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In Cincinnati, It's Just Thursday

Among the sadder sights in a world without baseball will be the barren stretch of asphalt that is Race Street in downtown Cincinnati at midday Thursday. There will be no marching bands, no pickup trucks carrying grand marshal commissioner Rob Manfred, parade ambassador Johnny Bench and Reds pitchers Sonny Gray and Anthony DeSclafani, no kids cutting school the way their parents and grandparents did, and no restorative powers that come with the return of baseball on a day forecast to be 67 degrees and partly sunny.

Opening Day is the longest-running and perhaps most meaningful societal ritual in American professional sports.