Thomas Boswell wrote a book called “Why Time Begins On Opening Day”, and he’s right. There aren’t many downsides to living in Montana, but one of them is not being able to skive off school or work, and head off to Three Rivers (now PNC Park) for opening day. Your team’s in first, you’ve got 9 potential all-stars on the field and the whole season is opening up in front of you. Take a picture, because you’ll want to remember what this time looks like. And use a good camera, because you want this feeling to last, and remember that out of focus and grainy is not a good memory.
And when you’re a Pirates fan, you need a good photo of opening day, because, more than likely, it’s all you’ve got. The first batter could hit a grand slam, and we’re still going sub .500 for the 21st year, but you’re at the stadium because it’s baseball, because it’s a new season and because it’s opening day. A day to remember, complete with photos.
And it’s so easy today to get photos at the park, just whip out your smartphone, tablet or iPod Touch, whichever has the best camera, and snap a few shots. Concert style for the first pitch, when everyone’s on their feet making noise for the home team, and then a little more calmly as the game progresses. And if you happen to have a 4S Apple iPhone, ask Siri if Pujols can really elevate the Angels to the World Series (see if she’s a fan or just a wannabe).
Of course, you can get your best camera game on for Opening Day as well. I happen to be partial to Nikons, and use the Nikon D90 for my own photography. Like baseball, Nikon is consistent over time. The lenses my dad bought in 1965 still fit my Nikon digital camera today. And I like that kind of Cal Ripken consistency, not because of the financial savings, but because it’s how you should play the game. Nikon gets it, knowing that the past adds to present, just like I can tell you the Pirates have been in the World Series 7 times, and won 5- three in my lifetime!
But I have to say I’m partial to the newer Nikon lenses. As I age gracelessly, I find I’m a
big, big fan of the auto focus feature. Which is why I chose to spring for the D90 over less expensive models. It was the best camera for me, with the auto focussing motor and compatible lenses, so that my eyes, not quite as sharp as they used to be, are compensated for. I viewed it like buying new glasses, new technology for better focus. And it works, which is the most important feature any camera can have.
So when the Missoula Osprey (Rookie league team in the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system) take to the field on opening night, I’ll be there. With about 700 other fans, to celebrate opening night. And sure, the dogs and beer will be cheaper at Ogren Park than at PNC, but it won’t have the same panache. It’s a night game, so I’m not skiving off, and it’s not the Pirates, but it is Opening Day in Missoula MT, with all the magic that entails. And I’ll have my camera, so when the real osprey comes to land in his outfield nest, I’ll have photos. In focus.