Do you have a tradition of attending Opening Day? How many years running have you gone?
What's your most memorable Opening Day experience?
Have you ever attended the Tigers first game of the year when it was on the road?
For me personally, I don't feel compelled to attend Opening Day itself. I have only gone twice, with mixed results. Once in 1997, it was very frigid, near freezing, and although I was bundled as if I were in the Iditarod, it did not help one bit. I remember sending my husband out to get some hot chocolate in hopes of warming my insides and my hands on it--and when he got back it was stone cold. My feet were like chunks of frozen ice blocks, they felt heavy and stiff. The weather dampened the fun a bit that day.
I shied away for a few years after that, waiting for fair weather.
Then, one year, right after work, I ran into a guy at the gas station. The weather that day was absolutely incredible for April. He had his Tigers gear on--a short sleeve t-shirt, and was all sun-kissed and beaming. I knew right away he was coming from the game. I asked him just to confirm, and he was so clearly on a baseball high that I vowed to go to Opening Day the next year, despite the capricious nature of April weather in Michigan.
My mom and dad happened to be coming into town around Opening Day, so I invited them to join me. Their excitement, although not quite matching mine, added to the anticipation. We couldn't have asked for a better day, the sun was out, the weather was in the low 50s, and our seats were pretty good--third row behind the visitors bullpen. We watched Freddy Garcia warm up, and some fan heckled him mercilessly about his frosted highlights. The little boy sitting next to us adopted my dad as grandpa for the day, sitting in his lap, stretching out--I think he almost fell asleep in my dad's arms at one point. Funny how ballgames foster instant friendships. We lost to the evil Chisox that day, but it was a near-perfect, memorable day nonetheless.
Since then, I've been content to attend one of the games of the first series. I like it because it's a little less circus-like, a little more about the game. This year, my first game isn't until the second series, although I may cave and buy tickets to the second game of the season on Saturday.
Please share your Opening Day stories to tide us over until Opening Day 2009 arrives.