Baseball is back and, judging by what we saw on Thursday, quite possibly better than ever. On an Opening Day when all 30 MLB franchises were scheduled to play for the first time (and 26 actually did), mayhem was expected and insanity was delivered, literally from the very first pitch. So if you, contributing member of the American workforce, missed any of the ridiculous October-in-April highlights, don't worry, we're here to help, breaking down the biggest moments from the first best (and best first?) day in baseball.
Ian Happ Swings First, Asks Questions Later
What's the best possible way to start an MLB season? SURVEY SAYS: A first pitch dingah! Just ask little-known Cubs leadoff man Ian Happ who blasted a homer off Jose Urena on the very. first. pitch. of. the. season. In other news, it's going to be a long, longgggg year for the Marlins.
The Bronx Hypetrain Leaves the Station
Ask any Yankees fan for the time, and they'll tell you all about how, thanks to the addition of Giancarlo Stanton to an Aaron Judge-lineup playing 81 games in one of the most homer-friendly parks in America, the Bronx Bombers are back with an atomic payload in tow. Yesterday, Stanton made good on that promise, becoming one of two Yanks to ever belt two home runs on Opening Day. The other? Roger Maris, who you've probably heard of.
White Sox Go Boom
In case you forgot, Chicago actually has two baseball teams, and while Happ's homer was the highlight of the day, the White Sox's feat was actually more impressive, matching the 1988 Mets for the most home runs on Opening Day with six. Down 4-0 to the Royals in the fourth, Matt Davidson—the apparent victim of a radioactive spider bite—went on to belt three home runs in five innings while Tim Anderson tacked on a pair of his own, leading the White Sox to a very Purdue vs. Illinois final score of 14-7.
The Orioles Walk it Off...AGAIN
Camden Yards. Bottom of the 11th. Game tied at 2-2. TURN UP THE ADAM JONES. But if you think that's crazy, get a load of this: The Orioles have now won their Opening Day game on a walk-off for the third season in a row, extending their consecutive Opening Day win streak to a MLB-leading eight. Needless to say, you don't want to see these guys on the schedule in March 2019.
And So Do the As
As part of some sort of bizarro, high-concept Double Mint gum ad campaign, 3,000 miles west, the As also walked it off in the 11th against the
Anaheim Los Angeles Angels. TROUT, IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER.
A Grease Fire Breaks Out In Tropicana Field
A Grease Fires Breaks Out On Tropicana Field
If you thought a little grease fire on the 300 concourse was bad, just wait until you see what happened during the game. The Rays aren't expected to be a professional baseball team this season, but still, giving up this "Yakety Sax"-approved inside-the-park home run is not the way you want to start the season. From a Red Sox perspective, however, it had to feel not only great, but also a little bit like deja vu.