the deuce…but on YES

    i always thought these SNBs were espn exclusives…any bahstinians getting this on nesn and not espn?[/quote]

    Phil,

    DirecTV guide shows the game on NESN and YES. I’m guessing the opening game of the season is the exception to the WWL’s Sunday night exclusivity.

  • Kevin | April 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm |

    am i the only one who noticed that in the first 2 innings…CC Sabathia was wearing grey spikes, and now in the 3rd inning he’s wearing black spikes? Anyone else notice this? unfortunately i dont have any screen shots

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm |

    [quote comment=”384013″]I will admit to not following player movement anyhere as closely as used to, so I have to ask…

    How many different Opening Day shortstops have the Red Sox had the past decade or so? Seems like there’s a new one every year.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    Since Nomar, that is.

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 9:07 pm |

    [quote comment=”384015″]am i the only one who noticed that in the first 2 innings…CC Sabathia was wearing grey spikes, and now in the 3rd inning he’s wearing black spikes? Anyone else notice this? unfortunately i dont have any screen shots[/quote]

    You’re right, he started with gray.
    (And why isn’t his ass the logo for Worldwide Pants yet?)

    —Ricko

  • LI Phil | April 4, 2010 at 9:08 pm |

    [quote comment=”384016″]

    Since Nomar, that is.[/quote]

    who?

  • jesse | April 4, 2010 at 9:21 pm |

    [quote comment=”384016″][quote comment=”384013″]I will admit to not following player movement anyhere as closely as used to, so I have to ask…

    How many different Opening Day shortstops have the Red Sox had the past decade or so? Seems like there’s a new one every year.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    Since Nomar, that is.[/quote]Orlando Cabrera, Edgar “rent a wreck” Rentaria, Julio Lugo to name a few.

  • Doug in GA | April 4, 2010 at 9:25 pm |

    [quote comment=”384013″]I will admit to not following player movement anyhere as closely as used to, so I have to ask…

    How many different Opening Day shortstops have the Red Sox had the past decade or so? Seems like there’s a new one every year.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    Ricko, the Braves have had 11 different 1st basemen over the last 12 years. Only Adam LaRoche in 05-06 has been there more than one year (and it will be 12 in 13 yrs if the minor league phenom Freddie Freeman is ready next year as predicted).

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm |

    [quote comment=”384019″][quote comment=”384016″][quote comment=”384013″]I will admit to not following player movement anyhere as closely as used to, so I have to ask…

    How many different Opening Day shortstops have the Red Sox had the past decade or so? Seems like there’s a new one every year.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    Since Nomar, that is.[/quote]Orlando Cabrera, Edgar “rent a wreck” Rentaria, Julio Lugo to name a few.[/quote]

    Was Pokey Reese in there, too?

  • Chillicothe Craig | April 4, 2010 at 9:45 pm |

    What is the Q guitar pick on Becketts neckwear ?

  • Sean | April 4, 2010 at 9:55 pm |

    [quote comment=”384022″]What is the Q guitar pick on Becketts neckwear ?[/quote]
    Looks an awful lot like the Quizno’s Q

  • Al | April 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm |

    I noticedthe CC spike change … no doubt the sox bided their time in when to make him change.

  • Chris from Carver | April 4, 2010 at 10:25 pm |

    [quote comment=”384021″][quote comment=”384019″][quote comment=”384016″][quote comment=”384013″]I will admit to not following player movement anyhere as closely as used to, so I have to ask…

    How many different Opening Day shortstops have the Red Sox had the past decade or so? Seems like there’s a new one every year.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    Since Nomar, that is.[/quote]Orlando Cabrera, Edgar “rent a wreck” Rentaria, Julio Lugo to name a few.[/quote]

    Was Pokey Reese in there, too?[/quote]
    Him, Alex Gonzalez. We’ve stopped keeping track

  • Jerry | April 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm |

    [quote comment=”383996″]Just something I noticed…

    I know Michigan’s use of it’s football helmet for other things have been mentioned (hockey helmet, oars for the crew team, catcher’s masks, etc.). But yesterday, Michigan played Wisconsin in softball and I noticed that the Wisconsin softball team’s batting helmets look like their football helmets.

    http://www.mgoblue.c...

    The Badgers softball helmets have been like for a couple of years now.

  • Ricko | April 4, 2010 at 10:32 pm |

    [quote comment=”384024″]I noticedthe CC spike change … no doubt the sox bided their time in when to make him change.[/quote]

    Did they say the Sox made him change?
    Cuz I’ve seen plenty of other pitchers with gray, or mostly gray cleats (same for white at home).

    —Ricko

  • Paul B. Kennedy | April 4, 2010 at 10:35 pm |

    Every year when the Astros open at home my oldest daughter and I go to the game. We’ll sit outside the ballpark and crush a bag of peanuts beforehand and then grab a couple of hot dogs on the way to our seats. She’ll lose interest in the game in the 6th or 7th inning and we’ll go to the kiddie area where she’ll play around and we’ll share a frozen lemonade.

    I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  • JTH | April 4, 2010 at 11:10 pm |

    [quote comment=”384006″][quote comment=”384002″][quote comment=”384001″][quote comment=”384000″][quote comment=”383997″][quote comment=”383995″]The first Monday of April should be a national holiday, and the first pitch should happen in Cincinnati, something that happened for 113 years (sans 2 for rain outs). Baseball is rich with tradition, and it needs to get back to little things like this, instead of stupid gimmicks that don’t really help the sport. Then something happened to the schedule in 1990 with the Reds opening on the road, and as far as I can tell, the first Opening Night game happened on 04/03/94, with St. Louis @ Cincinnati.

