March 2019

At the end of every Super Bowl the clock starts on the countdown to the day that pitchers and catchers report to spring training camp; a subtle reminder that our spring reprieve begins in a few short weeks. The commencement of each new baseball season is celebrated by fans all over the country as our respective teams begin another six-and-a-half-month journey to the World Series. But, “why?” you ask.

Baseball, in its simplest form, elicits those emotions and memories of our childhood heroes. Those warm recollections of watching Bill Mazeroski beat the NY Yankees with a home run in the 9th inning of game 7 or Reggie Jackson propelling the Yankees to the ’77 World Series Championship, Mike Piazza putting the city of New York on his back in the first game after the attacks of September 11th, or even that special moment you and your father shared playing catch. Even today, every time I walk into a baseball park on opening day, so many good memories come rushing back; jets soaring over the tops of the stadium and the umpire shouting those blessed two words, “Play Ball”. Opening day reminds us that in our hectic lives, there is a 9-inning escape to our more cherished past.

So, do we really need another reason to play hooky from our lives and escape to the ball park for a few hours? Not me. Heading out to catch your team kick off the season with your friends and like-minded fans while enjoying some of America’s finest overpriced beer is the preamble to Memorial Day; Opening Day for Major League Baseball symbolizes the change of seasons from a dark, cold winter to our chirpy, sunny start of spring. Like Memorial Day, it is not officially the start of the new seasonal change, but it is, for all intents and purposes the start of the new season, and for that, we celebrate.

But what I really love about the start of the season is that it represents hope. Hope that our teams can persevere the dog days of August and make a playoff run; hope that a fresh start can revive a dwindling franchise; hope that this is OUR year. As I get older, fresh starts are few and far between. And as our lives mature and our careers become cemented, the notion of hope escapes us. Opening day, even for a few short hours provides us with the satisfaction that hope does still exist. Baseball shows us, year after year that a fresh start (and some changes to the back-end of your bullpen) is all it takes to be great…ask the Mets, or the Royals, or yes, THE CUBS.

We, as a nation, adore this treasured pastime and shall continue to celebrate it, year in and year out because despite all of its shortcomings, is a magical game… Even when it's long, boring, and poorly executed, baseball is still the greatest thing ever. PLAY BALL!

Joe Bouch

CEO, 78Madison

78Madison is a full-service marketing communications firm (advertising agency) located in Orlando Florida (Altamonte Springs).