Senior catcher Mike McKee is in Omaha, Neb., with the North Carolina baseball team for the College World Series. McKee will provide daily snapshots from Omaha to The News & Observer.
On the first day in Omaha, the Tar Heels got the rock-star treatment. An autograph session with fans, a standing ovation at the opening ceremonies -- Air Force parachutists dropping from the sky holding the UNC flag.
"[The opening ceremony] is really fun," McKee said. "You walk out, you get introduced as a team, with a highlight video playing.
"You walk in from center field so you're in front of all the fans, and they're going nuts."
The parachutists also brought in each team's flag to the stadium as part of the ceremony.
"That's really cool," McKee said.
Earlier in the day, McKee and the Tar Heels signed "probably about 300" autographs for fans who brought balls, T-shirts and hats -- and something more interesting.
"I signed a kid's face today. He asked for it. He had [signatures] all over his head, all over his face, on his cheek."
The Tar Heels did manage to get batting practice in the mix, as well, though rain forced them out of Rosenblatt Stadium and into nearby indoor cages.