By Daniel Taylor, For The Miami Student
Baseball was once the jewel of America. It was the supreme sport in the land of the free.
Today, the National Football League maintains that spot - by far. But for one day a year, baseball sits atop the sports world.
Opening day in baseball is the greatest day of the year, seriously. It is the day dreams are made.
Young players make their Major League Baseball debuts.
All teams have a sense of hope, no matter their circumstances.
Baseball parks from Atlantic to Pacific and in Canada are filled to maximum capacity. This might be the only time it happens all season for some teams.
Hot dogs, peanuts and baseball are as American as it gets.
These reasons only begin to explain why Opening Day is America's holiday.
The 162-game season may never compete with the NFL for an entire season, but baseball's biggest day is upstaged only by the Super Bowl.
Think about that. The biggest game in football is the only one that tops game one for MLB.
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Kids of all ages experience pure jubilance as they see the first ballgame of the year.
Last season, Budweiser started a petition to name Opening Day as a national holiday. It reached the 100,000 signatures needed to land on President Obama's desk. Though it did not come to fruition, it speaks volumes to the baseball community.
From the National Anthem, which is accompanied by an American flag covering the outfield, to the final out, this day screams America.
Baseball brought us out of the 9/11 tragedies with memorable moments in New York, including a New York Yankees World Series run.
Even though the Yankees lost that World Series, the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks won. David beat Goliath in a truly memorable game seven walk off. That is as American as it gets - the upstart ragtag group upsets royalty. Hello, American Revolution.
And that title run started on Opening Day.
Maybe the American Revolution is a stretch, but you understand.
Baseball is like the trusty, ole family station wagon: nobody cares about it, but it's always there for you. And as the MLB journey begins, we begin to care about that sentimental station wagon.
Fans young and old, loyal and fair-weather, hop into the beat-down sport of baseball. Though the sport has a few setbacks - it struggles on national television, a game takes three and a half hours to complete and its players make too much money - it has one shining moment every April.
Baseball will not compete with the NFL, but so what? Baseball has one moment, one day where it sits atop ESPN coverage. And nobody cares how long the games last.
Every team is in first place, if only for a day. Baseball will probably never dominate the lives of children again. Football and maybe soccer now play this role. But football and soccer will never take away Opening Day.
Dust off home plate, grab a bag of peanuts, put mustard on your hot dog and grab a drink. Major League