Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Baseball in the Snow

Opening Day for baseball season signifies a number of things to fans and botanical enthusiasts alike. It's a sign that lighting bugs will soon become hostage to old jelly jars, a good hour of your night will become victim to the ice cream stand down the street, and dinners will soon take residence outside on the patio. Of course we think all of these things are to occur in part to one big underlying assumption: warm and beautiful weather. After today's Opening Day at Busch Stadium, St. Louisans may have to be a bit more patient in carrying out their summer traditions. Fortunately this is a virtue residents of this city have acquired thanks to the Rams.

Snow came to the St. Louis area starting Opening Day Eve (April 5), which created even more problems than normal for the city that all but shuts down when flurries float around in the air. For instance, do you call in to work and school for a snow day, or just play hookie (a beloved annual tradition by many) as planned? Probably the biggest ordeal of the day for many was the wardrobe though. For many dugout dudes and dudettes baseball means as little clothes as possible, no matter your gender or figure. The winter weather mix threw a wrench in the plans for many who had to trade their mid-riff jerseys and body paint in for skin tight long-sleeve shirts and summer league softball jerseys. Absolutely no coats though. For the thin blooded people, such as myself, wardrobe was an issue too. However, the question was not how little of clothes I can get by with, but rather, how many layers can I fit under my seven pound coat? The answer was typically, somewhere around four. With that many layers you could just about be insulated enough to an early June, late afternoon temperature. You also could barely move. Most of the time St. Louis fans are on their feet for every strike thrown or ball hit. At today's game by the time you could finally waddle up from your seat two batters had already come and gone.

The thing is though, in St. Louis Opening Day is Opening Day. It really doesn't matter if the sky is completely gray and snow is falling, the stands and surrounding streets will still be packed. It doesn't stop the Budweiser clydesdales from leading the parade of players and staff, nor does it keep Stan the Man from [assisting in] throwing out the first pitch. So you may not have been able to say it was gorgeous outside, but with snow being a rare site during a game at the Stadium, maybe it still was a beautiful day for baseball.

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