“In order for something to be a tradition, you have to do it every year.”
My dad told me that he took me to the Mets’ Home Opener in 1988. It wasn’t my first Mets game, but it was my first Opening Day. I don’t remember anything from that game, yet it is maybe the most important baseball game I’ve ever been to. It’s not important in the history of the game, but rather in the timeline of my life. That game was the beginning of the coolest family tradition I’ve ever heard of (I know that’s some hyperbole, but I’ve never heard of anything more awesome).
This year, when I attend the Yankees vs. Rays game in St. Petersburg, FL, it will be the 29th Opening Day in a row that I have attended with my dad. To clarify, our definition of Opening Day is a team’s home opener. Usually it’s pretty straight forward; this year’s game is the MLB’s first game. Some year’s are a bit different. We once went to the Marlins home opener after my dad had attended the Mets home opener and I went to the 2nd game of the Angels’ season. It still counted.
New York, Miami, Anaheim, Atlanta, and St Petersburg/Tampa have all hosted our tradition. As I’ve gotten older, the game’s usually are the most convenient for our work schedule. However, no matter what the obstacles, we always enjoy America’s Pastime together.
Seven years ago, I started dating someone who is now my fiancé. She is about to attend her seventh Opening Day in a row. Every year there are new family members or friends that have joined the team to go. This year we have a group of 9. I’m always happy to share this very special day with as many people that want to join. If we ever decide to have kids, I can’t wait to take them to Opening Day.
For 29 years, two people have remained constant – Cory and Wade Berstler. It’s seriously my favorite day of the year.