Category: Opening Day

Mitch Williams walks the bases full then surrenders two 12th-inning runs in the season opener against Montreal

1994 – Mitch Williams walks the bases full then surrenders two 12th-inning runs in the season opener against Montreal. Ken Caminiti’s two-run double ends a dramatic three-run comeback for a 6-5 Houston triumph. Astros debut new navy and gold uniforms with the leaning star.  

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Tuffy Rhodes hits 3 straight on opening day

On April 4, 1994, journeyman outfielder Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes of the Chicago Cubs blasts three home runs on Opening Day. Victimizing New York Mets right-hander Dwight Gooden, Rhodes becomes the first player in history to hit home runs in his first three at-bats of the season. In spite of Rhodes’ unexpected home run barrage, the Cubs lose the game, 12-8…

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At Mile High Stadium, the Colorado Rockies beat the Montreal Expos, 11 – 4, for their first victory ever and set a National League record for attendance in their home debut. The crowd of 80,227 breaks the NL record of 78,672 set on April 18, 1958, by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

At Mile High Stadium, the Colorado Rockies beat the Montreal Expos, 11 – 4, for their first victory ever and set a National League record for attendance in their home debut. The crowd of 80,227 breaks the NL record of 78,672 set on April 18, 1958, by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Mets clout 6 homeruns on opening day

On April 4, 1988, the New York Mets set an Opening Day record by clouting six home runs in a 10-6 win over the Montreal Expos. Kevin McReynolds and Darryl Strawberry each bang out a pair of home runs at Olympic Stadium. Estimates place Strawberry’s second home run at 525 feet…

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Martha and the Vandellas’ iconic hit Dancing in the Streets played as Tigers win home opener

Martha and the Vandellas’ iconic hit Dancing in the Streets, which was recorded a couple of miles north of the ballpark twenty years ago at the Motown Studios, finally is played over the public address system at Tiger Stadium. Jim Campbell, the Detroit’s GM who thought the lyrics might cause rowdiness in the stands, finally gives into the wishes of his younger fans, resulting in a ballpark tradition of the crowd cheering when Martha Reeves belts out the immortal words,“Can’t Forget the Motor City.”

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1980 – On Opening Day at County Stadium, Sixto Lezcano hits a grand slam off Dick Drago with two outs in the 9th inning, to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 9 – 5 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Lezcano also opened the 1978 season with a grand slam, becoming the first player in major league history to do it twice on Opening Day.

1980 – On Opening Day at County Stadium, Sixto Lezcano hits a grand slam off Dick Drago with two outs in the 9th inning, to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 9 – 5 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Lezcano also opened the 1978 season with a grand slam, becoming the first player in major league history to do it twice on Opening Day.

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Veeck offers free admision

On April 10, 1979, Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck offers fans free admission to the next home game after his team’s unimpressive debut on Opening Day. The White Sox’ 10-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays prompts the unusual action by Veeck…

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The Toronto Blue Jays play their first game ever

At Exhibition Stadium, the Toronto Blue Jays play their first game ever with a victory against the Chicago White Sox, 9 – 5. In his first major league at-bat Toronto’s Al Woods becomes the first player to pinch-hit a home run on Opening Day and rookie Doug Ault homers twice, in the 1st and 5th innings, off Francisco Barrios. Snowflakes are seen during the game.

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Opening Day postponed after Martin Luther King, Jr assasinated

On April 8, 1968, the major leagues decide to postpone Opening Day because of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. With 11 black players on their roster, the Pittsburgh Pirates vote not to play games on Monday – the day of the scheduled opener – or Tuesday. The Pirates will open the season on Wednesday. The National Football League plays their games on the day of King’s assassination and are criticized for the decision.

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Before a crowd of 50,671 at Fulton County Stadium, the Braves play their first game in Atlanta after moving from Milwaukee. Joe Torre hits two home runs for the Braves, but Willie Stargell spoils the occasion with a two-run homer in the 13th inning to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 3 – 2 victory.

1966 – Before a crowd of 50,671 at Fulton County Stadium, the Braves play their first game in Atlanta after moving from Milwaukee. Joe Torre hits two home runs for the Braves, but Willie Stargell spoils the occasion with a two-run homer in the 13th inning to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 3 – 2 victory.

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The Twins, formerly known as the Washington Senators before moving to Minnesota, play their first home game, losing to the ‘new’ expansion Washington Senators, 5-3 in front of a crowd of 24,606 at Metropolitan Stadium. The club’s move to the North Star State will attract 1,256,723 fans, third best in the American League, and far better than their last season in the nation’s capital, where the team drew only 743,404 fans, the worst gate in the league.

The Twins, formerly known as the Washington Senators before moving to Minnesota, play their first home game, losing to the ‘new’ expansion Washington Senators, 5-3 in front of a crowd of 24,606 at Metropolitan Stadium. The club’s move to the North Star State will attract 1,256,723 fans, third best in the American League, and far better than their last season in the nation’s capital, where the team drew only 743,404 fans, the worst gate in the league.

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