Opening day of baseball season is time of optimism for Red Sox fans

It’s the most beautiful day of the year. A day when people from all walks of life play hooky from work or school, cram together in ballparks throughout the country and celebrate the beginning of another year of America’s favorite pastime.
It’s Major League Baseball’s opening day.
About this time every year, I remember back to a day in fourth grade that began as the longest morning of my life.
For a Christmas present the prior December, my parents gave me season tickets for the Boston Red Sox, and Monday was going to be my first opening day.
I went to school that day. The secretary of my elementary school made an announcement sometime around 11:30 that morning over the intercom. She was requesting my presence at the principal’s office.
For the first time in my five years at the school, I wasn’t in trouble. I ran downstairs (something we all know should have landed me in detention) and was met by my mother.
We walked home, picked up my father and hopped in the car. My mom dropped us off in Boston’s Kenmore Square, and my dad and I strolled down Landsdowne Street into Fenway Park.
The sun shone brightly on the field that day, and after five months off, the Green Monster was ready to block a couple of sure home runs.
That was my first opening day, and it has become part of my life every April since. It should be a big part of every baseball fan’s life.
It’s a day when every team, no matter the talent level or payroll, believes that this could be their year to be on top in October.
But more importantly, the fans in every city believe their team has a shot, albeit a small one, at winning the World Series.
Take the Twins for example. The Twinkies won’t win half their games, and by mid-May the Metrodome will be drawing under 10,000 a game.
Monday night was different though.
No one was looking toward the All-Star break when the Twins will be 15 games out of first. No one was looking toward September, when the Twins begin making tee times down in Florida.
Instead, over 40,000 baseball fans packed the Dome to participate in the 2000 edition of opening day.
And while the Twins suffered a 7-0 loss that is a sure sign of a long season, I doubt many fans were too disappointed.
It’s hard to get down from opening day — the surest sign that summer is around the corner.
And while Twins fans had their night Monday evening, I had mine last night. No, I wasn’t in Fenway watching the Red Sox, but rather glued to my television to watch my boys take on the Mariners on ESPN.
Sure it wasn’t the same as being there, but it’s still the greatest day of the year.
A day when I dream this is the year the Red Sox will capture their first World Series win since 1918.
A day that reminds me of my first opening day back when I was 10. And while I don’t remember who won that season opener when I was in fourth grade, it really doesn’t matter.
It was the start of the baseball season. The most beautiful day of the year.

John R. Carter covers baseball and welcomes comments at [email protected]