Opening Day. The time of year when baseball fans everywhere rejoice. Spring Training began over a month  ago, but nothing replaces the excitement of Opening Day.

College baseball is in full swing, and the pros are finally gearing up for their long and grueling schedule as well.

ESPN asked many of their experts who they believe are the favorites this year. Surprisingly, a lot of chatter has been made of the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League. Some have stated picks of the Detroit Tigers and there is a little support for the Los Angeles Angels.

National League picks have displayed a little more parity. Many analysts picked the Washington Nationals or the Cincinnati Reds and a few picked the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Don’t sleep on the St. Louis cardinals, however. They are a first class organization that always finds their way into the postseason and is always more than capable of making a magical postseason run.

Major League Baseball is a sport that many different people are attracted to. It may be a long season, but every game has importance for finishing positions when the season concludes.

Also, many college fans can continue the support of former players making their way through the system to play under the changing circuit that is Major League Baseball.

Arkansas has had a lot of success putting players in the major leagues. This list includes guys such as Drew Smyly, Cliff Lee and Blake Parker to name a few of the most recent men to make it into the league.

This is only a small sample of the Razorbacks who are now professionals, as many others are playing in the minor leagues across the country.

A recent change of expanding the playoffs has also added a little more significance and excitement to baseball. Many have criticized a one-game play in game that has already knocked a team out with a better record than the team who won (Braves/Cardinals).

Excitement is always a good selling point to attract more fans, to add to the already faithful and loyal ones throughout baseball’s rich history.

America’s pastime. It has a nice ring and flow to it. A game that demands a lot and sometimes gives very little back. A game in which it is considered successful when a person fails seven times out of 10. Major League Baseball puts on display the men who are the best at the trade.

Each team will play 162 games to determine the failure or success of their respective season.

Keeping up with the Razorback baseball team and constantly checking major league scores is a habit many will develop in the upcoming weeks. Who knows who will come out on top this year in both college and the pros.

Hog fans have an exciting time ahead with the Razorbacks off to a good start in Southeastern Conference play. Fans can continue the love of baseball throughout the summer and fall now that big-league baseball is back.

Zack Wheeler is a writer for the Arkansas Traveler. His column appears every Tuesday. Follow the sports section on Twitter @UATravSports.

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