    And it turns out the Cardinals / Reds games isn’t even the first scheduled game tomorrow, the Phillies / Nats game starts 5 minutes sooner.

    As for traditions, I’ll either tape the game if I can, or listen to it on the radio.[/quote]

    Yeah, but it’s REALLY important (much MORE important, obviously) we get see the frickin’ Red Sox and Yankees the Sunday night before, every damn year it seems, because that’s “the greatest rivalry in sports.” I know that’s true because ESPN said so.

    —Ricko[/quote]
    It’s also important not to present the game at a reasonable time when the fans most interested can watch it, but at a time more favorable to the west coast, you know because they care so much about the Red Sox & Yankees.[/quote]

    Boo hoo. We have to wake up early to watch football on Saturdays and Sundays every weekend of their seasons. You can deal with games running a little late every now and then.[/quote]

    At least your games end at a decent frickin’ hour. We’re all not night owls & we have to get up early. And 9am & 10am is not “early”.[/quote]

    *college student*

    The hell it’s not early. I haven’t seen kickoff for an early NFL game in a couple of years.

    Also, Sunday football gets in the way of church for those people on the west coast who go.[/quote]
    Boo FUCKING hoo. You miss kickoff because you’re too lazy to get your ass out of bed? Set your alarm and take a nap at halftime.

    And people are forced to miss church to catch an NFL kickoff? What? Ain’t no 8:00/8:30 masses on the west coast? Saturday evening ring a bell?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Happy Easter, everyone!

  • LI Phil | April 4, 2010 at 11:14 pm |

    [quote comment=”384029″]Boo FUCKING hoo. You miss kickoff because you’re too lazy to get your ass out of bed? Set your alarm and take a nap at halftime.[/quote]

    hell…in college i missed a lot of 1:00 pm (eastern) kickoffs…and a few 4:00 pms…

    but james is right, kenny

    if you wanted to see the game, you’d have seen the game

  • JTH | April 4, 2010 at 11:35 pm |

    In all seriousness, I did sleep through my fair share of noon/1pm kickoffs (no DST in Indiana at the time, so we got both depending on the date). I also slept though my fair share of 2:30 and 5:15 pm classes, but that’s a separate issue.

    The point is, I’d much rather miss kickoff and be able to catch the end of the late game without paying the price the next day.

  • Defo Maitland | April 4, 2010 at 11:38 pm |

    Hey, Neil Diamond with a MAOSOB (Misplaced And Outdated Slogan On Back)

  • John in Athens | April 5, 2010 at 12:10 am |

    [quote comment=”384012″]/on another kind of interesting note…im NOT getting the game (eff the yanksawks anyway) on the deuce…but on YES

    i always thought these SNBs were espn exclusives…any bahstinians getting this on nesn and not espn?[/quote]

    What you missed:

    Joe Morgan noted that the NYC and Boston viewers weren’t watching the ESPN telecast when he congratulated Jon Miller on being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He wanted to wait until “everyone” was watching, but he couldn’t help himself.

    That, and Opie Hershiser continuously pointing out that he was the rookie in the booth.

    By the way, one downside of the return of baseball: Tim “What I Woulda Done” McCarver.

  • josh | April 5, 2010 at 12:22 am |

    i absolutely love those bucs unis. those falcons tweaks look too much like the chiefs, i also like the new celtics uniforms, and laker tweaks (as much as it pains me to say). also, great win by the Sox tonight!

  • ab | April 5, 2010 at 12:33 am |

    I’ve been thinking of a way to compromise Opening Day so that MLB can still have its Sunday night showcase, and Cincinnati could still have the first game of the season. What about a Sunday tripleheader?

    1pm ET: Opponent @ Cincinnati
    4:30pm ET: Another game (possibly one where POTUS throws out a first pitch, or one held outside the US)
    8pm ET: Opponent @ World Series winner (a la the NFL kickoff game)

    Just an idea.

  • rpm | April 5, 2010 at 12:55 am |

    phil~
    i’ll send you a bottle of stadium mustard along with your rups that will be in monday.

    great holy saturday trip, polish sausage, kraut, perogies, my pickled beets, potato pancakes, pineapple in youppi stirrups. then there was the drive home, should be 4.5, took 7. sure there was a chicago backup all the way to joliet, but my front left tire exploded at 70mph, tore off the front left side of my car, i got lucky really. but i am home and ready for the one day i wear a jersey(my jackalopes wool), i have my dogs, both pork and beef in natural case, stadium mustard, ginger ale, miller beer, peanuts, and a couple of opponents for strat~o~matic. i will continue my 24 year streak of hooky, even though the aO’s don’t play until tuesday. go mets! go reds! go cubs! go sox! go every team! it is the one day i want everyone to win, even the ones i hate.

  • rpm | April 5, 2010 at 1:12 am |

    sheeeeeeeeeeeeet, nothing meant by pickled beets!

  • The Hemogoblin | April 5, 2010 at 3:19 am |

    [quote comment=”384029″][quote comment=”384006″]
    *college student*

    The hell it’s not early. I haven’t seen kickoff for an early NFL game in a couple of years.

    Also, Sunday football gets in the way of church for those people on the west coast who go.[/quote]
    Boo FUCKING hoo. You miss kickoff because you’re too lazy to get your ass out of bed? Set your alarm and take a nap at halftime.

    And people are forced to miss church to catch an NFL kickoff? What? Ain’t no 8:00/8:30 masses on the west coast? Saturday evening ring a bell?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Happy Easter, everyone![/quote]

    HAAAAAAAAHAHAHA. You’re right in the end. I just like being difficult sometimes.