The Cleveland Indians just lost their fifth straight home opener, falling to the New York Yankees, 11-to-6. It was ugly from the beginning, but it was what happened before the game that brought a smile my face and to the 42,000 others in attendance. As the teams were doing their pre-game stretches, Nick Swisher sprinted out of the dugout with a huge grin on his face. This was his first home game as an Indian, fresh off of signing a 4-year $56 million deal with the Tribe, and he was pumped.
As the former Buckeye sprinted towards center field, he pointed up to the fans in the bleachers, pumped his fists, and did the signature O-H-I-O move with his hands. The fans jumped out of their seats and did it along with him, and as cheers roared around the stadium, Swisher jumped in the air with excitement. He then sprinted to the third base line and repeated the action.
As my father and I watched this, all we could do was smile. Looking around, everyone was doing the same. You never see Major League players so excited to play the game. Swisher has shown this enthusiasm his whole career. His new teammates have all said positive things about it. We all have heard about it, but to see it in person and at the home opener made it so much better.
More ballplayers need to play like Nick Swisher. It makes America’s favorite past-time so much more exciting. After seeing his animation before the game, and the huge smile on his face during his first at-bat, I bought a Nick Swisher t-shirt. Something about his passion and true love of the game is contagious, and hopefully more players can catch the bug. It just makes everything about baseball that much better.