June 16, 2021

McCullough: Why I will miss Opening Day (The Athletic)

This is a little thing, but the beauty of the sport endures because it imbues the little things with as much meaning as the hoisting of a pennant. If you spend enough time around baseball, you learn to cherish the tiny rituals and small moments. That is why I will miss shaking hands on Opening Day.

I started doing this almost a decade ago, when I was searching for my sea legs as a beat writer. On the first day of the season, when the clubhouse opened to the media, I would walk around the room and visit as many players as possible. I wouldn’t stay long. I’d just offer my hand and mumble some variation of “Hey, man, uh, good luck this season.” I wasn’t trying to curry favor or pretend the players were my friends. It felt like a respectful way to acknowledge the journey about to begin. We weren’t on the same side, but we were all in this together.

Some years I spoke with more players than other years; sometimes the clubhouse was just about empty. But I took…

Read “McCullough: Why I will miss Opening Day” at The Athletic