Baseball is back in Denver.
Baseball is back where the air is thin and the purple mountains are majestic.
Baseball is back where a mile above the sea, you can see for miles and miles.
Baseball is back in the bars and down the boulevards and in the barbershops and bodegas of Blake Street.
Baseball is back in LoDo… where the magic comes from.
The cracking of bats and popping of gloves is back in Denver.
The dirt and grass stains on freshly laundered jerseys and beer vendors and Cracker Jack and take me out to the ballgame, are back in Denver.
Bunts and steals and the kicking of cleats and maniacal hand-waving signs from the dugout and bullpen are back in Denver.
The stare down between the batter and the pitcher, the chess game between managers, the arguments over the best ways to build rosters and that guy who yells “strike ’em out!” and calls the player by their number…all back in Denver.
Turning two, going around the horn, hitting the cutoff man, spiking the curve, working the count, and taking the extra base are back in Denver.
Down the streets of Larimer and Wazee, and Wynkoop, there will again be chatter about the day’s lineup, the man on the mound for the visitors, and how it’s never too early to start looking at the standings.
That’s because baseball is back in Denver.
The 16th Street Mall Ride doesn’t just go up and down the street, now it leads somewhere… to Coors Field.
The greatest game in the world returns to the greatest city in the country, bringing with it that ever-elusive feeling in a game built on failure; hope.
Hope will bring ’em to the ballpark and drive ’em on the diamond.
The pain inherent in the game has returned as well.
There will be bruises and blunders and battered egos but there will be baseball again.
There will be losing streaks and mental errors and days you wonder just how in the heck they lost that game.
The glory of victory is nothing without the pain of defeat.
But Summer is here. Winter is over. It’s Opening Day and baseball is back in Denver.