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Sit back and enjoy the season

The start of the baseball season is a magical time.

It’s fitting that the game returns in the spring, the season of beginnings. Opening Day brings with it a time of optimism, as fans in cities across the country — and Canada — are certain that their team will get to the playoffs, and maybe even win the World Series.

Baseball remains a game that brings people together, and that’s something we really need this year, after having spent the last 12 months living under COVID-19 protocols. It offers the chance for a family to enjoy an evening at the ballpark. It provides the opportunity for friends and neighbors to spend a warm summer evening on a porch or deck, enjoying the company of one another while listening to or watching a game.

More than any other sport, baseball cherishes its traditions and history. A trip to PNC Park offers parents and grandparents the chance to share their memories of watching Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell — two of the game’s greatest players — their words helping to bring to life the men who are remembered by statues that stand in front of the ballpark. It is a chance to remember with pride that the best second baseman in the 152-year history of the game, Bill Mazeroski, calls our region home and had the privilege of playing for Pirates.

This year’s edition of the Pirates will open their season at 2:20 p.m. Thursday when they visit the Cubs in Chicago. Cleveland, meanwhile, opens its season at 1:10 p.m. Thursday in Detroit, and Cincinnati will host St. Louis at 4:10 p.m. Thursday. The Cubs come to Pittsburgh at 1:35 p.m. April 8 for the Pirates’ home-opener.

Fans have been waiting for the season to open since last fall, when the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series. That anticipation this year includes the possibility of watching games in person, after going through last year’s schedule when fans weren’t permitted in stadiums during the regular season. While the season will open with attendance restrictions in place, those numbers are expected to expand in the coming weeks.

We face plenty of questions in our daily lives, that’s especially true this year, as we continue to battle the coronavirus and look for more restrictions to relaxed.

Those concerns aside, let’s remember that it’s spring, a season of optimism, a time to look ahead to what might be. It’s a time when fans are sure that anything is possible.

Baseball’s back.

Join us in sitting back and enjoying the games.

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