Opening Day Is Gone, But Baseball Lives On
By CODY TOMER
WHEELING — Today was scheduled to be Opening Day of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
The Pirates were slated to visit Tampa Bay, the Indians were set to host Detroit and baseball enthusiasts were eagerly awaiting another thrilling summer of magical moments the game has to offer.
Instead, die-hard baseball fans are waking up, much like “Shoeless” Joe Jackson in the renowned movie “Field of Dreams,” feeling like a part of themselves has been amputated.
The game we love will not be seen, the crack of the bat will not be heard and the excitement of the ball being hit deep will not be felt.
It’s an unusual and empty feeling.
Since I was a young boy listening to Indians games on a transistor radio with my dad, baseball has always been a part of my life.
It’s given me hope, happiness and heartache.
Players from the big leagues to high school baseball are feeling that heartache today. A date that was once circled on their calendars is now just another ordinary day.
However, as we wait for this paralyzing pandemic to pass, the memories the game has given us still remain.
Whether it was cheering as your favorite player rounded the bases after blasting a walk-off home run, playing catch with your father in the backyard or simply the smell of hot dogs on the grill at your favorite ballpark, it’s those moments that keep baseball alive in a time when we need it the most.
Opening day has always brought hope that the future will be bright and the weather will be warm.
Although no baseball games will be played today, there is still a sense of hope that this time of uncertainty will soon dissolve and the stadium lights will once again shine brightly on the diamond below.
When baseball finally does make its triumphant return, folks will be yearning to not only watch their favorite teams again, but to feel the passion and joy the game brings to our daily lives.
Baseball will symbolize freedom to live without worry, once again, and gather together to celebrate more than a game, but unity.
People will pack the seats in what might be the most highly anticipated day in not just baseball, but sports history.
James Earl Jones said it best, “people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”
Cody Tomer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org