Opening Day is almost here

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2015

We are officially five days away from one of the greatest sports moments of the year: MLB Opening Day.

Folks in Bainbridge have had a chance to enjoy baseball season earlier than a lot of places around the state with the Youth Baseball and softball, Bainbridge baseball and GCA baseball seasons.

But when the Majors start up their season, that’s when I really get in the mood.

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There is no better feeling than kicking back on a warm evening with your favorite team playing on TV. You have a cold drink in one hand, something freshly grilled in the other and all is right in the world.

I’m a big Braves guy. One of my favorite things about working at The Post-Searchlight is talking with an even bigger Braves guy: sports editor Joe Crine. Anybody who knows Joe knows the man is as die-hard of a baseball fan as they come. He watched Micky Mantle, Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson play live when he grew up around New York, for crying out loud. The culture of baseball was instilled in him from a very young age.

It was kind of instilled in me at a very young age too while growing up in Atlanta.

I have these small, snapshot-like memories of me being 2-years-old, watching the Braves with my dad on the couch. It was 1992, and it was Braves-mania. Just the year prior, they had beaten the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Championship to advance to the World Series against the Minnesota Twins—where they lost. In 1992, the Braves beat the Pirates again in the NLC to advance to the World Series against the Toronto Blue Jays—where they lost, again. Still, the Braves were leaving their mark, and fans were proud.

Of course, I wasn’t following any of this as a young kid. But I did wear an adult-sized Braves hat on my little head during those big games, just happy to be part of the festivities. There are photos to prove it, too.

While the season’s Opening Day is a Cubs vs. Cardinals game on Sunday, the Braves don’t start up until Monday at the Miami Marlins. I’m optimistic about the rebuild Atlanta has been working on during the offseason. You can bet Monday afternoon, I’ll be curled up on the couch, cold drink in hand, questioning all the new faces that step up to the plate.