For those of you living under a rock, or perhaps more appropriately under a blarney stone, today is St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day is named after Saint Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland. The actual origin story and legends surrounding St. Patrick are varied and tend to depend greatly on the source material one looks at.
There is of course the legend about St. Patrick driving all of the snakes out of Ireland. However, most scholars and scientists agree that there is no evidence in the historic or fossil record of snakes ever being in Ireland to begin with. So, the likelihood of a single man driving them all off of the island is highly improbable, especially if one considers that they were likely never there to begin with.
I guess now is also a good time to mention that despite Walt Disney’s assurances and “documentary” techniques, King Brian and Darby O’Gill also didn’t really exist, despite assertions to the contrary made in Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
What is agreed upon, is that St. Patrick was born in England in the late 4th century A.D. and was kidnapped as a child and brought to Ireland.
He escaped his captors after six years, and returned to Ireland as a missionary combining Irish pagan beliefs with Christian sacrament while devising the Celtic Cross.
In the centuries that have followed, St. Patrick’s Day has been less about the man and more about green clothes, green beer, green hats and pretty much anything else green.
Today rivers and lakes around the globe will turn green not from algae, but from food coloring poured in by the gallon full as a celebration of the holiday.
Massive amounts of corned beef and cabbage will also be consumed as a way to celebrate the day.
Over the past couple of years the green movement has moved to the fields of Major League Baseball as well.
No, I am not talking about the grass on the fields.
I am not even talking about the number of teams who are now encouraging recycling and other “green initiatives” inside their ballparks.
What I am talking about is the green that is popping up on the players.
For the past few years, the Spring Training games on St. Patrick’s Day have included teams wearing green uniforms and hats.
The first team that I recall, going green was the Boston Red Sox.
The green uniforms and hats seemed an obvious choice based on the amount of Irish American fans in the Boston area.
Other teams followed the green trend and soon it became a league wide tradition as part of the day where everyone can claim to be a little Irish.
The teams that go green each year vary. Some teams forgo the green for their more traditional colors.
The first time I saw a televised game with the Red Sox wearing the green uniforms, I actually thought there was something wrong with my televisions set since the sight of teams in colors other than their normal ones can take some getting used to.
The full circle marketing of St. Patrick’s Day to include green items for the fans was just a matter of time. Major League Baseball, like most successful businesses, has made a habit of capitalizing on every opportunity to make money.
While the green gear is popular with the fans, it also allows the players to try something new in Spring Training.
There are special uniform nights throughout the season, but green uniform day is the only one that falls during Spring Training.
So, as a public service announcement, next time March 17th rolls around do not adjust your set when you are watching that Spring Training game.
Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The players really are wearing green.
Now if you happen to see a leprechaun at the ballpark and ask to see his pot of gold, odds are it is just Special Adviser to the Tampa Bay Rays Don Zimmer.
Now if you’ll excuse me, all of this talk about green things has me in the mood for some green eggs and ham.
Copyright 2014 R Anderson