1. Pageantry. I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for ceremonies. I love pomp and circumstance. Opening Day has it all. Huge American flags, fighter jet flyovers, dignitary first-pitches, lineup introductions, huge crowds…I love all of it.

2. Hope. That your team has a chance. That this year will be better than last. That the offseason moves your team made will pay off. That the rookie in left field will be all he’s hyped to be. Even the most cynical fans of the worst franchises might have a little hope on Opening Day.

3. All-day baseball on TV. Why not just make it a holiday?

4. The Unknown. Who really foresaw that huge turnaround from the team in rebuild mode? Who predicted that the preseason division favorites would scuttle for most of the season? This is why we play the games.

5. Spring. I despise winter. Hate it. The coming of Opening Day signals, at least for me, the beginning of spring. There may be a few cold days ahead, but there are more warmer ones than cold ones on the horizon.

6. Newness. The grass is perfect. The uniforms are bright. The stadiums are in pristine condition. Opening Day reminds me of how everything is made new for the new season. This might be my favorite part, mostly because of its direct parallel to what Jesus does in me. He makes everything new, every day. I don’t have to wait several months for it to take effect. I don’t have to go through Spring Training. At the moment of faith in Jesus, I became new. And, now, by that same grace and power, every day is Opening Day for me.

There’s my favorites about Opening Day. What about yours?