When I think about Opening Days, 2013 comes to mind at Rogers Centre. I was fortunate enough, and what an honour it was to get named the Opening Day starter for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013. I thought that I knew what loud was, but when I took the mound for the Blue Jays that day, it gave it a new definition, let's just put it that way.
Especially with the roof closed. It was cold outside, the roof was closed, the people were packed, we had a lot of fanfare about the team and I couldn't hear anything. It was a really fantastic experience and what an honour it was to start that game.
As I look forward to starting on Opening Night in 2014, it will be in St. Petersburg in another dome facility, which will be equally as loud, I'm sure. You have all of these nerves that come with it, and by game time, they start to subside a little bit. But there's a lot of excitement and anxiety that goes into starting an Opening Night game.
The hope is that because I've had a few in the past, I'll be able to calm those nerves, take some deep breaths and give my team a good start. But every year, it doesn't change however many that you get to do. It's always a very big honour.
R.A. Dickey is a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.