It is the first day of regular season at the ballparks. Opening Day is one of the best times of the year for many reasons. Usually occurring in late March or early April, it is the day when the Boys of Summer head to the plate, stretch the longer daylight hours, and captivate audiences with the hope that this year will be the best year.
Joe DiMaggio said, “You always get a special kick on Opening Day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.”
What Opening Day Brings
Opening Day in Major League Baseball is nothing new. Many teams celebrate with lavish fan events. Opening days may have celebrities come out to thrown opening pitches. It is likely that teams will spend a significant amount on the marketing budget for this day, as it is the start of the season. The need to get fans excited is a critical component for most teams.
Take a look at some of the most memorable facts about these days.
- As the first professional team in the game, the first pitch and game of every season traditionally took place in Cincinnati, to pay homage to the game’s history. This changed in 1989.
- Most teams will celebrate Opening Day with music, special events, and firework displays. Opening Day is often one celebrated as a special event for most teams.
- In the early 20th century, many teams opened their season with double headers.
- The tradition of the president throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day started way back in 1910. William Howard Taft launched that first pitch. Since that time, 11 more presidents have thrown the first ceremonial pitch of the year.
- In 1923, Babe Ruth hit a home run in the new Yankee Stadium on its opening day.
- In 1947, the Dodger’s Jackie Robinson made Opening Day history when he stepped to the plate as the first African American in the game, breaking the color barrier
The first day of baseball also brings in great new tasks such as fantasy baseball teams kicking off and online sports sites tracking every pitch, hit, and stolen base. Many people start tracking their fantasy teams and closely watch how their favorite players are doing. It is sure to be a great year with so many great pitchers in the mix.
Another famous quote shows the true passion of this game was made by Early Wynn, a Hall of Fame pitcher for the Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians. He said, “An opener is not like any other game. There’s that little extra excitement, a faster beating of the heart. You have that anxiety to get off to a good start, for yourself and for the team. You know that when you win the first one, you can’t lose ‘em all.” There is just something about the magic that this day brings that captivates many.