Only 4 days, 14 hours, 28 minutes, and 32, 31, 30…seconds until the greatest day in the world….opening day for the Milwaukee Brewers!!! And only 8 more days until I am sitting at Miller park, hot dog in one hand, glove on the other, ready to cheer on my team to their first home game victory of the season. But it’s not like I am counting or anything.
To say that I am an uber Brewers fan would be an uber understatement as seen by the somewhat outlandish amounts of paraphernalia I have (speaking of which, I could use another hat).You see, I basically grew up loving the team, having seen my very first game at the wee age of 5. It was such a special and ground-breaking day. I had seen many a game on tv before, but this was my first time taking it all in live, in person, and I was sooooo excited! Back then, the Brewers played at County Stadium–it didn’t have all the bells and whistles like Miller Park does today, but it definitely had charm and character. I remember walking hand-in-hand with my dad so as not to get lost in the hustle and bustle of fans that were there as well to take in the magic that is the game of baseball.
Upon entering the stadium seats and taking my first view of the magnificent ball field that lay before me, I was in awe. The outfield was so green, the infield perfectly raked and ready for the players to make their mark. I had an overwhelming feeling of sensory overload: the smell of hot dogs and popcorn, fresh-cut grass and leather mits filled the air, the sounds of fans cheering, yelling and clapping played like music to my ears and there was a general feeling of togetherness and fortitude among the people surrounding me. It was then that I fell in love with the Brewers–I guess you could say it was love at first bat. It wasn’t just the Brewers though that I fell in love with, but the game of baseball itself. There is a reason why it is called America’s favorite pastime; why for generations, people young and old flock to baseball stadiums everywhere to take in a game, to see the excitement, to feel the thrill of competition, the joy of winning and the disappoint of defeat. There are no words to describe the first time you see a home run, a grand slam, a strikeout or a no-hitter. It may be just a game, but it is a game that will leave you breathless with anticipation, of excitement, of loyalty and hope. If you have never been to a game, I strongly urge you to go; there really is nothing quite like it. One thing I have always wanted to take a summer and travel around the country, following the Crew, taking in a game at every stadium and field in the U.S. There is so much history and character found in these stadiums, not to mention the food–hot dogs aren’t the only things they are serving up these days. From gourmet steaks and sushi to delectable bananas foster and cheesecake, stadiums everywhere are now offering fans a first-class dining experience to go with their game. How crazy is that? If you ask me, I still prefer a good ‘ol tube steak smothered in ketchup 🙂
So as another season draws upon us and we get ready to lace up our cleats, dust off our old gloves, and practice our bat swings, I ask you to have fun. Baseball is a game that brings together people from all different backgrounds, ages, race, ethnicities and beliefs. For one game, a mere 9 innings, 3 hours, we are all the same. We are bonded by a team, by a hope and a faith that they will be victorious. Have fun. Grab your mom, your dad, your sister or brother. Grab your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or girlfriend. Grab your best friend or roommate. One of the things that makes this game so much fun, so meaningful is not just the game, but who you watch it with. The season is upon us my friends.