For me, it was walking home from school with a transister radio in my hand, listening to Catfish Hunter or Tom Seaver deal against their opening day opponent. It was with great curiosity seeing the new additions to the Yankees or Mets in their first days with our home team. Dave Kingman in '75. Reggie Jackson in '77. George Foster in '82. The list goes on.
And who would have a big day and lead the league in RBIs or batting average, if only for a day.
Well, like the steroid era and wild card playoff games, another rite of baseball has been stolen from us for what seems to only be for the international marketing of the game to line the pockets of the owners.
It is outrageous to start the baseball season for two of our teams each year in Japan. This season, it is Seattle and Oakland's turn to travel half way around the world and play a two game series more than a week before the other teams begin their campaigns. I'm all for promoting the game, but this idea is ridiculous.
If you're a fan of one of these teams, the excitement of opening day is gone, unless you are willing to wake up at 5 AM to catch the game.
I have nothing against the Japanese. They clearly love the game. I have this picture engrained in my head of Bobby Valentine being hoisted up in the air by some of his players after winning a championship. And the fans are into every pitch...singing and shouting. But we don't steal their opening days by playing their games here.
It is time to put a stop to this money-making scheme approved by Bud Selig over a decade ago.