When I think of Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, I conjure images of a warm, sunny day at the ballpark.
Thoughts of baseball = thoughts of summer weather.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who falls victim to automatically summer-izing the games played in the first couple of weeks of the season, even though those contests are played in April. I think it still surprises most us when we tune into season openers and see snow flying and fans bundled up like its January.
Since the season began, the Cleveland Indians have had a miserable time with the weather. Two of their first four scheduled games were postponed. First, it was snow flurries and bone-rattling temperatures on April 4, the scheduled Opening Day, at Progressive Field. It was rain three days later, causing the team’s second postponement of young season.
In between, the Indians hosted the Red Sox Tuesday when it was 34 degrees in Cleveland. That’s the coldest temperatures have dipped for an Opening Day game in the franchise’s long history.
Bad weather struck again on Wednesday; a cold rain delayed the first pitch by 12 minutes.
The Indians trekked to Chicago Friday, April 8, to face the White Sox, and the bad weather tagged along. It was 39 degrees with snow flurries at U.S. Cellular Field when Chance the Rapper tossed out the ceremonial first pitch. The actual first pitch from Chicago’s John Danks was delayed 20 minutes.
On Saturday, there was no rain or sleet or snow around the ballpark. It was merely cold, 32 degrees. No big deal.
However, rain fell Sunday, postponing the Sox-Tribe matinee.
It had to be a welcome change Tuesday when the Indians played the Tampa Bay Rays inside the cozy comforts of the 71-degree Tropicana Field. As Paul Hoynes notes on Cleveland.com, that was a solid 37 degrees warmer than the Tribe’s first game of the season.
Sure, the Trop is an eyesore and Cleveland suffered a lopsided 5-1 loss, but at least they got play baseball in what likely felt like the opening temperatures we summon in our minds.
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