One of the things I've enjoyed most about playing the home opener in recent years has been receiving a Gold Glove Award.
I'm receiving my sixth consecutive Gold Glove at this year's opener in Oakland on Monday. It never gets old.
People ask me which of the Gold Glove Awards means the most to me. Obviously, the first on was special, but in some respects, the run of six consecutive awards makes each one of them more special than the previous one.
Last year was a bit different because I went through a lot of injuries and I fought to stay on the field, health-wise. Defensively, I was still able to impact the game even though I was struggling offensively. This award demonstrates that a player can still impact a game in a positive way from the defensive side.
The home opener is always fun, anyway, because of the additional energy and excitement. It's really like a circus atmosphere.
It will be great to introduce our new players to our crowd, to get them acquainted with our team, but after having already opened the season on the road (in Seattle) and settled into our everyday baseball routine, it will be good to get that first home game over.
It doesn't matter whether we open at home or on the road, really. For us, every game is important. Of course you want to play well in front of your own fans, but really you want to play well wherever you play and get off to a good start. The good part about being home is that the fans will be really excited and give us a boost.
We play three pretty good teams on our first homestand -- the White Sox, Yankees and Angels. They're tough teams to play, but also fun teams to play because of the great competition. The White Sox won the World Series in 2005, the Yankees are expected to win one every year and the Angels are one of our great rivals, so it will be a lot of fun.
Eric Chavez, who began his string of consecutive Gold Glove Awards in 2001, is just the third AL third baseman to win six or more of the coveted awards.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.