For the second time in three years, the Orioles will open their home schedule against the Toronto Blue Jays, in a quest to make the postseason for the fourth time in six years. We know the matchup, but just for the sake of this blog, the Orioles are sending Kevin Gausman to the hill, and the Blue Jays are countering with Marco Estrada. For Gausman, he’s excited to get the call today. He told Roch Kubatko, “Very honored. I think it’s something special. There’s not many people who can say they started opening day, so very happy.”
Kevin Gausman isn’t the only one who is excited for the day. There’s about 48,000 people that will be headed downtown shortly, and about a few other hundred thousand fans that have been waiting since October 4, 2016 for this day to arrive. We know the story from that night, we don’t have to dive into that one again.
Opening day isn’t just any special day. Opening day is considered a holiday to some, yours truly included. People plan vacations around this day. Take Dan Clark, of TBLDaily.com. From his home country of Australia, Dan has flown in for opening day, and the remaining games this week. He even stopped by a local tattoo parlor in Baltimore and had “Orioles” tattooed on his right arm.
Orioles fans alike all share one thing in common; they are pumped for today. I questioned a few fans, as to what was the best part of opening day for them, on Twitter about a week ago. The responses I received were all too similar.
Rob Daniels (@oriolesfactoids) told me his favorite part of opening day is the “full house and the pride we all have as fans of the Orioles.” Rob went on to say, “It’s a celebration of history as well as a welcoming of the new season.”
Matthew Castelhano (@mattypabst) said his favorite part is “just the excitement of another Orioles season.”
Twitter user Bryce Amyot (@BryceAA13) told me watching the Orioles is a good way to spend quality time with his father. Bryce also said his favorite part about opening day is “knowing the birds are back in town!”
Nate Wardle (@NateWardle), contributing writer for The Baltimore Wire, told me his favorite part is that “baseball is back”, and that there is “new hope for a championship”. Nate hit the nail on the head for me as well when he said there is “no better atmosphere than a full, loud Camden Yards with the Orioles on the field”.
Nate’s not the only fan that believes the atmosphere is the best part. Twitter user Lou Barrels (@LouBarrels) told me, “In a world where we have to deal with politics, protests, terror activity and overall violence there’s one place you can go to forget it all and get lost in a sea of orange.”
Lastly, Twitter user Hunter Davis (@huntrdavis) told me, “Absolutely baseball being back without a doubt is one of the best parts about the this time of year.” Hunter also thinks just like I do, and that opening day should be a holiday. He told me, “I’ve always thought to myself it would be a great thing if we had National Pastime Day on Opening Day as a national holiday.”
So, the consensus among fans I questioned is that on opening day, everybody is ready for a fresh start, they’re ready to bond with fellow fans, and they’re happy to have baseball back, in general. We’ve been through a long winter, with cold temperatures, dark commutes home from work, and a little bit of snow. That’s all in the past. Beginning this afternoon, we have nothing but warm spring/summer days, Boog’s BBQ, and Orioles baseball to look forward to. Instead of neighbors yelling at you for taking their parking spot in the snow, the only yelling we’ll worry about now is Clancy, offering that ice-cold beer behind the Orioles dugout. I’ll be downtown myself in a few hours, enjoying the pre-game festivities and hopefully the first of many Orioles victories this season.
So I leave you today with this statement you’ll hear for the next six months.
Lets. Go. O’s!