Remember when the Braves accidentally set the American flag on fire?
Matt Cain walking Batkid to the mound at AT&T Park to throw out the first pitch at today’s Giants-Diamondbacks game.
Image courtesy of @SINow
Mariano Rivera (left) and Andy Pettitte (right) throwing the ceremonial first pitch to Derek Jeter (2) and Jorge Posada
April 7, 2014
Jeff Idelson, Opening Day 1992
Idelson is now the president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame
If you’re a Dodgers fan, you may want to try it at a little league game. (via)
If you’re a Nationals fan you might want to buy several people some healthcare coverage, too.
Us A’s fans can propose just for shits and giggles.
Really Rays? For $500 Ben Zobrist better come to my wedding.
How has no one mentioned that the Angels, Blue Jays, Orioles, Mets, and Royals simply hate love?
In this interactive map, explore every team’s payroll — and more — just in time for the MLB’s opening day.
This is fantastic.
2014 MLB Anniversaries
Of course the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field is top on the minds of MLB this season but there are a few other interesting (and ignominious) anniversaries this season:
- 1919 - Chicago White Sox throw the ‘19 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds
- 1924 - Washington, D.C. wins it’s one, and so far, only World Series
- 1934 - The Cardinals’ Gas House Gang beats the Tigers in the World Series
- 1939 - On July 4, the Yankees will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech
- 1954 - Willie Mays’ catch
- 1969 - 45th anniversary of the Miracle Mets
- 1974 - Hank Aaron passes Babe Ruth on April 8
- 1979 - Thurman Munson dies in a airplane crash on August 3
- 1984 - The Tigers win the World Series after leading the AL from wire-to-wire
- 1989 - An earthquake interrupts game 3 of the BART series (Giants vs. A’s)
- 1994 - Baseball players’ strike ends the season early and cancels the World Series for the first time since 1905
- 1999 - This awesome All-Star Game moment (Jump to 36:10)
- 2004 - Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918
Not a complete list but we’re OK with that.
(Image of Weeghman Field in 1914, became Cubs Park in 1916 and Wrigley Field in 1926 courtesy)
Albert Pujols opens 2014 with 492 home runs.
Other milestones of note:
- Pujols needs 2 RBI to reach 1,500
- Adrian Beltre will surpass 2,500 hits and 500 doubles this year
- Adam Dunn needs 86 strikeouts to move into 3rd place all-time (passing Sammy Sosa)
- Bartolo Colon (needs 11) and Mark Buehrle (14) are nearing 200 wins
- CC Sabathia is looking for 111 whiffs to earn #2500, moving him into the top 30 all-time
- Joe Nathan needs nine saves to reach 350 and move into 9th place in MLB history
For more fascinating info, check out Baseball-Reference.com’s Milestone Watch page.
For the first time since Jackie Robinson’s number was retired by Major League Baseball on April 15, 1997 no player will wear the number on Opening Day.
And just a reminder of what’s on tap for Monday, March 31:
(All times EDT, because East Coast Bias)
Cubs (Samardzija) at Pirates (Liriano) - 1:05 - ESPN
Royals (Shields) at Tigers (Verlander) - 1:08 FREE on MLB.tv
Nationals (Strasburg) at Mets (Gee) - 1:10
Phillies (Lee) at Rangers (Sheppers) - 2:05
Braves (Teheran) at Brewers (Gallardo) - 2:10
Red Sox (Lester) at Orioles (Tillman) - 3:05 ESPN2
Twins (Nolasco) at White Sox (Sale) - 4:10
Cardinals (Wainwright) at Reds (Cueto) - 4:10 ESPN
Blue Jays (Dickey) at Rays (Price) - 4:10
Rockies (De La Rosa) at Marlins (Fernandez) - 7:05 ESPN 2
Giants (Bumgarner) at D’Backs (McCarthy) - 9:40
Indians (Masterson) at A’s (Gray) - 10:05
Mariners (Hernandez) at Angels (Weaver) - 10:05 ESPN2
(Image is copyright MLB and courtesy of Topps.com)
Listening on the radio for play-by-play,
I hear, “Welcome to Opening Day”.
Despite cold temperatures for today’s game,
A sellout crowd has came.
I turn my attention to the bullpen.
The starting pitcher is number 10.
Managers present line-ups
Pitcher throws warm up.
Umpire yells, “Play Ball!”
Fielders heed the call.
Innings one, two and three,
No score too be.
Visitors come alive
Back-to-back singles down the line.
Sacrifice fly - position nine.
No one at fault,
But one run results.
Still not too late.
The home team takes their swings.
A base hit and stolen base, leadoff would bring.
Will this one get a hit?
No, second base smothers it.
Fly ball and a play at the plate.
A perfect throw ends the eighth.
I review the pitcher’s stats,
As the visitors come to bat.
Four straight balls and a walk,
Pitching coach comes out too talk.
A new pitcher trots to the mound.
Three feared sluggers shut down.
Bottom of the ninth,
Climax at its height.
An error on a bad hop.
Line drive over shortstop.
Fans express belief,
Even with the closer now in relief.
Double off the fence.
The crowd is in suspense.
Rounding third, anxiously awaiting the final word.
This is what I heard.
“Here comes the winning run”,
Safe! and “That’s a winner” 2-1.
Spectators approve with a deafening roar,
Seconds later, fireworks would soar.
Baseball and America’s pastime is my reason,
I think I’ll go to another game this season.
|—||Don Angel (via juniusworth)|