St. Patrick's Day brings out baseball's truest color
The grass -- and everything else in baseball -- seems a little greener on March 17
"I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun."
-Bart Giamatti, "The Green Fields of the Mind"
Happy St. Patrick's Day. It is a big day in baseball, where the fields are green and the game lasts forever. It is a day as big as the Green Monstah and Phillie Phanatic, and let's begin the festivities by introducing a few players around Spring Training fields now:
• Outfielders Grant Green of the A's and Tyler Green of the Astros are intent on breaking camp with their parent clubs. Brewers third baseman Taylor Green is back with his club after playing for Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
• There's second baseman Nick Green and pitcher Shane Green, non-roster invitees with the Marlins and Yankees, respectively. There's second baseman Brodie Green, a Minor Leaguer in Reds camp.
• Prospects include Chris Green (Orioles), Cole Green (Reds), Dean Green (Tigers), Tyler Green (D-backs), Zach Green (Phillies), Justin Greene (White Sox), Larry Greene (Phillies), Tyler Greene (Phillies), Shaq Green-Thompson (Red Sox), Bo Greenwell (Indians) and Nick Greenwood (Cardinals).
• Remember Adam Greenberg's at-bat -- seven years in the making -- last Oct. 2 for the Marlins? Read our story by Tom Green -- naturally.
Green, green, green. It is the gorgeous hue of seats people will fill for the next All-Star Game at Citi Field. It is that bright lime flavor inside Marlins Park. It is Green Collar Baseball in Oakland.
It is the color you will see Major Leaguers and fans alike wearing on Sunday, per tradition.
St. Patrick's Day has become so big in baseball, it lives on after the games are done. Take Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., where it is Go Green Day. Orioles split-squad players will wear green cartoon bird caps at both games.
You can bid on those game-worn and autographed caps in an MLB.com auction. Proceeds benefit Mote Marine Laboratory Animal Hospitals in the area.
You can also save a lot of green by ordering St. Paddy's gear before the end of the month. Fans have been stocking up on the holiday looks -- ranging from the Braves Women's Tri-Natural Tee from 5th & Ocean to the Rockies Kelly Green Signature Hooded Sweatshirt to the Mariners Webster Clean Up Adjustable Cap from '47 Brand.
We love the green ivy of Wrigley. We wonder if we will see that ivy change in late autumn, like it did 10 years ago, when it appeared the Cubs might end the longest and most perplexing drought in sports.
It's the green light for Billy Hamilton on base. The Reds prospect smashed the professional baseball record with 155 steals last year.
We love a green batter's eye in center field, and we find ourselves looking at it from a seat at the ballpark because we clicked a one of those little green boxes with the letter "T" inside it, found on every team's schedule page on MLB.com.
(That seat was green if you were in Comerica Park as last season ended.)
Maybe it will end there again. The Tigers are supposedly World Series contenders again. While we wait to see, we drift back in time to appreciate a Tigers legend. The new book "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes" is authored by John Rosengren and depicts how one of the most revered and sometimes controversial symbols of Jewish-American identity triumphed over adversity, served 47 months in the military during World War II and remains a lasting portrait of integrity.
Green is the color of the great outdoor game. The interminable winter is winding down, revealing the lush greenery that forms our backdrop as we listen to an Astros game in the American League or a Stephen Strasburg start in the nation's capital. Baseball will soon be back in full bloom -- two weeks from St. Patrick's Day is Rangers at Astros on ESPN.
St. Patrick's Day is a lot more than green. It is named after Saint Patrick (AD 385-461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, Labrador and Montserrat.
Baseball fans made it even more fun. We can thank Tug McGraw for that, after he waltzed out onto the field one day in a green uni. An ump promptly sent him back, but the fashion statement was made: Everyone wears some green.
And how can we not mention MLB.com/green? That kind of green thinking is 365 days a year.
Green is the color we can't do without as baseball fans. It is a visit to a child in the stands from Pirate Parrot sometime in June, a photo with Wally the Green Monster when the kids are out of school. It is the slow roller over perfectly manicured blades of real grass that leaves stains and memories of a lifetime.
Soon enough, as Giamatti wrote, we are "counting on the game's deep patterns, three strikes, three outs, three times three innings, and its deepest impulse, to go out and back, to leave and to return home, to set the order of the day and to organize the daylight."