Should baseball's opening day be a national holiday?

8:42 PM, Feb 25, 2014   |    comments
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By Ted Berg, USA TODAY

Cardinals legend Ozzie Smith and Budweiser are campaigning to make baseball's opening day a national holiday, which it absolutely should be.

There's even an online petition to the Obama administration. If it gets 100,000 signatures, the White House will have to respond.

Here's the problem: Due to Major League Baseball's recent scheduling trend, there's no real opening day anymore. This season, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks open in Australia on March 22. Then, the Dodgers and Padres play "opening night" on March 30.

The day after that, March 31, deemed "opening day" by MLB even though it comes after multiple regular-season games. And then the Yankees and Astros don't play their first game until April 1.

According to MLB, a recent survey showed that 22.2 million Americans over the age of 21 have played "hooky" from work or other commitments to attend an opening day game. And well they should: It's really fun.

But for opening day to be a national holiday, it first needs to be an actual day. An opening series in a foreign land every few seasons to publicize the game overseas is a fine idea.

But whenever that doesn't happen, all 30 teams should open on the same day - during the day. And yes, it should be a national holiday. So should the Monday after the Super Bowl, for that matter. Get on it, Obama.

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