Opening Day sneaks up on your when you get older. I lived and breathed this stuff when I was a kid. Opening Day couldn't get here soon enough, but with everything else tugging at us these days - "oh, it's Opening Day. That's nice."

I will say I like it better mid-week, than this routine MLB has gotten into starting the season on Sunday night on ESPN. There is no more traditional sport than baseball and the first game, the first pitch, should be in the afternoon, preferably in Cincinnati, where the season always began. (Because they're the oldest franchise, 1869, but MLB doesn't bow to its traditions as much as it used to, much to the chagrin of Bob Costas and me.)

Having grown up in the Midwest, we all know early April is a crapshoot weather-wise; who knows what you'll get. Growing up in Chicago, I remember Opening Days with temps in the 40's and from back then, two great memories.

April 8th, 1969. Cubs open with the Phillies. I didn't hate the Cubs then, I was a kid. Willie Smith hits a (what we call now, a walk-off) two run homer in the bottom of the 11th to start an incredible season with a come from behind 7-6 extra inning victory, a season that ended up even more incredible for the Amazin' Mets, at the end.

Two years later, my left leg is in a cast from my knee down to my toes, from a hockey injury in January. I'm upstairs in my bedroom, in a two story house, and the White Sox are opening their season with an Opening Day doubleheader. (There is something you would never see in this day and age.) The swept both games, 8-5 and 12-4 and one of the home runs caused me to scream, and scare the hell out of my mother, who thought I'd hurt my broken leg. "No, mom, it's a home run."

I remember the Tigers start in 1984. I wasn't living here, but I remember Jack Morris (not on Opening Day but the first national game of the week on Saturday) tossing a no-hitter at my White Sox, who were the defending Western Divsion champs, and if for not some bad baserunning the previous playoffs, and cocaine, they would've been in the World Series.

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But here's my favorite Opening Day memory: C.O Brown Stadium, Battle Creek. The all new Michigan Battle Cats are opening on a Sunday. We've got a big promotion planned, complete with catered tail-gate party, and we got about a foot of snow. You're kidding. No. Opening Day in Battle Creek was snowed out. The caterer was good friend, so we ate well as the snowflakes came down, and down, and down. We played catch, visited with a few die-hard fans of our new team, but we knew pretty early on, we weren't playing baseball that day.

Opening Day does bring hope. I hope your teams wins a lot, but not as much as the Sox.

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