Baseball is back! You waited patiently through the always-interminable offseason, and although Spring Training frequently provides enjoyable morsels, you want the real deal.
Well, that’s what today (and tomorrow) is all about. Six teams open up their seasons today, so I think that counts at Opening Day? The line has become blurred over the years, with the appearance of the Sunday Night “Opening Night” game, and now two other games today. I think MLB is calling tomorrow “Opening Day,” but, well, baseball returns today. So we’re going with that.
And with that in mind, I thought it would be fun to share a handful of incredible moments from Opening Days over the years.
There was the time Mo Vaughn capped off an incredible 9th inning comeback against the Mariners with a walk-off grand slam:
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There was the time just a couple years ago that Yoenis Cespedes (then a Tiger) robbed a homer for David Price (also then a Tiger – yup, they were both Tigers on Opening Day two years ago):
Probably my favorite Opening Day play, though, is one of the best defensive plays in history. No exaggeration. It’s *THE* Mark Buehrle play:
I can’t stop watching that play. I freaking love it.
And sometimes, your Opening Day breakout is the one starring moment of your big league career:
That’s Cubs outfielder Tuffy Rhodes going deep three times on Opening Day 1994, who would go on to homer just five more times in that strike-shortened season. He hit .234/.318/.387 on the season, and washed out of MLB in 1995. So much for the Opening Day homer barrage.
But it’s not all sad news for Rhodes! He went on to become a monster slugger in Japan, clubbing 464(!) homers over the course of 13 seasons (presumably some of those homers coming on Opening Days).