Daily Craig: Choke up

When I lived in Wyoming many years ago there was a quaint expression that went something like this. "I want my mother to visit me this summer but I don't know what day it will be".  Now we are saying stuff like that about Baseball's OPENING DAY.. It's been ruined by ESPN.  Every long time fan knows the Reds get to start the season because that franchise is the oldest. Every long time fan has to get over that. I give MLB credit for keeping the fans wondering too. Remember a COUPLE OF years ago the season began in JAPAN? My relatives who fought in WWII would have stormed baseball headquarters.

3 GAMES kicked off the season last night including one played in 30 degree temperatures. That makes sense when you consider the ASTROS MMP is empty in 80 degree temps. Baseball's opening day is always special and throw in a threat of snow and you really have something. I have been lucky to go to many opening days. All of them in Houston. I won't be at Yankee Stadium tonight because I couldn't get a dog sled. The game was called off so sleds may be avaliable now.

In 1970 I didn't have an opening day ticket at WRIGLEY FIELD so I went to the 2nd game. Those were the really bad Cubs (that includes another 40 years) and 2nd day seats were easy to get. A buddy and I were sitting in the 6th row behind the Cubs dugout. NOT BAD for tickets we bought from a guy in a bar across the street from the BALLPARK. About the 4th inning or so Glenn Beckert of the Cubs was trying to move a runner over and he fouled a pitch that came right at me. It was about 35 degrees that day and i stuck up my hand to get the souvenir. The ball almost broke all my fingers while it bounced off my hand into the lap of a kid 3 rows behind us.

I like to think I saved that little kid's life. Although now he is old and probably is telling his friends he remembers the day he caught a liner with one hand while holding a 25 cent hot dog with the other. I gotta tape my Louisville Slugger.