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The Connection Between 3:30 AM and 3:58 PM

March 20, 2019

Do you think it will be an early Spring?

I’m predicting March 21st.

-Groundhog Day

Okay, so today is March 20th. But, it really is the first day of Spring. There’s no argument on that. But, what time did Spring officially begin, 3:30 am or 3:58 pm? (Mountain Time Zone, because. . .Utah.)

There’s a great argument to be made for 3:58 pm. Spring starts at the Spring Equinox which is also known as the Vernal Equinox. That’s the moment at which the sun is directly above the equator.

You can calculate the exact moment when the sun is directly over the equator. Although, when you consider that the sun is many times bigger than the earth, the Spring Equinox is really when the earth is situated such that a line perpendicular to the earth at the equator points at the center of the sun.

But, yeah, it’s easier to just say the sun is directly above the equator.

Anyway, today at 3:58 pm the sun was directly above the equator. So, start of Spring, right?


But, an even more important indicator of Spring happened at 3:30 am this morning. It didn’t happen at the equator though. It happened 2,466 miles north of the equator and 5,498 miles from my home in Pleasant Grove. At 3:30 am this morning in Tokyo, Japan, Spring really started. It wasn’t 3:30 am in Tokyo, of course. It was 6:30 pm.

And Spring started when Kazuhiro Sasaki threw a baseball 60’6″ to catcher Kenji Johjima. And Ricky Henderson was standing in the batter’s box.

It wasn’t the official start of the MLB season. That came a few minutes later when Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales threw a baseball 60’6″ to catcher Omar Narvaez. Oakland A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano was standing at the plate.

And with that, the 2019 Major League Baseball season was underway. And for stickball fans everywhere, Spring was officially started.

So, you can track the seasons by the movement of the planet and the stars (hey, the sun is a star) or even by some basketball tournament that apparently starts in a few days. But, for me, Spring started when nine men took their places around a square called a diamond and a guy in a black hat yelled:


(Oh, Mariners won 9-7)

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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