The Shortest Day of the Year

Today marks the Winter Solstice or first day of winter. This is the day when the Northern Hemisphere is farthest away from the sun making it the shortest day of the year and longest night. From this date until the Summer Solstice, the amount of daylight will continually get longer by a few minutes each day. As a kid growing up in Idaho, this date was meaningful as we could expect any snow that would fall from this point forward would probably stick around until March. In Arizona, it is not as important an event since we don’t get snow in the Phoenix area, at least not normally. I did hear one of the local sportscasters proclaim that it would be a cold day when the Arizona Cardinals went to the Super Bowl so I am guessing we might get snow that day.

As a baseball fan, the Winter Solstice is kind of a milestone date. It marks the point in time when the regular season has ended, the post season is behind us, and the Winter Meetings have concluded. It is approximately half way between the time that baseball ended and the time that Spring Training begins. This means I am roughly half way through the longest night of the year. With the extra minute of daylight each day it brings thoughts of February when pitchers and catchers report. A few short days after that positional players will make their appearance and then drills and conditioning beings. Before long the practices turn into scrimmages which in turn become pre-season games. More sunlight also means warmer temperatures and soon the roof will be opened at Chase Field and the grass will start to become green again. It seems so close but then I look at the calendar and remember that it is still four months before Opening Day. This may be the shortest day of the year but it is the longest three months of my life waiting for baseball to begin again.

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