BOSTON (CBS) – One of the great traditions that goes with Opening Day is the fact that it is actually held… during the day.
Aside from those few times a team is featured in one of the season opening night games — or worse, overseas in the wee hours of the morning — the tradition of the afternoon game is up there with the extravagant fly overs and first pitches.
And for those younger fans allowed to skip school for the day, it’s the greatest day ever.
Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald was one of the kids that played hooky on Opening Day not once, but twice.
“I’ll be honest with you Jonny, I did one time when they had the Rockies opened up Coors Field [in 1995],” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller. “Actually, I skipped school twice; it was only twice. I went to when they opened up at Mile High Stadium [two years earlier].”
McDonald On Skipping School:
The Rockies played their first two seasons in Mile High before moving to Coors Field in 1995. McDonald — who grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado — was in his teens at the time, so how did his teachers not become suspicious with two absences, both on opening day, so close together?
“I told my teacher I was working, sort of like when you go with your parents to their job. It was one of those things, working for my future job. It was part of the learning process for me,” McDonald recalled with a chuckle.
“I made up my homework the next day. I told my teacher I would make up my homework and stay late the next day, so it wasn’t that bad,” he said.
Now, Opening Day is part of McDonald’s job. Yes, Boston opened on the road once again this season, but this will be the 33-year-old’s second home opener at Fenway, and he can’t wait to experience it again.
“I love it, it’s a great place to play and a great atmosphere,” he said. “If you’re a baseball fan or a baseball player, it’s something you dream about – playing in a park that has so much history and has had some great players play in.”
Have you ever skipped school or work to go to the Red Sox Home Opener? Tell us your story in the comments section…