In a game that features President Woodrow Wilson throwing out the first pitch, Washington's Walter Johnson gives up an unearned run in the first inning of the home opener, but the 'Big Train' will not yield another tally for 56 innings. The Senators beat the Yankees, formerly the Highlanders, since the franchise moved in 1903 from Baltimore to New York, 2-1.
During the sixth inning of an exhibition game against their minor league team at Ebbets Field, the Montreal Royals, Dodgers' president Branch Rickey issues a brief statement to the press. The two sentences will forever change the game when the team announces, "The Brooklyn Dodgers today purchased Jackie Roosevelt Robinson's contract from the Montreal Royals. He will report immediately."
On Opening Day, Nellie Fox, who goes 5-for-7, hits an unlikely two-run homer off Don Mossi in the top of the 14th inning to beat Detroit at Briggs Stadium, 9-7. The White Sox second baseman, called 'Mighty Mite' by his teammates, did not homer in 623 at-bats the last season.
In the last opener ever to be played at Griffith Stadium, rookie president JFK throws out the longest and hardest thrown ceremonial first pitch in history as the ball sails over the heads of the players lined up in front of the presidential box. The newly elected Commander in Chief, an avid Red Sox fan, stays for the entire game and sees the 'new' Washington Senators, the former team having moved to Minnesota, play their first game, losing to the White Sox, 4-3.
Wally Post hits the first home run in Dodger Stadium history, a two-out, three-run shot in the seventh inning over the center-field fence off Johnny Podres that proves to be the difference in Cincinnati's 6-3 victory. The left fielder's homer is a fair ball, unlike some others hit in Chavez Ravine, with the discovery the foul poles are positioned in foul territory, requiring special permission from the National League for balls down the line to be recognized as fair
In front of 52,564 fans, Reds infielder Eddie Kasko doubles off Johnny Podres in the first-ever at-bat at Dodger Stadium, and Duke Snider's single in the bottom of the second accounts for the home team's first hit. After the first four seasons at the LA Memorial Coliseum, the team drops a 6-3 decision to the Reds in the debut of the new $22-million ballpark in Chavez Ravine, financed with a two-percent interest loan from the Union Oil Company in exchange for exclusive rights to advertise within the stadium.
At Houston's Colt Stadium, thanks to a pair of three-run home runs by Roman Mejias, the Colt .45s defeat the Cubs in their first-ever major league game, 11-2. Former Yankee hurler Bobby Shantz gets the win for the new franchise on owner Judge Hofheinz's 50th birthday.
In the Red Sox' 7-3 win at Tiger Stadium, Carl Yastrzemski homers twice on the first day of the season, with one being an inside-the-park round-tripper. Marlins' third baseman Emilio Bonifacio will stroke the next Opening Day inside-the-park poke 41 years later when he circles the bases for a four-base hit against the Nationals at Dolphin Stadium.
Tommie Agee hits a monster shot into the stadium's top tier in left field, making the blast the longest home run to reach the seats in Shea Stadium history. The Mets place a disc in the Flushing ballpark's upper deck to commemorate the Mets center fielder's historic homer.
The largest crowd to attend a baseball in Pennsylvania witness the Phillies' first game at Veterans Stadium, despite temperatures in the low 40s. A chilled but enthusiastic 55,352 fans are on hand to see Jim Bunning throw the first pitch and Larry Bowa single for the park's first hit in Philadelphia's 4-1 defeat of the Expos.
A crowd of 39,464 chilly fans watches the first game at Royals Stadium and sees the home team rout the Rangers, 12-1. The ballpark, which will be renamed Kauffman Stadium in 1993 to honor the team's beloved owner, is recognized as one of the most beautiful ballparks in baseball.
With the bases loaded and the Brewers trailing the Yankees by three runs, Don Money blasts Dave Pagan's 1-0 pitch deep into the left-field bleachers, circling the bases for an apparent walk-off grand slam.
Billy Martin vehemently insists first base ump Jim McLean called a timeout before the pitch, leading to the play's nullification when the arbitrator admits he had, after denying the skipper's claim at first, in Milwaukee's eventual 9-7 heartbreaking loss.
After being granted his free agency in a landmark case that will forever change baseball, Andy Messersmith becomes one of the first major leaguers to use his new status to sign with a team of his choice. The former Dodger right-hander comes to terms with the Braves, posting a 16-15 record during his two-year tenure for his new club.
At Fenway Park, the Indians (13) and the Red Sox (6) established a major league record for the most runs scored by both teams in one inning. The eighth-inning barrage proves to be too much for Boston as Cleveland beats the home team, 19-9.
