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Happy Opening Day! We’ve seen: Buster Posey’s familiar flair for heroics; Jose Fernandez and Mike Trout picking up where they left off; close games all day and night; our first walk-offs thanks to an Alex Gonzalez single in the ninth for Detroit and then a 10th-inning homer by Neil Walker to provide the only run in Pittsburgh; the first time since 1953 Cincinnati was shut out at home on Opening Day; our first grand slam by Jimmy Rollins; the first overturned call due to Replay Review after a Fredi Gonzalez challenge; successful managerial debuts for Brad Ausmus and Matt Williams; big offense from the Giants and Mariners; Nyjer Morgan beating Oakland with his bat and glove; a great pitcher’s duel in Cincinnati, brilliant debuts with new clubs such as Nelson Cruz for Baltimore and Jose Abreu for the White Sox; our first run-scoring wild pitch; our first immediate comeback from 6-0 down; and of course first excessive use of ketchup and mustard on hot dogs. Here is an ongoing look from MLB.com’s Mark Newman at game-by-game firsts in today’s 13 openers . . . (more…)
We counted down to Opening Day on this MLB.com blog starting in January, we tracked all the firsts throughout MLB Opening Series at Sydney, and now we keep going through Opening Night and then all Opening Week extravaganzas. Join MLB.com’s Mark Newman here, follow Dodgers-Padres live with MLB.com Gameday and on ESPN.
After more than 50 days of an Opening Day Countdown Down Under, we’ve put up some new decorations on this blog for the regular season and we introduce you to Grand Openings — part of the overall MLB.com coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2014 season-openers. It all starts with the historic MLB Opening Series happening now in Sydney, Australia, so let’s look at some of the first firsts:
Ozzie Smith left his mark on Opening Day as No. 1, and his No. 1 priority right now is making Opening Day a national holiday. The good news is, he and baseball fans just completed the first step in the process.
At exactly 8 p.m. ET today, the Budweiser MLB Opening Day Holiday Petition with Ozzie Smith campaign reached its goal of 100,000 signatures within 30 days. Fittingly enough it happened on this special Ozzie Day, meaning Budweiser and the Cardinals legend will be taking a big next step, soon requiring Administration response. Toasts could be in order. (more…)
He wore No. 3 for only seven seasons, but boy did he wear it big.
Babe Ruth already had hit 470 of his 714 home runs by Opening Day in 1929, when the Yankees and Indians became the first Major League Baseball clubs to regularly wear jersey numbers on their backs. (Go back to our 8 Days post for more on that history.) Just as Opening Day is where you begin any regular season, it also is where you begin any discussion of The Bambino as a player, so we are going to focus on his annual beginnings as we tick down to a new MLB season in only three days at Sydney. (more…)
Every day was Lou Gehrig’s domain.
Opening Day was his specialty.
The Iron Horse played in 2,130 consecutive games for the Yankees, and very possibly would have kept on going right up to World War II had he not been cut down by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Gehrig started every Opening Day from 1926-39, hitting safely and generally doing significant damage with the exception of 0-fers in his final two openers. Most importantly within his world at the time, the Bronx Bombers won seven of his first eight Opening Days, usually on their way to something big. (more…)
The 2014 Major League Baseball regular season begins on Saturday with the Opening Series in Sydney, Australia, and five days out we give a standing ovation in our hearts to Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Bench, George Brett, Hank Greenberg and Lou Boudreau. We remember all those times going to the ballpark to watch Nomar Garciaparra at Fenway and Jeff Bagwell in Houston. We think of Opening Days past and present for National Leaguers in uniform now: David Wright, Carlos Gonzalez and Freddie Freeman. (more…)
Let’s start today’s post off with a little music.
Less than a week to go until the historic Major League Baseball Opening Series between the Dodgers and D-backs at the Sydney Cricket Grounds in Australia, and No. 6 in this long countdown takes us back to the days of Steve Garvey at first for the Dodgers, Tony Oliva in right for the Twins, Willie Wilson in center for the Royals, Paul Blair in his heyday for the Orioles, Roy White at second for the Yankees, Rico Petrocelli at third for Boston, and J.T. Snow at first for the Angels and then the Giants.