Other Voices: Christmas in April

By CAITLYN BROWN | Special to the Metro Monthly

The hardship of the Cleveland Indians fan is so familiar that the phrase “there’s always next year” becomes easier and easier to say every year.

Nearly anyone who knows sports can likely name the numerous things that have happened to the Indians in the last two decades alone.

After making several playoff appearances in the 1990s – and each year never winning a World Series title – supernatural levels of sports pain set in. The wild thing about all of this suffering is that the city of Cleveland and its fans are still obsessed with a team that has been through it all.

The ups and downs that go throughout the long, six-month season have its tradition and excitement, but it all starts on a day I like to consider my personal Christmas. It’s a day like no other – thrilling and filled with anticipation. It’s one day where there are no worries or doubts – a day to celebrate a new slate with a wide range of long- awaited goals to be put to rest. After the last painful game of the previous season, my family and I count the days until the Cleveland Indians’ Opening Day, a day I like to call Christmas.

After the long waited off-season of wishing and day dreaming about how good or hideously horrible the Indians are going to be this coming season, there is nothing like Opening Day to determine the capability of the team. When a new player comes to bat or does something exciting to make you think the team will do good this year, it’s like opening presents on Christmas.

Opening Day indicates the end of a long, boring winter and relights hopes for an Indians World Series.

Out of all 162 game days, there is no other anticipated game like Opening Day. Merry Christmas, Tribe fans. Spring and baseball are here. It is now time to enjoy America’s greatest pastime.

To many, baseball is just a game. But to the real diehard fan, it’s much more. Some might think it’s crazy to leave work or take off school just to sit at a three hour baseball game and consume $4 beverages and overpriced hot dogs. With all that said, there is more to it. Just because it’s a baseball game, doesn’t mean there aren’t any traditions, I mean, come on, it is Christmas!

”There’s a red moon rising On the Cuyahoga River rolling into Cleveland to the lake.” One can find these famous lyrics at the beginning of the movie “Major League,” a classic baseball movie about the Cleveland Indians working their way to the top. To any Indians fan, this sentimental song can make emotions run wild. I have never gone to a home opener and not watched “Major League” the morning of the game, a tradition nonetheless.

Besides my mother, I grew up in a family of all boys. For most of my life, I was always one of the boys. Most girls I knew growing up liked to go shopping with their mothers and sisters, but I went on a different path. I always liked baseball. Even at a young age, when I didn’t know much about the game, I just loved the atmosphere and, of course, the hot dogs at the ballpark.

Baseball, it’s something that’s always there. Every spring it starts back up, and even though baseball ends, I know it’s always going to come back. It is my comfort zone and a commitment that’s worth a lot.

I haven’t missed a home opener since I was in the fifth grade and, hopefully, I never will. Every year, each home opener becomes bigger and better. Every year, the great pastime becomes more relevant and meaningful.

As I get older, I notice all the other fans who share the same level of interest as me. They all get out of their winter slump – ready for a new season of Indians baseball to begin.

With a new season, anything is possible. It’s a time when Tribe fans get to say, “We’re in first place,” which doesn’t happen very often.

That’s our Christmas present.

Caitlyn

ABOUT THE WRITER – Besides being an ardent Cleveland Indians fan, Caitlyn Brown is a YSU student majoring in  journalism with a minor in communications.

 

 

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