Opening Day brings Tigers fans together


Jonathon Markwort

As the smell of hot dogs fills the air and the weather gets warmer, baseball season begins with a widespread celebration. Although the Detroit Tigers play 162 games per year, the first game played at Comerica Park is different. Opening Day has become a tradition for many Detroit fans as they celebrate the return of Tigers baseball. Senior Jake Stout feels that Opening Day has become more than just the first baseball game of the year.

“Opening Day is the greatest American holiday,” Stout said. “Baseball is America’s pastime, so the start of the season is very exciting.”

History teacher and Tigers fan Mr. Chad Zwolinski feels that there are multiple reasons for Opening Day growing into such a large event.

“It’s advertised as an event, so it’s gotten bigger and bigger,” Mr. Zwolinski said, “The Tigers being good again is a big part of it. People have expectations now. The other big part is that Detroit is revitalized; people want to be there. I want to be down there with everyone. This current generation is lucky, because Detroit is going to be a place to go. They can go down to Comerica and enjoy themselves. Detroit is a place to be again.”

A sense of friendship also contributes to making Opening Day a big deal.

“Opening Day is great because you can rally around with your friends,” senior Max Harper said. “People like celebrating whenever they can and Opening Day lets them do that. I would describe it as a day of excitement. It starts to feel like summer when the Tigers start playing.”

The love for baseball throughout the country adds to the spectacle.

“Opening Day is such a huge event because it’s America’s game,” junior Chris Russell said. “It’s a true classic that everyone can come together and appreciate.”

The interaction that the people around Detroit experience on Opening Day adds to the event.

“It’s the friendliest thing,” Mr. Zwolinski said. “Everyone is smiling. Everybody is happy, accepting and in a good mood.”

Detroit thrives on Opening Day with fans from all around coming together for what has become an annual gathering.

“The atmosphere in downtown Detroit is incredible,” Stout said. “It brings all fans of Detroit sports together. Opening Day is a huge tradition in Detroit.”

Mr. Zwolinski feels that the Tigers starting their season comes at the perfect time.

“It’s so huge because it comes at a time where everything is alive,” Mr. Zwolinski said. “In the spring, everything is coming back to life. The winter is over and everything is alive. Hockey and basketball are ending and then baseball comes in and brings everything to life. Even football can’t match that because it’s during the fall when everything is dying. Baseball brings life.”

Opening Day has caused spring to become synonymous with baseball season.

“Opening Day is the first true spring moment,” Russell said. “The atmosphere is electric as fans of all ages sport their favorite jersey or the old English D. They take some time out of their day to watch the game or tune in.”

Along with being connected with spring and positivity, Opening Day has become a symbol of love.

“Opening Day is about family,” Mr. Zwolinski said. “My dad started taking me to Opening Day when I was nine. I want this to be something that my son starts doing. I’ll always remember my dad and I falling in love with it. Now, we go every year and we have more than 40 people with us. It’s a big thing. A bunch of family are all there. It’s about family.”