And then there was BASEBALL
The goal. It starts in the fall. And it’s the same as every year. OMAHA. The College World Series. The best of the best. The team worked hard, scrimmaged hard, prepared for the off season hard. Then it was January, and time to prepare for the 125th edition of Mississippi State Baseball. There were many things to do, both for the team, and the fans to get ready for the season opener on February 13.
It’s a labor of love. A ritual that has been repeated every spring for 124 years. For me, this is the 31st consecutive spring.
The team always gets a jump start on the fans in the spring. Working out, practicing, scrimmaging. They are relentless. Zeroing their focus on the season long journey. They pick up where they left off in the fall. They come in refreshed and ready to challenge for playing time with some of the best college baseball players in the country.
And they come prepared to have fun and enjoy their days in the sun.
You know the season is two weeks away when move in week occurs. It’s the time when all the folks in the outfield move their rigs in to create that special place with that special atmosphere: the Leftfield Lounge.
Yes, it extends around the field all the way to the right field line, but it is still the Leftfield Lounge.
And now the trailers are in. The team has been working a couple of weeks. And now it’s just a a week before the season actually starts. So the what do they do? They set aside a morning to meet the fans.
They sign autographs, pose for pictures, and generally have a great time. They are the Boys of Spring, hoping to become Boys.of Summer.
Then they hit the field again for another tuneup.
The FINAL Saturday scrimmage before it gets real. The next time they take the field on a Saturday, it will be for real.
So they enjoy the sunshine, and enjoy the fans who come out to sit in the sun and enjoy the day with them.
And now, it’s the final countdown. 4 days till the home opener. How better to get in the mood than with the second CowBell Yell.
But this time, you don’t have to sit in the stands behind the screen. No.
You wander through the clubhouse. The PLAYER’S clubhouse. Where the BULLDOGS get ready for games.
Then down though the dugout where your heroes sit during the games. Then finally onto the field itself.
YOU are ON Dudy Noble Field. WITH the BULLDOGS.
It was a time to enjoy. To rub elbows with the team. To bask in the promise of the upcoming season. One more quick get together at Dudy Gras, and then there is nothing to do but watch the clock.
NOW it’s time to start the season to begin.
NOW, it’s time for Mississippi State Baseball.
So when 4 PM rolls around on Friday the 13th, there is only one place to be. Dudy Noble Field. With all your buddies in Maroon and White. Cheering the Dogs on in the 125th season opener.
See you there.