It’s March 26 and the day dawned cloudy and chilly here in northern Colorado. The weather outside matches my mood inside as I know the Colorado Rockies won’t be taking the field today on what should have been Opening Day for Major League Baseball.
Of course, I know the reason why games involving the Colorado Rockies and the rest of MLB aren’t happening today … or any day in the foreseeable future. With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the need to keep social distancing as the norm to prevent the spread of the disease, I get it. Well … my head gets it. My heart doesn’t just yet.
I woke up this morning with two alerts on my phone. The first was a reminder from the state of Colorado that a stay-at-home order was in place for our great state. The second was from the Rockies calendar that I had downloaded earlier in the month, reminding me that Colorado and the San Diego Padres were scheduled for a 2:10 p.m. (Mountain time) first pitch.
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It was a stark reminder of two realities colliding: The current one we are all living in and the alternate one that could have been.
Sure, there are plenty of ways to celebrate baseball today. Among them, our friends at Purple Row have a pretty interesting simulation set to go, launching at the same time the “real” Rockies-Padres game was scheduled to start. Major League Baseball is working with its broadcast partners to give us some of the best games for each franchise, including the Father’s Day walk-off home run for the cycle by Nolan Arenado.
Every way to remember baseball is great today. It’s just hard to replace the excitement that was supposed to be happening today … and a week from tomorrow when the Padres were supposed to be at Coors Field for Colorado’s home opener, otherwise known as a state holiday here in the Centennial State.
Joe DiMaggio once said, “You always get a special kick on Opening Day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.”
Something wonderful is going to happen soon, Rockies fans … in our country, in our world, and in the sport that we all love. And, when Opening Day does happen, it will be a celebration of not just baseball, but that we can, once again, all be together and that our society has overcome this latest threat to it.
It will happen. It just won’t be today.
Today, however, I will celebrate baseball and all it means to all of us. I will also look out my window into that cloudy sky and know that sun-splashed days at Coors Field lie ahead. That’s my happy thought on an Opening Day that never was, and, for now, it’s enough to get me through.