There was a woman at the ballpark on Monday, attending her 71st consecutive Opening Day. Wow. Yesterday was only my fourth straight, so I’ll be 100 if I can reach 71 in a row. I hope I make it.
I mention that because that’s what Opening Day has become for me (and dozens of others, if you believe the list of consecutive-game-attendees flashed on the scoreboard at GAB). It’s a holiday. It’s a can’t-miss celebration of Reds baseball. I intend to keep going as long as I can, and I hope nothing gets in the way of my streak.
I mention this because I’m already excited for next year’s Opening Day. Why? Because my son will be old enough to attend with me next year. He’s been to a few games, but Opening Day has been a little difficult because he’s still a little guy.
He cried on Monday when he found out Daddy had gone to the game without him. That won’t happen again; next year will be his first Opening Day, and I can’t wait for him to start his own streak. Heck, if my daughter wants to go, we’ll start a streak for her, too. Baseball, to me, has always had a “fathers and sons” backdrop, but watching my daughter hit has changed that perception.
Can you believe that anyone could go 71 straight years without just, by chance, being sick on that day, or having to be out of town? It’s incredible.
Speaking of streaks, Redleg Nation contributor Chris W missed yesterday’s game, unfortunately. That broke his streak, which was longer than mine (so I don’t get the number wrong, I will let him tell you specifically). I know he was very disappointed, but sometimes life gets in the way.
Anyway, it’s the greatest time to be a Reds fan — at least until they get back to the World Series — and no other team can match it. I agree with what Pete Rose said yesterday; MLB needs to make sure that the Reds are the very first game every year, like in the old days. It’s tradition, and it’s the history of the game.
I know, I know, television dollars may mean that that will never happen, but we can dream. At least the Reds still get to open at home every year. That’s something.
I’m rambling now, but I’m one of the sentimental, “Field of Dreams” gooey baseball fans (even though I’m partly a stat guy, too), and Opening Day in the Queen City brings out that sentimentality in me. I apologize to my fellow contributors here at Redleg Nation.
If you haven’t gone to Opening Day, I urge you to do it. This year, I sat in the upper deck and the tickets were reasonably priced. Just do it. You’ll be glad you did.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.