You have got to be kidding me! I can’t stand it! It started in the year 2000 so I should be used to it should I not? Then why? Why am I so irritated? Why am I so aggravated? Why does it seem that the more it happens the more it bothers me? I don’t get it! I can’t get it! I don’t ever want to get it! What in the hell are we doing opening the baseball season in Japan?
Yesterday while most of us were sleeping, the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland A’s 3-1 in an 11 inning contest in Tokyo Japan!
Now don’t misunderstand me or get me wrong, I have nothing against the good folks of Tokyo Japan, I’m not a xenophobe, it’s just that I’m an old school kind of guy. Old school kind of guys have a tendency to appreciate and want to honor tradition and there is no sport more steeped in and linked to tradition than our American Pastime!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SB16il97yw
“The one constant through all the years has been baseball” and for 120 years the one constant was Opening Day in Cincinnati! Why Cincinnati you say? Well that’s where it all began, sort of.
The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings.
The 1869 version of the Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first ever professional baseball team. In honor of that and, with a few exceptions, from then until 1990, the season always opened there on the day before it opened every place else.
Opening Day 1968, Crosley Field Cincinnati.
It irritated me in 1990 when that tradition was abandoned but now that irritation is compounded by the fact that we now open the season out of the country and I am left to ponder the whys of all that.
Opening Day 1971 Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati.
Oh I get that it’s about new markets, broadening and cultivating the international fan base. I get that the primary reason behind it all is
I get all that, but really, really? Can’t all that be done and still open the season right here in good old Cincinnati? In the heart of the land from which this great game was spawned?
The Great American Ballpark has been the home of the Cincinnati Reds since 2003 and it has never hosted the inaugural game of a baseball season.
In May of 2004, in Pittsfield Massachusetts a document, dated in 1791, was revealed which made reference to a bylaw protecting the windows of the towns meeting-house by refusing to allow baseball to be played within 80 yards of the new building.
On October 6, 1845, Alexander Cartwright’s Knickerbocker Club played an intrasquad game at Elysian Fields in Hoboken New Jersey. It’s significance is that it appears to be the first ever baseball game which was written about in the newspaper.
There is a uniquely American flavor to this the greatest of games. And it is, in fact in this writers opinion, the greatest thing which this great country has ever exported! And I am all about the continued exportation and cultivation of it throughout the world.
But is it too much to ask that the season begin each year in Cincinnati? If for no other reason then to remind us from where we have come, to remind us of our beginnings, to remind us of the role baseball has played in shaping our country, to remind us of what baseball has meant and continues to mean to our history, to remind us of the best we can be as a people, as a culture, as a nation! And all wrapped up in this the simplest, the most complex, the most difficult, the greatest of games! Is it too much to ask that America’s pastime kick off in America?
Ahhhhhh baseball is upon us!
Let the games begin!
And so it is on this date in Fenway Park history, March 29, 2012.