Yesterday, on a sunny afternoon in Baltimore, Maryland,  Alexi Amarista stepped to the plate. It was the top of the 7th inning and the Padres held a 5-2 lead.

After reaching on an error, Kyle Blanks stood at first base while the Orioles’ Tommy Hunter waited for the signals from his catcher. Hunter quickly got ahead of Amarista 0-1 and then delivered his second pitch of the at-bat. The little utility player opened up his hips and absolutely crushed a ball to deep left-center field.

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones scaled the fence, but to no avail, that ball was gone.

Picture 3

Or was it? Was this hit by Amarista a HR?

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By Andy Masur

I have to admit, every time Opening Day rolls around, I feel like a little kid. I’ve always said that the first game of the baseball season should be considered a national holiday. Banks, government offices, and yes, schools should be closed to honor the NATIONAL pastime.

The first game of a baseball season always takes me back to my childhood in the suburbs of Chicago. Luckily in my grade school, teachers knew that the attention span of many of us in class was even lower than normal. So they’d roll in the big 19-inch black and white TV and we would watch baseball instead of doing our multiplication tables. I would say (even back then I was a bit of a smart aleck) we are still doing math, with that hit Bill Madlock is batting 1.000 for the season!

Baseball has such a special relationship with its fans. The season is long, but it seems like the winter (even in San Diego) is longer. There’s an emptiness that can’t be filled by one football game a week, by a couple of NBA or NHL games, some NCAA games, no sir. The only thing that can fill the void is the next season.

I have been so fortunate to have witnessed many openers, as a viewer/listener, spectator and broadcaster. The game is so special to me and in any capacity I love the opener.

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