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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Mar. 4, 2013 6 years ago

The pros are late to Opening Day


Why wait for Major League Baseball to start when Ormond Beach recently held its own Opening Day?


Opening Day has past, but it looks like Bud Selig and the rest of Major League Baseball are late to the party.

The Opening Day I’m talking about, of course, took place right here in Ormond Beach, and featured a Phillies-Dodgers game, a Nationals-Astros game, a Marlins-Nationals game and a Pirates-Braves game.

There was, however, no Stephen Strasburg sighting. Ryan Howard wasn’t playing first base and Clayton Kershaw wasn’t on the mound.

This was Opening Day for the Ormond Beach recreational baseball league, and like all openers should, it was jam-packed with baseball-themed rock anthems.

I counted John Fogerty’s "Centerfield" being played twice. You may know it by the lyric, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play, today.” It was in the classic sports movie "Bull Durham."

As I drifted from game to game, I noticed quite a few similarities to an MLB Opening Day.

First, each team’s roster and coaches were announced. The players, as their names were read over the loudspeaker, lazily jogged from the dugout to a baseline. And, as if it were genetically programmed into them as ballplayers, gave a slight tip of their cap, a pretty good Roy Hobbs impression.

Second, the parking lot was packed, and cars were parked in every available spot, no matter if it was an intended parking space or not. There was baseball being played, and the fans needed to get to their seats.

If I had seen someone with a sign, selling a parking spot on the street, I would’ve thought I was at Wrigley Field.

And lastly, and you'd think most obviously, there was some good baseball being played.

The Phillies had a runner on first, who, after each pitch, stepped away from the base, begging the catcher to make a mistake and try to pick him off.

Later, the Phillies found themselves with runners on first and third. A ground ball scored the runner (get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in).

Baseball, and Opening Day, is here. And I've got news for you: The pros are late.

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