Connor Van Hulzen – Staff Writer
Baseball, apple pie, and the Fourth of July.
These three things conjure images of summer, patriotism, and a greater sense of Americana. A wave of nostalgia flows over me as I picture these pieces of American culture.
Unfortunately, for me and many others who grew up as baseball fans, the sport continues to decline in popularity within greater American culture, fighting a losing the battle against football, basketball, and other sports. I think baseball deserves better. Baseball deserves a federal holiday.
Major League Baseball’s Opening Day usually falls in the first week of April. For professionals and students alike, this time of year is woefully devoid of federal holidays. Presidents’ Day – a holiday you cannot convince me people actually celebrate – falls in the middle of February. The next federally mandated holiday on the calendar is Memorial Day, which is not celebrated until the last week of May.
Trudging through all of March and April without a single national holiday is a lot to ask of anyone. While informal holidays and celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness exist during these months, I believe an official holiday should be added to the calendar to help relieve tension and stress that so many students and workers face during these months.
I believe that MLB’s Opening Day is the perfect candidate to be selected for this added holiday.
For those who don’t enjoy baseball, another federal holiday is simply an additional day off from work.
For avid baseball fans, it is an opportunity to bring their family out to one of the best yearly traditions in North American sports.
Baseball fans feel incredible nostalgia towards their childhood baseball experiences. Heck, my rose-colored glasses make me have favorable memories of the Metrodome in Minneapolis which was an absolute trash pile of a stadium.
Some of my all-time favorite memories involve watching baseball games. Enjoying a baseball game in-person with a large and interested crowd has to be one of the best sports environments I have ever had the chance to experience.
While baseball certainly is not for everyone, the chance to introduce a new generation of baseball fans to the sport would inject life into a sport that so very badly needs it.
Walking into an MLB stadium for the first time and seeing the lines mowed in the grass, smelling the popcorn, and hearing “Peanuts! Peanuts! Peanuts here!” is an experience that I wish everyone could have.
Making MLB’s Opening Day a national holiday would be the perfect way to bring that dream slightly closer to reality.
Opening Day becoming a federally recognized holiday would be the perfect solution to so many problems. I will be the first to admit that this will be unlikely, but a holiday in April that allows the public to spend time at the ballpark with their family is a win-win proposition.