Marshall Students divided allegiances on MLB opening day

Opening Day for Major League Baseball is a national holiday in many ways for American sports and popular culture. On Marshall University’s campus, the baseball spirit was fully present on Monday, which was Opening Day for most MLB teams. In a one-day span on campus, at least 19 different MLB teams were represented through student’s apparel and hats.

Ninteen different teams, more than half of the 30 MLB clubs nationwide were represented as a favorite team among Marshall students. Many students participated in “#CapsOn” day, a social media and popular culture trend started by Major League Baseball for fans to wear the cap of their favorite baseball team on Monday.

Because of their proximity to Huntington and the West Virginia area, there were many Reds, Indians and Pirates apparel on campus. Because of their overall popularity, there were many Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox and Cardinals apparel as well. Other teams represented by students were the Mets, Phillies, Nationals, Braves, Marlins, Giants, Orioles, Indians, Tigers, Twins, Mariners and Athletics.

For some students, like Alex Valladares, it is about representing their local team in a place far from home. Valladares is a sophomore from South Florida. 

“I’m one of those people who supports their teams through the good and the bad,” Valladares said. “Coming from South Florida, my MLB team is the Miami Marlins and being able to wear a Marlins jersey and represent my team all the way in West Virginia is very special.”

For junior Tyler Lindberg from Minnesota, he is a Minnesota Twins fan in Huntington. Like Valladares, he represents his favorite team by wearing apparel in a place where there are not too many fans of his favorite team.

“I’ll wear my jersey around every now and then and people do ask me why I’m a fan,” Lindberg said. “It’s hard because we don’t have the luxury to turn on the TV and be able to watch them unless it’s against a local team. We have to follow them on our phones or by any means that we can.”

Junior Anthony Stone is also a fan of a distant team from Huntington, the Oakland Athletics. However, Stone is not from Oakland, but he cheers for the A’s for a different reason.

“I didn’t have much of an interest growing up in professional baseball,” Stone said. “After I watched [the movie] Moneyball for the first time I started to watch old games of the A’s and I learned they drafted Dan Straily, who pitched for Marshall in 2009. I started watching as many games as I could in 2012 and I’ve followed them ever since.”

Students from across the country come to Marshall, bringing their favorite sports teams along with them. Valladares, Lindberg and Stone are three examples of the many students on campus that are excited that the 2017 MLB season is underway.

Patrick O’Leary can be contacted at [email protected]