It’s 34˚F outside and a mixture of snow, sleet, and rain is coming down here in the midwest. But it doesn’t matter. Today is [OPENING DAY 2009.](http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/06/opinion/06glanville-opening.html?_r=1&th&em…)Baseball has returned and winter is declared over. The Yanks and Mets have new cribs, players have shifted around the leagues, and somewhere today, vendors will be crying COLD BEER, HERE! Nachos, and hot dogs will be slathered and gulped. There will be controversy, there will be disappointment, and somewhere after the All-Star break, there will even be a sense that October will never get here. But those moments are fleeting, or should be, and ultimately pale in comparison to the evergreen grass, the rich patina of a loved leather glove, and the glorious crack of the bat.The game of baseball is one of our most enduring emblems of hope. It persists, season after season, and the promise of players giving it their all against the backdrop of an eager Spring, is something we all need. Play ball!