Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Opening Day at Tropicana Field. Naturally, I was there to see my Baltimore Orioles. But the Opening Day excitement and enthusiasm for the Tampa Bay Rays was contagious. I’ve now been to Opening Day in both Baltimore and St. Petersburg. The experiences were different, yet similar at the same time.
As baseball fans, we all look forward to the beginning of a new season. Spring Training reminds us that things are about to begin again. It leads to Opening Day when, as the sports reports always remind us, everyone is in first place. My Orioles are good at getting us excited and winning on Opening Day, often beginning the season in first place.
Sharing the day with Rays fans was magical. We entered the stadium and were greeted by players handing out magnet schedules, which heightened the anticipation for the season. People were in awe of having just rubbed shoulders with some of their heroes. (I have to admit I didn’t know who they were.) Inside the stadium, you could feel the love for the team. The domed stadium trapped in the feelings of hope and excitement. Even when the team was down by four runs, hope did not subside. Until the end, Rays fans showed their appreciation and faith in their team. They love their team as much as Baltimore fans love the O’s.
Of course, Opening Day was awesome for us O’s fans. We won 7-4. And we appreciate the Rays and their fans for sharing their day with us.
Happy baseball season!