MLB's 'Wizard of Oz,' Budweiser team up to make opening day a national holiday

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by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

azfamily.com

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Poll:
Poll: Should Major League Baseball's opening day be a national holiday?

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- 3TV went behind the scenes of a Budweiser commercial being shot locally in downtown Chandler.

The star was Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, "Mr. Shortstop," himself, Ozzie Smith, aka The Wizard of Oz. He and the beer giant hope to make opening day a national holiday.

I asked him how many people say no to this idea.

"Not very many people," he answered. There are some 22 million people that have admitted they have played hooky at some point of time on opening day."

The push is to get enough signatures online to let Congress know people are serious about the idea.

A petition to declare Major League Baseball opening day a national holiday is online at petitions.whitehouse.gov.

"MLB Opening Day is more than just the beginning of the season," reads the petition page. "It’s a symbol of rebirth. The coming of spring. The return of America's national pastime. It’s a state of mind where anything is possible.

"It’s a day that, for generations, has been looked forward to by baseball fans every off-season. It’s an American tradition, and it deserves to be recognized as an American holiday. "

As of Wednesday morning, nearly 58,000 people agreed. Created on Feb. 24,  the petition needs 100,000 signatures by March 26.

"We're working real hard at getting that 100,000 signatures, which after we get all those, I'll take them to Washington D.C., and they have to take a look at it," Smith said.

The commercial had several locals as extras and is supposed to be finished by the middle of March. It’ll be available on the Web at budweiser.com/openingday.

Following a special two-day opening series that pits the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks against each other in Sydney, MLB's opening day here at home is March 31.

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