Monday, March 31st, 2008

Happy Opening Day...Sort of

Today is my favorite holiday, it's Major League Baseball's Opening Day for most teams. The defending World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, opened against the Oakland Athletics in Japan earlier in the week. Last night, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals played an unheard of one-game series to open the new Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Since the Nationals won with a game-winning home run by Ryan Zimmerman, can they claim a series sweep? Would have been cool if fans brought brooms last night. Just a technicality.

Anyway, the Chicago Cubs open at Wrigley Field this afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers. I mentioned in my hand-written Earth Hour blog that Susan is going to the game today with a group from her office for a team-building exercise. Unfortunately, the forecast isn't looking favorable.

I haven't attended a Cubs home opener since 1997. Does anyone remember the start to that season? Yes, that was the 0-13 start. When the Cubs played their home opener, they were already 0-7. If that wasn't bad enough, the game was so cold. I couldn't wear enough layers, or drink enough hot chocolate. The Florida Marlins won 5-3. On top of that, the white-haired, mopped-top gentleman sitting next to me was a spitting image of the leader from Heaven's Gate.

Last season, we did attend the Texas Rangers' home opener in Arlington, a suburb of Dallas. They beat the Red Sox 2-0. Strange weather there, too. Outside the ballpark was freezing. I remember debating if my sweatshirt was going to be warm enough. Turns out that inside the park was an oven and I walked away with sunburn. Can't explain that feat of science.

My first opening day was back in 1990. Thanks to a pre-season labor dispute between the owners and players' union, the first few games were rescheduled. Due to this, the Cubs and White Sox opened at home on the same day. This was the final opening day at old Comiskey Park, and first home opener at under the lights for the Cubs.

Any opening day memories or traditions?


17 Comments
OK so Bill is a big Cub fan--- just so you know he originally came from at least 1/2 White Sox blood. Best of luck to both of the Chicago teams! Opening Day the one day everyone is in first place....Play ball!
Gail McPike   Monday, March 31, 2008
daveheinzel
I'm super excited about the game. Hope the weather holds up, but it's not looking good.

I went to my first Cubs game ever with Jen Kat, who may be able to help shed some light on when it was. I believe it was their first night game at home of the millennium. I think that means that it would have been May 2nd, 2000, against the Astros (W, 11-1). I'm not totally sure that was the game, but a quick search online makes it look likely. It was a super awesome experience, and it was the closest to a season opener I've been to.
Dave Heinzel   Monday, March 31, 2008
SallyPants
Happy Opening Day! Definitely the best holiday of the year. I'd love to be at Wrigley, but seeing shots of those cold, wet die-hards makes me not too upset to watch it at home. Now they're saying a 2 o'clock-ish start. Let's hope they're able to play ball today. After this long, bleak winter, I don't think I'd be able to wait another day for Cubs ball.
SallyPants   Monday, March 31, 2008
daveheinzel
I can't watch the game today, but I brought in a radio and am listening to the pre-game right now. They taunted us by taking off the tarp, but now it's back on. Come on rain! Let's play some ball!
Dave Heinzel   Monday, March 31, 2008
gotshoo
Happy Opening Day! I had the 'chance' to go to the Cardinal's opener today, but my buddy only had one ticket and my wife is a big baseball fan, so it was a no go. Sometimes you've got to choose your battles wisely, today's game was not one I could walk away from unscathed.

I've been to a few openers, but I actually think I've been to more season closers. Always like going to season closers as you get a free ticket for a game next season.
shoo   Monday, March 31, 2008
SallyPants
OMG!!! I hope you all got to hear/see the Fukudome 3-run shot in the 9th to tie up the game. Welcome to America, man. First game of the season and I'm already going into cardiac arrest.
SallyPants   Monday, March 31, 2008
billpearch
Sure did. Looks like we're playing extras on opening day. I'm a bit concerned that Zambrano is having forearm cramps during his first start. Here we go again. Drink some water, Carlos.
Bill Pearch   Monday, March 31, 2008
billpearch
Hello Gail M, it's great to hear from you on the blog. Looks like both our teams dropped great chances on opening day. Just 161 more to play. Yes, the rumors are true. I come from a long line of White Sox fans. Fairly rabid ones, too. Good thing the recessive Cubs gene kicked in. On second thought, you did win that title in 2005. Don't tell anybody, but (whispering) I was happy you won one.
Bill Pearch   Monday, March 31, 2008
billpearch
Anybody play fantasy baseball out there? I know you do ozthegreat. Here's a quick hit and miss.
Hit - Kosuke Fukudome: 3-for-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Miss - Jim Thome: 2-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI (safely sitting on my bench)
Bill Pearch   Monday, March 31, 2008
Grandma Beans would be so proud of you.
Go Bill!
Go Cubs!
Kathy Farina   Saturday, April 5, 2008
ozthegreat
The Krusty Krab stat line for Friday April 4th 2008

1 for 24 (B.A. .042)
1 Run
1 RBI

Pitching
1 inning
ERA 9.00

Ouch
ozthegreat   Saturday, April 5, 2008
billpearch
Kathy, it's great to hear from you. There'll be Cubs news here all year. Aunt Beans loved the Cubs, didn't she. Too bad they fell just a bit flat come the post-season last year. Dare I say it, maybe this is the year?
Bill Pearch   Saturday, April 5, 2008
Nice win today for your Cubbies... Looks like we are doing it well with the Tigers, too. Gotta love the blonde fuzz on my boys this year. What ever it takes to get them motivated.

Maybe the two ole gals one Cub one Sox are eating their peanuts and playing in the outfield in their respective caps.
Glad we are not playing in Minnesota-- getting 15" snow~
Going up to Pinstripes in Northbrook for dinner tonight anyone been there?
Gail M   Saturday, April 5, 2008
1,2--liking Swisher, oops old cub Jones---and Crede comes through! another for Bobby Jenks!
Go Go White Sox!
Gail M   Saturday, April 5, 2008
billpearch
We both won today. The Sox are off to a decent start. Must be nice pounding on your division rival Tigers.

No, I haven't been to Pinstripes. Actually, I haven't been to too many places in Northbrook.

Tonight we're having our "Fire and Ice" party with some friends. It's Indian food and ice cream.
Bill Pearch   Saturday, April 5, 2008
Hooray for baseball season. I just visited the Friendly Confines with 300 7th graders yesterday, although the Sox won and Chad's Cubs lost, it was a fun game to soak in the sun (despite the chilly wind in our $2 seats) away from school in Geneva. One of my students dreamed up the whole idea (which we teachers tied to curriculum gracefully if you ask me) in a persuasive essay and a series of convincing persuasive speeches (he was on WGN yesterday morning and US99 as well maybe some of you heard him).

So the lesson that passion and clear, concise writing combined can make your dreams come true (at least in 7th grade) was learned by all (minus two bus and one principal car break downs).

Enjoy your fire and ice for the Final Four, how nice and quite cultural as well!
Margaret   Saturday, April 5, 2008
billpearch
Hmmm. Tying a Cubs game to curriculum. Your fellow teachers are generous. Too bad about all the break downs. I can't imagine trying to keep my cool with 300 seventh graders, and mental and mechanical malfunctions.

Keep the posts coming. I look forward to hearing more stories like that.
Bill Pearch   Sunday, April 6, 2008
Leave a Comment


Your Name
Publish Comment