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The Opening Day that wasn’t

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An annual ritual has been postponed indefinitely.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This morning, all of us should have awakened with happiness and anticipation, for today was to have been Opening Day of the 2020 baseball season.

Opening Day is always more than just the first game of a new baseball season. The game alone gives every baseball fan hope. Every team is 0-0, the ledger of wins, losses, hits, home runs and other baseball numbers reset, a fresh beginning. A clean, fresh start is something that resonates deep within the human soul. It’s the reason my friends and I greet each other in the Wrigley Field bleachers with “Happy New Year,” several months after the calendar year actually begins. Beyond that, Opening Day happens at the cusp of spring, when snow is (mostly) gone from Chicago, when temperatures begin to warm (well, sometimes, anyway) and leaves start to appear on trees and on the ivied walls at Wrigley Field. Opening Day is a dawn, a start, a rebirth, and that’s something that every human being can relate to.

But this year, due to shutdowns related to the novel coronavirus outbreak, we don’t have that. Nor do we know when, or perhaps even if, baseball will begin in 2020. There’s uncertainty about many parts of life, with many parts of the USA, including Chicago, under shelter-in-place orders.

At this very moment, I should be working on a game preview for a 1:10 p.m. CT game against the Brewers this afternoon, awaiting watching said game, and preparing to write a recap in the late afternoon. Instead, like all of you, I’m wondering when life on planet Earth will get back to normal.

We do have each other, at least virtually. During these unprecedented times, we at BCB are going to continue to provide things for you to read and do and participate in. Later today, at 3 p.m. CT (a post will go up at 2:30 p.m. CT), we will begin to simulate the 2020 Cubs season via the video game MLB The Show. Duane Pesice has worked hard to make the games feel as real as possible. BCB’s Sara Sanchez will continue her daily diaries about life without baseball. I’ll post on various topics about Cubs history and cover any news about the team and baseball and when the sport we all love might return. Please continue to join us; we’re here for each other and for you.

In the meantime, I want to share a small portion part of a quote I usually only post here at the end of a baseball season. You know the one, from the late Commissioner Bart Giamatti’s “The Green Fields of the Mind”:

The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings

The game we love won’t begin in the spring, not this year. We hold hope that it can still blossom this summer. Until then, please stay safe and healthy, take good care of yourselves and your families, and let the virtual community we have created here at Bleed Cubbie Blue be a source of entertainment and commonality in these extraordinary times.