After yesterday's 10-2 Opening Day rout by the Blue Jays, White Sox owner Bill Veeck offers free admission to fans for tomorrow's Comiskey Park contest. The outcome will also be disappointing for the Southside fans when the Pale Hose allows six Toronto runs to score in the top of the eighth inning and lose the game, 9-7.
At the Astrodome, J.R. Richard, striking out 13 batters in a complete-game effort, sets the record for most wild pitches in a game, uncorking six in the Astros’ 2-1 victory over a win over the Dodgers. Braves' knuckleballer Phil Niekro will tie the Houston right-hander dubious mark later in the season, each surpassing Tiger rookie Charley Wheatley, who threw five in one frame in 1912.
Jon Matlack and Yankee southpaw Ron Guidry match zeroes for nine innings at Arlington Stadium's season opener. In the 12th, with his 1978 Opening Day nemesis, Richie Zisk, at the plate, Goose Gossage allows Mickey Rivers to score the game's only run from third base when his first and only pitch is wild, giving the Rangers a 1-0 victory.
On Opening Day, White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk, playing the first game of his career while not wearing a Red Sox uniform, makes a dramatic return to Fenway, hitting a three-run homer in the eighth to knot the score at 3-3. Chicago will tack on two more runs in the ninth, beating Boston, 5-3.
A crowd of 62,443 fans shows up with a game-time temperature of 38 degrees with a wind chill of 17 to see the Indians drop the season opener to the Rangers, 8-3. Before the game, the team removed five hundred tons of snow from the Municipal Stadium field.
Martha and the Vandellas' iconic hit Dancing in the Streets, recorded a couple of miles north of the ballpark twenty years ago at the Motown Studios, is finally played over the public address system at Tiger Stadium. Jim Campbell, Detroit's GM, who thought the lyrics might cause rowdiness in the stands, finally gives in to 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."
Cal Ripken sprains his left ankle during a pick-off play in the third inning of a game (444 of the streak) against the Rangers. The 'Iron man' does not leave the game, and X-rays taken later in the day will reveal no fractures.
Ken Griffey Jr., the youngest player in the majors, hits his first career homer on the first pitch he sees at his home ballpark, the Kingdome. The 19-year-old son of the Reds outfielder with the same name takes White Sox right-hander Eric King's offering deep on his father's 39th birthday.
Dave Stieb pitches his third one-hitter in his past four starts when the Blue Jays beat the Yankees in the Bronx, 8-0. The 30-year-old right-hander had also limited Baltimore and Cleveland to a lone hit during his last two starts the previous season.
At the SkyDome in Toronto, George Bush becomes the first U.S. president to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day in Canada. After the international toss, the Blue Jays beat the visiting Rangers, 2-1.
Detroit skipper Sparky Anderson decides to walk Wade Boggs intentionally three times, tying a major league mark for a nine-inning game. The Tigers' strategy pays off in preventing additional runs from scoring, but the team still drops a 4-2 decision to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Dave Eiland hits his only big-league home run in his first major league at-bat, becoming the first hurler to accomplish the feat while allowing a homer to the first batter he faced in the major leagues. In 1988, as a rookie for the Yankees, the Padres right-hander gave up a round-tripper to Paul Molitor, the first batter he faced in his big league debut.
Alex Fernandez, making his first appearance in Chicago since leaving the White Sox after signing with the Marlins as a free agent in the offseason, comes within two outs from pitching a no-hitter at Wrigley Field. Cubs' pinch-hitter Dave Hansen's infield hit off the pitcher's glove breaks up the no-no, but the right-hander's one-hitter hands the Northsiders a 1-0 loss, with the team falling to 0-8, the worst start in the club's 122-year history.
"Well I love that dirty water
Oh, Boston, you're my home
(Oh, you're the number one place)."
Following the lead of the NHL's Bruins and the NFL's Patriots, the Red Sox begin playing Ed Cobb's Dirty Water, a song by the Standells known for its iconic lyrics, 'Boston you're my home,' after the home team wins. The tune's debut at Fenway Park is memorable when the team's victory anthem plays with Mo Vaughn circling the bases following his walk-off grand slam, giving the BoSox, who had entered the frame trailing by five runs, an improbable 9-7 walk-off victory over Seattle.
Trailing Arizona 4-2 at Qualcomm Stadium with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Steve Finley erases the two-run deficit with a walk-off grand slam. The Padres' center fielder, who will accomplish the feat again in 2004, hits the game-ending round-tripper off Felix Rodriguez.
Ken Griffey Jr. becomes the youngest player in major league history to hit 400 home runs when he goes deep into the left-field seats off Rolando Arrojo in the fourth inning of the Reds' 7-5 loss to Colorado at Coors Field. Thirty-year-old Junior reaches the milestone 107 days younger than Jimmie Foxx, who accomplished the feat in 1938 playing with the Red Sox.
