I might not ever be able to top Opening Day of the 2019 season. And unfortunately, I won’t be able to know that for a while.
Last year, around this time, I saw a tall man walk out of the visiting dugout at the Oakland Coliseum for the A’s home opener. Which, if the unwritten rules apply -- and they should -- that means categorically, this was Opening Day for green and gold fans.
“Beautifullllll Oakland,” the tall man in an Angels uniform said as he smiled and ran out onto the field.
I giggled to myself, and at his tongue-in-cheek quip.
That would be the last time I would see Tyler Skaggs in person.
Mike Trout was making small talk with some of the A’s ground crew as he stretched next to Albert Pujols near home plate. Watching that was worth almost being run over by the golf cart.
The A’s side had a lot going on as well.
I got to see young fan Anthony Slocumb reunite with his hero -- A’s designated hitter Khris Davis. Davis hit a home run that day. Then, for some reason, Coco Crisp asked me to squeeze in a quick Bernie Lean with him.
I was happy to oblige.
Opening Day will not occur on Thursday -- it's originally scheduled day -- due to the coronavirus pandemic. And that really sucks.
It's one thing for someone who covers the game. But as a pure baseball fan, it’s heartbreaking.
We have to wait for the simple things we have been looking forward to during the winter months.
Fans will have to wait to throw out boos, hisses and bang trash cans toward the Houston Astros after their cheating scandal rocked baseball's offseason. Because despite the delay, people won’t forget.
We won’t be able to see a first pitch thrown before the national anthem for a bit. That iconic photo of the American flag being draped over the outfield will have to wait.
There’s something special about the first day of the regular season. It’s romantic, it’s hectic and it’s one of the first times each team has a sense of hope for the upcoming season.
Even Mariners fans.
Each of the 30 teams has a fresh start and the possibilities are endless.
We have to wait to make the “162-0,” jokes on social media when our favorite team gets the W on Opening Day.
Stadiums that have hosted generations of families on Opening Days will be empty, clean and quiet. No hot dog wrappers, overpriced beer cups or sunflower seed shells to clean up.
Baseball will come back to us, that’s for certain. This delay is bigger than the game. When the 2020 Opening Day finally arrives, think about how wonderful it will be.
Until then, there’s something beautiful in knowing you can miss something so much. Especially a day that has given so much to us.
That’s pretty special.