Today is the official Major League Baseball opening day for the 2008 season, one of the biggest American holidays.
Right now I am looking across the foggy Hudson River at the rain drenched Yankee Stadium, where the opening day baseball game between the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays has just been canceled. Many years ago I sat in that Yankee Stadium with my Dad, in the middle of a near race riot between loud Dominican Toronto Blue Jays fans and angry loud New York Yankee fans.
Back then, over a dozen years ago, the Blue Jays had become successful by pioneering the scouting and signing of world class Dominican baseball talent, like Tony Fernandez, Jorge Bell, and Juan Guzman. New York has a large Dominican population, who all seemed to be at the ballpark that day… in one section… with many small, and one very large, Dominican flag, which they waived mightily in appreciation of anything a Dominican born Blue Jay did. This actually made the game more enjoyable and was not bothering anybody, at least until the Blue Jays took the lead and the Yankee fans got drunker. Pretty soon, my Dad and I found ourselves surrounded by drunk Yankee fans screaming, ‘Burn that flag! Burn that flag!” Never a dull moment at Yankee stadium.
I recall sitting in the left field stands long ago, also with my Dad in Yankee Stadium, while Sweet Lou Piniella used his glove, and part of his stocky body, to turn a routine single into a double. An angry Yankee fan ran to the edge of the stands and yelled surely over 100 decibels, “Lou! Loooo Piniella! Looo F’n Piniella! How dare you play for the greatest city in the world!!!” I am certain Lou heard, but just turned his back.
My father recently passed away, and soon too will the old Yankee Stadium. Major league baseball games are being broadcast today in high definition and baseball is beautiful in high definition. I recommend that everybody fill their pockets full of snacks and food, cracker jacks, peeps, and candy. Fill your jacket with hogies, heros, hotdogs, and grinders. Then go to your local mall or tv outlet and watch opening day games on their gigantic high definition sets. Share your food with the salesmen and the other ‘customers’. Security guards and Policemen also love to eat and watch opening day, so share with them. Have a great time! It’s F’n opening day!