One of the great things about Opening Day – and I believe this is my 17th as a sports journalist – is that there are always a few guys who have never experienced it before.
Rookie lefty T.J. McFarland had been to an Opening Day at Comiskey Park in Chicago as a fan, he but never attended one since he became a pro in 2008.
But there are two guys in Orioles uniforms whose stories are worth highlighting today.
Third base coach Bobby Dickerson is 47. He was drafted out of college in 1987. He's been in pro baseball since, always in the minors. He has never attended a major league Opening Day despite a 26-year baseball career.
“It’s an exciting time for me,” Dickerson said. “Spring training was big too, because it helped for this day, a lot of the nervousness or whatever you want to call it was taken care of in
About three hours before game time, Dickerson estimated he had received about 30 good luck texts from friends, family members and people in the game.
"I've been telling players I've worked with [over the years] to keep grinding," Dickerson said. "I've gotten texts from players who didn't make it telling me the same thing, 'Hey you practiced what you preached.'"
Dickerson’s special week continues Friday when he’ll take the
He said his children, 16 and 12, received
One more cool Opening Day story: This is the second opener for Orioles’ designated hitter
And he’s in the lineup against AL reigning
Pearce had to get 20 tickets for the opener including one for his father, Steve Sr., whose birthday is today.
"This is what I've worked my whole career for. And I am just glad I could do it here in Tampa, near my hometown [Lakeland], 40 or more minutes up the road. I got about 20 people tickets, and that's not including people I couldn't get tickets for. So there are a ton of people coming," he said. "And today is also my dad's birthday. It's just an amazing opportunity and I am so glad I could do it here."
Pearce’s story is the ultimate one of perseverance. Pearce played for the Orioles (twice),