Our Favorite Non-Denominational Holiday Is Upon Us

1207668334Back in the doldrums of February, I managed to best the Virtual Waiting Room and score some Opening Day tickets with the help of my friends. At the time it felt like the scream of wickedly expensive fighter jets over Fenway Park would never happen. But the sun is shining, the Tastykakes are being handed out, and it’s finally time for baseball to return to Boston.

I’m not the only one who’s excited. Beth at Cursed to First feels that the baseball season hasn’t officially started until the rings are handed out and a game is played in Fenway Park.

I need to see Jonathan Papelbon introduced at Fenway Park. I need to feel the gathering energy, even through my TV screen, as the crowd anticipates his name. I need to hear the frenzy they break into when it comes.

Red at Surviving Grady has some fun imagining who will throw out the first pitch. (Tom Werner was dropping some vague hints on redsox.com.)

Could it be Bill Buckner? Stephen Hawking? A group of inner-city kids re-enacting all four games of the 2007 World Series as interpretive dance with choreography by Debbie Allen? The mind reels.

Boston.com has a very papal-looking picture of Mayor Tom Menino displaying the 2004 and 2007 World Series rings this morning. You almost expect the young courier to kiss the rings of the Mayor for Life.

Both Dan Shaughnessy and maybe-WBUR personality Mike Barnicle look forward by looking back.

This is the 97th Opening Day for Fenway Park, and fans will notice new tiers of permanent seats along the upper-deck baselines. Alas, the Coke bottles are gone – which will cause some to wonder whether the “new” owners, now in their seventh season on Yawkey Way, have any respect for time-honored tradition.

Barnicle laments the new developments outside the park.

Replacing run-down buildings, fast-food joints and gas stations with housing and new restaurants is a terrific thing for the city. But when a building spree threatens to crowd and obscure the biggest reason people come to the area – baseball and to see the little basilica where it is played – then it might be time for Tommy Menino and the developers to hop a plane to Chicago and check out the neighborhood around Wrigley, home of the Cubs: No building puts the park in a shadow, and game days remain a pedestrian’s heaven.

Whatever. Leave the discussion of what the team’s success means for our city for another day. Opening Day is a time for cheering, eating an irresponsible amount of processed meat, and—for this year at least—watching the flash of championship rings in the bright April sun.