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My Best Opening Day Memory (Please Share Yours)

Tomorrow would have been Opening Day for baseball. This made me reflect upon past Opening Days.

The year was 1996. The stage was Yankee Stadium. As is the case with many of my fond memories, I was with my dad. It was COLD!!! It was SNOWING!!!! The home plate umpire was wearing short sleeves!!! (Talk about dedication.)

Anyway, none of that hindered the fact that it was Opening Day. For a fan like me, that only follows baseball, Opening Day is a special occasion. Very special. Opening Day, in a sense is the best day of the year for me, it’s when baseball finally comes back. Finally.

My father and I sat where we always did, in the upper deck, behind home plate. We got our traditional hot dog and soda before heading to our seats. At one point, my dad and I left our seats and went to one of the escalator corridors to thaw out because it was so cold. (I had never been so cold at a baseball game.) While standing there, Sal Marchiano the sports reporter, interviewed us for the evening news about why we are staying at a baseball game in the snow. It was great. It was almost like we were famous.

Just as importantly, the Yankees were winning. Andy Pettitte was the Yankees’ starter. He pitched into the seventh inning allowing three runs. Paul O’Neill, JIm Leyritz, and Mariano Duncan all drove in two runs (Bernie Williams drove in one of his own) to give the Yankees the seven runs they’d score that day (in their eventual 7-3 victory.)

Toward the end of the game, legendary public address announcer Bob Sheppard announced that anyone still in attendance would be eligible for free tickets to another game as a courtesy for staying through the snow and cold. Not only did we get to see the Yankees win, but we would be getting free tickets to another game. This was a special day!

The game that we received vouchers for… Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter!!!!!

This is my favorite Opening Day memory.

So… What is your favorite Opening Day memory?


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