The term "Opening Day" has a special place in every baseball fan's heart, but for a Cincinnati legend like Johnny Bench, it is the biggest day of the year.
Day—not days, not week. Day.
However, for baseball traditionalists, MLB's Opening Day festivities in recent years have watered down the moment. As the greatest catcher of all time and Kingsford believe, the league is trying to do too much with the day when it should be simple.
Bench, of course, spent his entire 17-year Hall of Fame career with the Cincinnati Reds. Being the first team in professional baseball, the Reds traditionally had the honor of kicking off each season by playing the first game of the year. That tradition has gone away, especially now that MLB has played games overseas before the start of the regular season stateside.
This season, there will be three games played Sunday, capped off by a World Series rematch between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals. The rest of the league will then play on the true Opening Day on Monday.
If Bench had it his way, Opening Day would be exactly what the name implies. Thirty teams. Fifteen games. One day.