As a baseball fan, I always look forward to Opening Day at Comiskey Park. Usually, the weather is cold, rainy/snowy, and void of much color, but the fans come out early, drink lots of beer, eat lots of hot dogs and other ballpark “goodies,” and have a wonderful time.
Despite the weather, something interesting always seems to happen. All of the hoopla and anticipation that grew and flourished during spring training is finished, and the real season has begun. It’s all important now and the Sox have taken the first step of the long season ahead.
For all of the games I have attended down through the years, I have never been to an Opening Day. Usually, I had the obligation to be teaching during the Opening Day game and had to settle for catching the final innings after school or, if I was resourceful, would manage to have a radio or TV available in the classroom—or some other place nearby.
I have been retired since 2007, but I haven’t made it to one of the Openers in that period either. I guess I enjoy watching the action and festivities on my big screen or garage TV and listen to the radio broadcast as well. The refreshments are less expensive, too. Still, I’d enjoy attending at least one home Opener.
Comiskey Park through the years, was the scene of many historic events. One of the most exciting had to be the Opening Day on April 16, 1940, when the Cleveland Indians came to Comiskey as the Sox opponent. A cold and blustery day (as usual) resulted in the hitters not being able to get their bats going.
Pitching for the Sox was tough Eddie Smith, who scattered six hits and one run over eight innings. Twenty-one year old Bob Feller was better! Going the full nine innings, Feller struck out eight, walked five, but allowed no hits, winning 1-0. It would be his first of three career no-hitters and the only one turned in on an Opening Day.
Of course, I wasn’t around then, but I’ve often heard talk of this performance on that chilly April day as 14,000 fans shivered and looked on, hoping for the Sox to come through against the fireballing Feller. It never happened that day.
That season the Sox would end up in fourth place, finishing with an 82-72 record. No one could possibly know then of the exciting teams and games that would come on the scene nearly ten seasons hence. Regardless, Opening Days, year after year, always provide fans with hope that this, in fact, could be the year. That’s the beauty of it all.
See you at the ballpark!