It must be all of these seventy degree days recently, but I have the itch for some college baseball. Don’t get me wrong, I am really looking forward to watching the Tar Heels basketball team play in the ACC tournament and then make a run through the NCAA tournament, but to me there is nothing like sitting outside on a North Carolina spring day and watching UNC baseball.
Beautiful Carolina Blue skies today in Chapel Hill.— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) February 11, 2017
Is there anything better than baseball at Boshamer Stadium? pic.twitter.com/V0qKdknHfg
I was always a big fan of Major League Baseball growing up, but it took me until I was a Freshman in college before I really started to appreciate and follow college baseball. It feels like yesterday that I would be walking back to Hinton James after classes during the spring semester, and you knew that if you heard the “ping” sound, you had to keep your head up for a home run ball, as you walked behind the outfield fence, or you were either going to end up with a funny story to tell to your suite mates or a souvenir. It was also the time of year where you wished you lived in Ehringhaus Dorm, so you would have the best view of Boshamer Stadium.
I loved being able to go as a student and just watch a game in the afternoon after my classes were over, or walk down the southern campus path to attend a weekend series. Unfortunately, I took that opportunity for granted, as now it is not so easy to attend games. (Note: It is a lot harder to travel two hours to catch a game, especially when you are bringing two kids along under the age of five.) However, I do still make it back annually to a couple of games to either catch a game with my family or to meet up with suite mates and reminisce about days (I guess years now) gone by.
What was once just around the corner, is now thankfully just a remote click away on the ACC Network or GoHeels TV; however, there is just something missing from being able to sit in one of those seats at the Bosh and hear the pop of the glove, the ping of the bat, and the roar of the crowd. Let alone the smells of fresh cut grass, fresh popped popcorn, and fresh grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.
As Carolina fans, we are truly lucky to have such a beautiful baseball stadium in the middle of campus. Boshamer Stadium is a great place to watch a game, and we as fans are lucky to not only be able to watch baseball games in such a great stadium, but we have been spoiled over the years in being able to watch very good players and teams play year in and year out. Along with having great teams over the years, we have been fortunate enough to have soon-to-be-inducted N.C. Hall of Fame head coach Mike Fox in the dugout for the last 19 seasons. The former alumnus has not only established the program as one of the best in the country and developed players for the majors, but he has represented UNC with nothing but class, and it makes rooting for the UNC baseball team that much easier.
It is hard to believe that we are just five days away from the season opener against Kentucky. After 17 games at home to open the season, the Tar Heels will be heading into a very difficult ACC schedule, as well as, some tough mid-week games against East Carolina, UNCW, and defending National Champions, Coastal Carolina. However, UNC does return talented players like J.B. Bukauskas and Brian Miller, and a team that is hungry to get back to the post-season. While it may not feel like it some days, spring is certainly in the air and that means Tar Heels baseball is just around the corner, and it can’t get here soon enough.