Astros' outfielder Craig Biggio breaks Bobby Bonds' National League record when he hits his 31st career leadoff homer, a shot off Cincinnati's Danny Graves in Houston's 4-2 victory at Minute Maid Park. Rickey Henderson holds the major league mark, homering 80 times as the first batter for his team.
In a 7-6 victory over the Cardinals at Coors Field, the Rockies turned the first triple play in club history. With Scott Rolen on second base and Tino Martinez on first, Colorado's first baseman Todd Helton catches Orlando Palmeiro's soft liner for the first out and then throws the ball to shortstop Jose Hernandez, who steps on second for the second out and then tags Martinez to complete the triple killing.
During the Devil Rays' home opener, a snippet of More Cowbell, a skit from Saturday Night Live, originally aired in the spring of 2000, is shown at Tropicana Field. The video clip, suggested by the team's new principal owner Stuart Sternberg, will inspire the Tampa Bay fans to start the tradition of clanging bells at the ballpark during games.
Rather than exploit the free-agent market next season, David Ortiz agrees to a $52 million, four-year contract extension with the Red Sox. The deal, which keeps the popular designated hitter in Boston until 2010, also contains a team option for 2011.
After four days of weather-induced postponements, including blinding snow and sub-freezing temperatures, the Cleveland Indians play their home opener on the road, beating the Angels at Miller Park in Milwaukee, 7-6. The last time a series changed venues, the games were played in U.S. Cellular Field when the Marlins hosted the Expos in Chicago due to Hurricane Ivan hitting Miami in September of 2004.
After praising Fidel Castro in a magazine interview, the Marlins suspends their manager Ozzie Guillen for five games. The comments of the outspoken skipper deeply offended the large Cuban exile community living in Miami, many of them victimized by the dictator.
The Indians announce Carlos Santana has signed a five-year extension, with a club option for a sixth year, reportedly worth $21 million. The 26-year-old catcher joins the team's shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who signed a two-year extension last week with the Tribe, as a player with less than three years of service locked up through their arbitration-eligible years.
Vin Scully misses the Dodgers' home opener for the first time in 35 years when doctors order the 84-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster to rest as he recovers from a bad cold. The last time the team's play-by-play announcer was absent from the season's first home game, he was on assignment, calling the first round of the Masters in 1977.
The Red Sox regular-season span of 794 sellouts ends when a less-than-capacity crowd attends the team's 8-5 loss to the Orioles at Fenway Park, easily surpassing the previous baseball record of 455 full houses at Jacobs Field, established by the Indians from 1995 to 2001. The addition of postseason games brings the total to 820, surpassing the Portland Trailblazers' mark of 814 consecutive sold-out contests, making Boston's stretch the longest in major professional sports history.
For the first time since 1914, a starting pitcher whiffed ten batters without finishing the fourth frame when 24-year-old sophomore hurler Danny Salazar strikes out ten White Sox batters in 3.2 innings in the Indians' loss at U.S. Cellular Field. The right-hander gives up five earned runs and six hits and gets all his outs via the strikeout, except for Adam Eaton, who is thrown out at second base, trying to stretch a single into a double for the first out in the third inning.
Cubs Travis Wood and Tyler Matzek of the Rockies hit eighth in their team's lineup, marking just the 12th time in major league history that mound opponents have not batted ninth in the same game. The last occurrence happened in 2008 when the Cardinals, led by Tony La Russa, who frequently employed his hurler in that slot, played the Pirates.
Mark Buehrle becomes the 113th pitcher in major league history to win 200 games when he hurls six solid innings in Toronto's 12-5 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards. The 36-year-old southpaw, who has also played for the White Sox and Marlins, is the second pitcher to reach the milestone while wearing a Blue Jays uniform, joining Roger Clemens, who accomplished the feat in 1997.
At Great American Ball Park, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman throws a 101 mph fastball by Matt Holliday to get the last out in the team's 5-4 victory over St. Louis, making the fireballer the leader in saves by a Cuban-born player with 115. The 27-year-old Holguin native surpasses Pinar del Rio's Danys Baez, who, beginning in 2001, closed for six teams during his ten-year tenure in the major leagues.
The Red Sox need six hours and 49 minutes to beat New York at Yankee Stadium, making the contest the longest game in franchise history. The 19-inning victory lasted 14 minutes longer than a 2001 loss to the Rangers in Texas.
Wil Myers completes the second cycle in Padres' history when he triples in the top of the 8th inning of the team's 5-3 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field. The 26-year-old first baseman joins Matt Kemp, who accomplished the feat two seasons ago after the franchise had gone 35 years without one.