Let’s get real … real special.
Now it’s real.
Thus far, I’ve only been covering the Bradenton Pirates.
But now, as I sit in the mid-morning press box at PNC Park, with the Pittsburgh skyline opening in front of me, this whole adventure becomes tangible. My whole life isn’t flashing in fornt of my eyes, just the Opening Day bits of it — like showing up in school with the ticket, which got you an excused absence from afternoon classes and down to Forbes Field.
Opening Day may be special everywhere — it should be special everywhere — but is extra special in a place like Pittsburgh. As I took an early-morning stroll around town, people greeted each other with, “Opening Day, huh?” Today, that takes the place of “Hi” or “Good morning.”
There is something extra in the air. A winter’s anticipation gives way to confirmation, that indeed a new season and new hopes have arrived. They’ll go through pre-game warmups — really, putting the finishing touches on a two-month warmup — ceremonies, on-field recognitions. They’ll line up on the foul lines, in black-and-gold and red, then the Pirates will charge the field, an umpire will bellow, “Play Ball!”
And we’ll climb aboard for a six-month magic carpet ride. Next stop? Who knows? But that, too, is part of the seduction, part of the tease. It is the magic.