For most of us, Opening Day is an unofficial national holiday. It is a day spent in front of the television, relaxing upon the couch while imbibing beers and enjoying a pizza or whatever foods you prefer while we bask in the glory that is baseball. It is a day for vacation time and sick days, a day to celebrate the unofficial beginning of Spring with a game that invokes thoughts of sunlight and nostalgia.
The ‘unofficial’ status of the national holiday may change if Ozzie Smith gets his way. Smith, the Hall of Fame shortstop for the Cardinals, has paired with Budweiser in an effort to get the day turned into a national holiday. In order to get the proposal to the White House, the petition needs to receive a minimum of 100,000 signatures from people that are 21 years old or older by March 26th.
As of 7:00 pm EST on February 25th, the petition has already received almost 14,000 signatures. At this rate, the petition will go beyond the requirements. Should it reach that goal, Smith is hoping to have the petition to the White House before Opening Day on Mach 31st.
“There are 22 million people who have, some point in time, played hooky from work or school, so it’s already an unofficial holiday,” Smith told MLB.com during a video chat on Tuesday. “We’re just trying to make it an official holiday by getting those 100,000 signatures so I can march them up to the front of the White House.”
Even if the petition receives the required signatures, there is no guarantee that it will be signed into law. However, every signature that the petition receives gets Opening Day a little closer to potentially becoming an official holiday.
If you are interested in signing the petition and have not done so yet, you can sign by clicking here.