If spring training signifies a rebirth or new beginning for each major league team, Opening Day is like each team's first day at school.
Following several weeks of resting, relaxing and preparing for the grind of the regular season in Florida or Arizona, once-coddled pitchers are thrust into the fire of live-game situations, while hitters are expected to produce right off the bat.
But there's plenty of pomp and circumstance to go along with the start of the season, as well. Follow along as we take you through 10 amazing images from baseball's Opening Day.
Fireworks soar over the Fenway Park press box before Sunday's opening game of the Major League Baseball season between the Red Sox and Yankees. (Elise Amendola, AP)
Anthony Pesca of the Bronx leads his two sons Dominic, 7, and Mario, 6, toward the entrance at Citi Field in New York for the Mets' season opener against the Florida Marlins. (Kathy Willens, AP)
A member of the grounds crew scrubs home plate before Monday's game between the Rockies and Brewers in Milwaukee. (Jeffrey Phelps, AP)
President Barack Obama shakes hands with children in the stands after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the Washington Nationals' opening game against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Alex Brandon, AP)
Former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, left, greets Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky at Fenway Park in Boston after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Sunday night's opening game against the Yankees. (Elise Amendola, AP)
St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols blasts the first of two Opening Day home runs against the Cincinnati Reds. Pujols went 4-for-5 with four runs and three RBIs in the Cardinals' 11-6 victory. (David Kohl, AP)
It seems a touch early, even for the Royals, but outfielder David DeJesus officially gives up on the 2010 season in just the fifth inning of the team's opening game. Really, though, DeJesus steals second base, but the Royals still lose 8-4 at home to the Detroit Tigers. (Orlin Wagner, AP)
Braves outfielder Nate McClouth dives safely into first base during his team's 16-5 triumph Monday over the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field in Atlanta. (Rich Addicks, AP)
Pirates closer Octavio Dotel rears back to throw in the ninth inning of his side's 11-5 Opening Day win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
(Gene J. Puskar, AP)
New Angel Hideki Matsui pops out in the first inning of L.A.'s opener Monday night against the Minnesota Twins. (Jae C. Hong, AP)
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