Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is less than a week away and you can practically smell baseball in the air in the Bay Area.

I’ve already admitted to being a sports fan. I enjoy NFL, NHL, and NCAA football and basketball. I have just never been able to get into baseball. And that perplexes me.

Opening Day means so many things to so many people: it’s a brand new season. A clean slate. There’s so much hope resting on Opening Day and the first couple of series, because it’s anyone’s game at that point. Regardless of payroll or injuries or off-season trades/acquisitions/releases. And as a fan of all other sports, and teams with previous seasons I would like to forget, I can completely relate to all the reasons Opening Day is exciting.

But the enthusiasm eludes me.

Last year The Fan’s very own Rich Herrera is the reason this girl is starting to turn the corner. To Rich, Opening Day is as sacred as Christmas…maybe even more. He gets giddy to the point where he even handed out gifts like it actually WAS Christmas. So I gave it another shot. And although I am admittedly not a big baseball fan, I am certainly a Rays fan.

So this year I’ve attended a Spring Training game. And I had fun. I found myself cheering for the “big names” when they were at bat, and I found myself interested in the rest of the players instead of counting down to Out 3, Inning 9 like I normally would have in previous baseball games.

I credit Rich Herrera with sparking my interest, but I am proud of myself for not giving up completely on America’s Pastime.

I look forward to Opening Day this year and I look forward to cheering on the Rays as they fight their way to October.

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