The MLB Opening Day is here and what better way to celebrate the return to the field and the beginning of the new season, than with a look at the TOP FIVE games which have made Opening Days so memorable.
April 18, 1923: Yankees 4, Red Sox 1
We begin our list with one a very special Opening Day for the New York Yankees.
The Yankees Stadium would have its Grand Opening on Opening Day, hosting the Red Sox.
Legendary Yankees’ player Babe Ruth would christen it with his three homeruns to take the Yankees to a 4 – 1 win.
The ballpark would go on to become synonymous with the legend, being called the ‘The House That Ruth Built’
What’s more, the Yankees would go on to win their very first World Series that season, the first of 27 championships.
April 15, 1947: Dodgers 5, Braves 3
Our second pick for most memorable MLB Opening Days is the historic debut of Jackie Robinson.
It was a wonderful spring day when Jack ‘Jackie’ Roosevelt Robinson took up his position on First Base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
His steps on to the Ebbets Field would create great strides to break racial discrimination of black players in baseball, and their gradual inclusion in the largely white dominated Major League.
Over 26,000 people were attendance and they watched as the Dodgers came back from kicking up the dust at the end of the seventh to score three times and eventually win 5 – 3 against the Atlanta Braves.
Robinson would be the player who scored Dodgers’ go-ahead run.
April 4, 1974: Reds 7, Braves 6
Third on our list is an historic Opening Day display by the 1970s Cincinnati Reds versus the Atlanta Braves.
Braves’ Right Fielder, Hank ‘Hammerin’’ Aaron would score his 714th homerun, tying with Yankee’s legend Babe Ruth’s Homer all-time record. It came in the Red’s first inning.
That wasn’t all this Opening Day game could offer its fans though. How about a massive comeback late in the game?
The Reds were trailing the Braves by four when the game entered its 8th inning. It would be the future Hall of Famer Tony Perez that would put the ‘Big Red Machine’ in gear.
Perez would crack three-run homers at the end of 8th, managing to bringing the Reds within just a run of parity.
Pete Rose would join in on the momentum managing to rope in a double at centerfield to bring the game to a tie.
Charlie Hustle would crack another double and then his homerun would deliver the win to the Reds.
April 4, 2005: Rockies 12, Padres 10
Fast forward into the 21st Century and we’ve got the cat and mouse chase of the Rockies vs Padres in early April.
The first five innings of their Opening Day game saw the Rockies roll over the Padres 7 – 3. The Padres’ faith was not broken though and their would dominate the top 5th with five to make it 8 – 7.
Shaken by the Padres’ resurgence, the Rockies would regain their mojo and deliver a solid performance to tie the game at the bottom of the 6th.
It Gets Tense
Padres would sneak in two homers at the top of the 7th. Both teams had seven homers each at this point but that’s not where the story ends.
The bottom of the 9th would see the Padres lead 10 – 8. To put the game to bed, Padres would send out Trevor Hoffman. While he managed two outs, taking out Cory Sullivan and Aaron Miles, it wouldn’t be enough.
Rockies would send on Clint Barnes who would go on to deliver two walk-off homers which gave them the big ‘W’ 12 – 10.
April 2, 2017: D-backs 6, Giants 5
In our fifth and final highlight of the MLB Opening Day games, we’re looking at a duel of pitchers in the Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Francisco Giants game.
The field just wasn’t big enough for the two of them!
The first act of the game saw the San Francisco Giants Pitcher Madison Bumgarner take the stage and deliver 11 strikeouts across seven innings. He even managed to outlast his fellow Diamondback pitching ace Zack Greinke.
When he got to slugging, he made Opening Day history by managing to deliver two homeruns in an Opening Day game.
Trail goes cold
Like Rocky would say, it’s not over until it’s over. With the Diamondbacks trailing by a run towards the end of the 9th, they managed to pull themselves back with a double from Jeff Mathis, a single from Daniel Descalso, which tied the game.
Chris Owings would provide a walk-off base hit which sealed up the game for the Diamondbacks.
That’s FIVE of the best Opening Day games in Major League Baseball. Do you agree with our list? What other Opening Day games should we have covered?