Opening Day memories: Missed World Series rings, hot soup and a chilly day in Atlanta

With Opening Day 2020 postponed due to the fact that of the coronavirus pandemic, Sporting News staffers look back at their most unforgettable Opening Days from the past.

Opening Day constantly feels unique. Every one brings brand-new hope and brand-new enjoyment. Some are more unforgettable than others, and some are unforgettable for factors that have little to do with what takes place on the field.

My most unforgettable Opening Day came April 1, 1996– my first ever OpeningDay I was a sophomore in college, and my good friends and I drove to Atlanta to see the Braves host the Giants, however likewise to see the Braves get their 1995 World Series rings. It had the makings for a excellent day, however the experience was doomed practically from the start.

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For beginners, we left our dormitory without our tickets– however we didn’t find this up until we were practically toAtlanta As soon as we showed up in the city, we invested a great quantity of time attempting to discover economical second- hand tickets on the street. We lastly got some, however then it took a while to discover a location to park. By the time we settled all that and started our walk to the arena, the pre-game events were well in progress, and, spoiler, we missed the Braves getting their World Series championship rings.

We likewise missed the majority of the first inning as we made our method to our seats in the upper deck at Atlanta- Fulton County Arena. I keep in mind hearing the radio call of a Ryan Klesko first-inning homer as we scampered through the concourse. Amongst the other things we missed throughout that 15- minute period: in- his-prime Greg Maddux pitching to in- his-prime Barry Bonds. Suboptimal.

When we lastly got to our seats in the upper deck, I rapidly recognized I was in for a longday This was a 1: 10 regional start, and the temperature level was 55 degrees. Not dreadful, however the wind was swirling in the upper deck and I was dressed in shorts and a Tee Shirts. It felt much chillier than 55 degrees. I slightly keep in mind informing myself that early morning to dress warmer, however then persuading myself things would be much better by game time due to the fact that, hello, it’s Opening Day, it’s spring in the South! It’ll be great! It wasn’t great.

The weather ended up being such a aspect for me that I hardly keep in mind much about the game aside from generalities. I keep in mind there were a great deal of home runs (7, according to Baseball Referral), however I do not remember seeing any of them. Apart from the Klesko homer I discussed previously, the other one I keep in mind originated from the Braves’ Jerome Walton. And I just keep in mind that one due to the fact that I heard in the car– due to the fact that we left the game around the seventh inning to leave the chilly wind. It’s still the only time I have actually left a game early. The Braves won the slugfest, 10 -8.

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On a mournful note, I likewise found out throughout the radio broadcast in the car that umpire John McSherry had actually passed away. He had a heart attack and collapsed 7 pitches into the Reds-Expos game in Cincinnati and later on passed away at a healthcare facility. That game was certainly held off.

Someplace in South Carolina along I-85 North we stopped at a Shoney’s for supper. It was still chilly, and I was starving. I had cream of chickensoup I’m generally not a soup person, however my mind was concentrated on heat. When I state it’s the best soup I have actually ever had, I’m not overemphasizing. It was the ideal meal at the ideal minute. The physical heat I presumed would originate from being at a baseball game on Opening Day appeared in that bowl rather.

I have actually been to a variety of Opening Days ever since, both as a fan and as a author. Some I keep in mind well, some slightly and some barely at all. Regardless of the drama and relative discomfort, I reflect on Opening Day 1996 with fondness. Although little went right that day, it’s really among my fondest baseball memories.

That’s why when I hear the words “Opening Day,” my mind frequently takes a trip back to those missed World Series rings, some hot soup and a chilly day inAtlanta

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