MLB.com Columnist

Megan Zahneis

First-timers ready to seize the (Opening) Day

First-timers ready to seize the (Opening) Day

Ken and Roanna Naquin cracked their first Opening Day roster this year.

So did Heather and Brian White, and Julie and Jeff Shaw.

These proud parents will be living vicariously through their sons -- Tyler Naquin, Tyler White and Travis Shaw -- who will don uniforms for the Indians, Astros and Red Sox for the first time.

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But it's an achievement for the parents, as well as the son.

Eugenio Suarez's parents and wife will fly in from their native Venezuela for the occasion.

Whit Merrifield, a Royals' roster hopeful, fantasizes about calling his former ballplayer father with the news.

Matt Bowman was told he'd be starting the season on the Cardinals' 25-man roster. He celebrated by taking the scenic route back to the clubhouse after being given the good news from manager Mike Matheny, dialing his mom as he walked and allowing himself "to smile a little bit."

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White's first call after getting the news from Astros manager A.J. Hinch was also to his parents, who, in a 21st-century twist of fate, had already read it on Twitter.

"It's not every day your son's dreams come true," a tearful Heather White said.

"We knew he definitely had a shot," said Brian, Tyler's father. "We felt like he did. It's a business, too, so you've got to keep that consideration, and talking to Tyler about a week and a half ago, it was like, 'You don't want to get your hopes up too much, because it just makes the heartbreak that much worse.'"

Reymond Fuentes of the Royals hopes to share tears of joy with his father as well.

"My dad was the first person to put a bat in my hand, when I was four years old, and ever since he's kept pushing me and giving me the support to be a good baseball player," Fuentes said. "He has a lot to do with my career."

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Shaw has a made-for-the-movies story as well: He's slated to make his Red Sox debut at Progressive Field, just 30 minutes from where the Ohio native went to school at Kent State University.

"I'm sure there will be a lot of family that comes up Monday," Shaw said. "To have it be in Cleveland ... if it's not in Boston, Cleveland would probably be the second-best place."

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Bowman, for one, is ready to seize the day.

"My attitude the whole time has been to be prepared to throw whenever they ask me to," Bowman said. "And I'll stop when they take the ball away from me."

Megan Zahneis is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.