The Baseball New Year | Opening Week

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


     Welcome everyone to the baseball New Year. If you are as big of a baseball fan as me, the curtains are open, the jerseys are out, fantasy lineups are set and hibernation is over. Opening Week has come and gone, people have jumped on bandwagons, hit the panic button, drank the Kool-Aid, and thrown in the towel on the season already. It is the best week of the year for baseball fans. Winter is over and Summer is coming, and every fan can dream. Will someone hit .400? What’s going to be the longest hitting streak of the season? Are Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw going to win the Cy Young Award this year? Will the Cubs repeat their World Series win? Did the Indians do enough to get back? Opening week starts the process of dreams coming true and questions finally being answered. 

     For those of you who don’t know me; my name is Justin and I have lived in the Metro Detroit area my entire life. I started watching Tigers games at a very young age. I grew up as both a Tigers and Cubs fan, thanks to WGN. I had debates with my G.I. Joes as a kid over who I liked more, Sweet Lou or Ryno. In my opinion there is nothing greater than being able to enjoy the sweet voice of Ernie Harwell saying “It’s Loooong gone,” and singing “Take me out to the ball game” with Harry Caray. The Tigers always took precedent for me over any other teams or players along the way. I was fortunate to have my parents take me to a couple of games every year at the old Tiger Stadium. 

Image result for 2017 Detroit Tigers Opening day

     Opening day wasn’t a part of those game as a kid, however, on Friday I celebrated my 11th straight home opener for the Detroit Tigers. As I started viewing them as a viable team again in the late 2000’s, I decided to start the tradition of starting the year at Comerica Park. There aren’t too many cities that celebrate the beginning of the baseball season like Detroit. Most of the celebration is an excuse for people to take a day off work and drink away their winter blues. Whatever the reason, it’s still awesome to start the year sitting in a playoff-like environment. The crowd cheering for every base hit, standing up and getting rowdy when our pitcher has a two-strike count. And for the last 9 years, celebrating an Opening Day victory. It has become a habit for me to start the new year at Comerica Park. It is my home away from home. Every year being able to walk into the stadium and take that first breath of baseball air. It is a special moment for me, watching each member of the Tigers organization step out on the field and getting a huge cheer from the crowd. Listening to the National Anthem and watch the fly over from the military aircrafts. In a way, it’s like I am stepping out of the dugout to start the game. 

Image result for mr. ilitch tribute opening day


     I don’t hold back at the start the season. As my wife will most assuredly tell you, I spend the first 7-14 days completely immersed in baseball. I don’t miss a single Tigers game and I watch most of the other team games as well. MLB Network is like wallpaper in my house, we use it as white noise. As the new season smell finally begins wears off I settle in to baseball filling my downtime during the week. 

     As the weeks go on I will happily give my two cents on anything and everything baseball related. I will give you my home team opinions on if it will be a special year for the Tigers. I will try to touch on my first fully committed season of fantasy baseball, and my bucket list goal of seeing all 30 MLB stadiums. Other topics I hope to discuss are All-Star games, Hall of Fame, performance enhancing drugs, and the state of the game as well as any other topics that will arise. To everyone that joins me along the way, thank you for taking part in my journey and helping me embark down a road I dreamed of as a kid, sharing my love for baseball with people around the country. 

4 comments:

David Washburn said...

Good read Justin. I still have never been to any other stadium but GABP. I hope to change that one year soon.

justin brandon said...

Seriously? Oh man, anytime you want to make the drive up here to Detroit, just let me know. I will make sure you get set up as cheaply as possible.

David Washburn said...

I might take you up on that some time. Perhaps we can make a family trip of it. Possibly next year. How long of a drive is it from Toledo?

justin brandon said...

To Comerica Park it is about 45 minutes at the most. I live about 30-40 minutes north of Detroit. If you were staying more than the day, you would want to stay North of Detroit.

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