From the sidelines: The joy of opening day


By Marty Gordon


Opening Day came 44 days late, but it came. I’m talking about the first day of major league baseball.

Sports fans finally have something to cheer for and watch. Live sporting events have started. In the midst of the chaos, baseball finally gives us a little bit of a distraction. It’s an escape of sorts and something for fans to enjoy. Baseball wraps its arms around us and says “it will be okay.”

Baseball played that role in several World Wars and shortly after the destruction of the World Trade Towers, the sport was there for us.

Of course, baseball has changed. We will get only 60 games. There will be no fans at least for now, and so television broadcasts have become very important.

As I watched several games this past weekend, I was reminded of the game in the middle of the cornfield. One of the best quotes from “Field of Dreams,” thanks to Terrence Mann is “The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again.”

No, this wasn’t heaven. It was Iowa. Just remember what Kevin Costner said to his dad at the end of the movie. “Would you like to play catch?”

“Field of Dreams” ranks right up there with the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I missed you my friend. I missed you.

Nine months has tested us, but thank goodness for baseball.

Also, a note in the midst of this MLB startup is the shutdown of minor league baseball, which means a lot to communities in Southwest Virginia.

Both the Salem Red Sox and the Pulaski Yankees are turning lemons into lemonade. If you have not seen their new 2020 shirts, you need to. Both organizations have printed t-shirts saying “2020, undefeated season.” It’s the same around the country as minor league teams are taking advantage of this lull to sell merchandise. One team has a shirt that says: “Thanks COVID, 2020 0-76 season.”

Baseball is the distraction that we all need.

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