Opening Day remains vital link to American pastime

As my life swirled ever-deeper into alcoholism, my interests diminished as if being forced through a funnel. At the end, I kept my work, my life with The Bride, our family and little else. Fun meant Happy Hour. I did little else because supposedly I was stressed out and tired at the end of the day. I didn’t want to do anything but watch a movie and relax, which was code for have a 4 p.m. cocktail, open a bottle of wine, drink it will mindlessly watching TV, open another bottle and get a little happy until I fell asleep in a stupor. Some days it took more than two bottles. Some days the cocktails started again around closing time. Some days it was not a stupor but a blackout.

Over and over again.

Recovery is about expansiveness. Once I broke through to the other side, life became big again. Glorious. Beautiful. Artistic. Creative. Interesting. It became filled with those “Ah-ha” moments that define EffinArtists.com.

Tomorrow is part of that expansiveness returning. It’s opening day of major league baseball. It’s the one interest of mine that I have loved and participated in for decades. It brings me back to the excitement of my youth, of going to games with my children and watching them become fans, of the thrill of covering baseball and seeing Opening Day from a press box, and the rhythm of consistency every year this time of year.

The only times in my life I let Opening Day slip by relatively unnoticed were the times at the very end when the grip of addiction took its toll. I can’t tell you how happy I am today to have it back.

I won’t be in ballpark this year, but I’ll have the television on for the first games. I’ll make sure to tune in to every inning of my hometown Giants. I’ll boo everything about the Dodgers except the magic artistry of Vin Scully.

And if ever there is a picture more beautiful that the artistic symmetry of a ballfield–the grass and the dirt and the distant skyline and the Opening Day colors of bunting and banners and American pageantry–I don’t know what it is.

We celebrate life and recovery every day (or try to anyway), but on celebrations of our past and present and future like Opening Day, it is truly time to take pause and thank the heavens for small blessings.

They say on Opening Day “hope springs eternal.” On Opening Day every team has the World Series in their view. Six long months from now through the dog days of summer there will be only one champion. But on Opening Day, everyone is a winner. Hope indeed. Eternal, indeed.

Play ball.

PS. Not that matters but each year I predict my winners for the coming season. In my mind I want to show I stand with the legion of prognosticators on the web and hold my own. Most year’s I do. So it’s important I call my show now so I can brag, or be rightly belittled at season’s end. So…

Predictions:

American League

  • East: Rays
  • Central: Indians
  • West: A’s
  • Wild Card: Angels, Orioles

National League:

  • East: Nationals
  • Central: Cardinals
  • West: Giants
  • Wild Card: Dodgers, Pirates

American League Champs: Rays

National League Champs: Nationals

World Series Champs: Nationals

If you are a baseball fan and want to talk trash later in the year, you better get in now with your predictions by replying below. If you don’t call your shot, don’t start talking later.

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3 thoughts on “Opening Day remains vital link to American pastime”

  1. I loved this post. Your honesty and openness. Really happy for you, for your wife, your children.

    Now. Baseball. Lol
    I make no predictions. But i will share my hopes and dreams. You see i am a Mets fan. Its true. We go to several games at the stadium. ( cant even call it Shea anymore. ) And watch the rest on tv. And we love them.
    But predictions? No. No.

    Hopes and dreams are all we usually have. Sigh……..,,,,,
    Lets go Mets.

    1. Thanks Kate. I don’t have to delete this post because you’re a mets fan. I respect that. Yankees… Banned. I’m talking to you Ed! Enjoy the season. And Mets are rising. Here’s to 2015?!

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