Last Monday, former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni said on TV, “today is my favorite day of the year, Opening Day.” In the scheme of things, I guess his remarks didn’t really surprise me, but it did get me thinking. What is my favorite day of the year?
To begin, I am a big birthday guy, or let’s say, I was, until I stopped counting. Now that I’m thinking about it, Lou may be on to something. The first Monday in April just might be my favorite day of the year, but my thinking is bigger than Merloni’s.
First I had to think of all my special days and yes, they all have to do with sports.
In January is the Rose Bowl and the NCAA Football Title game. In February, comes the Super Bowl. In March, just sit me down somewhere for the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
I’ll skip April for now, but in June both the NBA and NHL titles are decided, in July, there use to be wonderful July 4th doubleheaders in baseball, but not any longer. August brings you the smell of football approaching in the air, followed by the Patriots opening game in September. October brings the baseball play-offs, followed by the conclusion of the World Series, now usually in November. The month of November also has Thanksgiving, where Turkey games are always an attraction, however I miss Texas-Texas A + M. Then in December, there are exciting NFL games down the stretch. Sprinkle in, the opening of the high school sports seasons in April, September and December and you have all your candidates, for the best day of the year.
Lou, if you care, I agree, this year April 3 is the best day of the year. I love baseball’s Opening Day too, but most years, the NCAA Basketball Title Game is that same night, making it one great day. As you can see, there are many great sports days throughout the calendar year.
Spring- The most difficult time of year for area athletic directors is definitely spring and in our area, the difficulty of the job seems to be greater the smaller the school you are at. Long time, long retired, Springfield baseball coach Richie Wyman was so right in general, when he use to tell anyone who would listen, that the fields would be ready around the second week in April, but around really becomes the operative word in a couple of ways.
First, around means likely between April 1st and 21st and then around means around the area. The bigger schools seem to have fields that get ready faster than the smaller schools. Green Mountain AD Todd Parah told us that his outfield at Green Mountain has loads of snow still on it.
Some bigger schools AD’s might say, “wait a minute, don’t say the smaller schools jobs are easier because we have a lot more sports to deal with,” but both track and tennis are much easier to schedule/ reschedule and try dealing with a baseball field you cannot utilize until May.
Green Mountain has a new baseball coach Matt McCarthy, who has been active in both baseball and basketball in the community for years and is the Chester Rec Director. Fall Mountain has a new softball coach, Molly McManus, a former Stevens star athlete, who also stood out athletically in the college of St. Joseph’s in Rutland.