The Short Porch: Opening Day Holiday

A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.

– Humphrey Bogart

I have an idea, follow me on this one. I love holidays, always have since I was a kid.  Christmas was my favorite for obvious reasons: No school, amazing food, the music, and yes, the presents. But after Christmas I realized I had nothing to look forward to until the 4th of July. Easter was okay but we had to wear matching family outfits and go to church all day so that sucked the fun from that day.  So, I think I may have found a solution. I want to take an outdated holiday and replace it with a new holiday in observation of baseball’s Opening Day.  Let’s make it a national holiday so that there will be no work on that glorious day. We’ll also be putting an outdated holiday- that no one knows how it started or what it is about anyway- to bed once and for all.

There’s a plethora of worthless holidays to choose from that don’t make no sense anymore: April Fools, Groundhog’s Day (I have the weather app for that), Valentine’s Day (Spend money to show someone you love them), St. Patrick’s Day (I don’t need an excuse to drink beers), Black Friday (I’m still in a food coma) are a few that come to mind.  We don’t even get the day off work for these which makes them even easier to replace with a better holiday. There has been a push for a while to make the day after the Super Bowl a holiday as well, so we are not venturing into uncharted waters here folks. I get it, people are hungover and depressed that football is over and there is still winter outside. But I think I have a better idea for a new holiday, one that incorporates all the ideas of these lesser holidays rolled into one day.

Baseball’s Opening Day must be inserted in place of an outdated holiday in the same time frame. April Fools’ Day looks like the holiday that needs to go. Who celebrates April Fools’ Day anyway? Sure, I have fallen for a prank or two every year and seem to forget that it is April Fools’ Day until a joke is made at my expense, but it still doesn’t change the fact that this holiday is trash.  The holiday is not even American to begin with! Baseball IS America, hell it’s the national pastime for Pete (Rose’s) sake! Unlike April Fools’, Opening Day celebrations can be scheduled to fall on Friday every year giving people a 3-day weekend to enjoy the sunshine and do the holiday up right.

Many of these holidays also have traditional aspects that may make it difficult to do away with, but the main factor is that they make people money. So, on Valentine’s day you better go spend a paycheck or two at Jarred or else you risk sleeping on the couch.  St. Patrick’s Day?  Pints for days at a reasonable price. Forget to call or send a card to Mom? It must mean that you don’t love her anymore, clearly the only way to express gratitude and love is with a 5-dollar card.  Same thing for Father’s Day, that tie is the only way to tell your Dad thanks.  Opening Day would also rake in the money when we factor in all the merchandise sales that will happen with people buying hats, shirts, jerseys, mugs etc. and exchange them like Christmas or birthdays.  Miss the gag gifts that April Fool’s Day once brought?  Well buy a Yankee fan a Red Sox shirt or vice versa, buy a stuffed goat and give it to a Cubs fan, give a Mariners fan a coupon book for one free playoff ticket, the possibilities are endless.

Besides giving baseball related gifts the holiday also offers hotdogs, Cracker Jacks, nachos and beers,  Organ music belting the tune of “Charge”(you did the da da dadada da huh), Harry Caray leading his rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” over radios everywhere, and best of all a Friday off giving most people a 3-day weekend to BBQ and enjoy the games, ushering in the days of outside activities and sunshine and leaving the cold grey winter days behind.

I have always sent happy Opening Day wishes to friend and family, Maybe this year you will too.  Play ball.


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