1913 In an exhibition game against the Yankees, 25,000 fans watch the Dodgers play their first game in Ebbets Field. Brooklyn beats New York, 3-2 with Casey Stengel hitting the park’s first home run, an inside-the-parker.
1925 Babe Ruth collapses at railroad station in Asheville, North Carolina, and will be hospitalized in New York.
1934 Babe Ruth, sponsored by Quaker Oats, agrees to do weekly NBC broadcasts. His thirteen week radio salary will be $4000 more than his Yankee contract.
1934 Reds president Larry MacPhail hires Red Barber to broadcast the team games on WSAL. The not-so-old “Ol’ Redhead” will spend the first four years of his Hall of Fame career in Cincinnati calling games from the stands of Crosley Field.
1957 The Phillies trade five players, Ron Negray, Tim Harkness, Elmer Valo, Mel Geho, and Ben Flowers (the player to be named later) and send $75,000 to the Dodgers to obtain much touted Cuban infielder Chico Fernandez. Philadelphia’s new shortstop plays three seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, batting just .242, before being traded to the Tigers.
1966 Don Larsen, who is the last active major leaguer who played Browns, is released by the Orioles. As a rookie 1953, the Michigan City, Indiana native posted a 7-12 record for the hapless franchise which loss 100 games in its final season in St. Louis.
1971 At RFK Stadium, 45,000 fans watch the last Opening Day game to be played in Washington, D.C.
1972 The season opener between Astros and Reds is canceled due to the player strike which started on April 1. It marks the first time in major league history Opening Day is delayed and 86 games will be lost before the labor dispute is settled.
1972 The Mets trade outfielder Ken Singleton and infielders Tim Foli and Mike Jorgensen to the Expos in exchange for 28-year old all-star right fielder Rusty Staub. The ‘Le Grand Orange’ will miss most of the season due to injuries, but will play a major role in New York’s ‘Ya Gotta Believe’ pennant-winning team in 1973.
1983 Tom Seaver, making his first appearance as with the Mets since 1977, combines with Doug Sisk to blank the Phillies at Shea Stadium, 2-0. It is Tom Terrific’s 14th National League Opening Day assignment‚ tying Senators hurler Walter Johnson’s record.
1988 With a 6-3 Opening night victory over the Padres, Houston wins its 2,000th game in franchise history. The Astros score five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning making starter Mike Scott the winning pitcher.
1993 At Camden Yards, William Jefferson Clinton becomes the first U.S. president to successfully throw the first pitch of the season from the pitcher’s mound. Orioles starter Rick Suttecliffe doesn’t fare as well as the Birds lose to the Rangers, 7-4.
1993 At Shea Stadium, the Rockies lose their National League debut to the Mets, 3-0. Doc Gooden pitches a 4-hit complete game for the victory.
1993 In front of 42,334 fans at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, the Florida Marlins, in their major league first game ever, defeat the Dodgers, 6-3. Joe DiMaggio throws out the ceremonial first pitch and the team retires uniform number 5 in tribute to Carl Barger, their late president.
1993 On Opening Day, Greg Maddux, who was signed as a free agent, allows no runs and scatters five hits to his former team over 8 1/3 innings as the Braves edge the Cubs, 1-0.
1993 Eric Fox, inserted into the game as late-inning defensive replacement hits a grand-slam home run in the bottom of the eighth inning giving the A’s a 9-4 Opening Day victory before 43,370 fans at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. It will be the outfielder’s only homer of the season.
1997 At Olympic Stadium, the Rockies set a franchise record with seven home runs including three by Larry Walker, who is pulled from game in eighth inning by Rockies manager Don Baylor. The Colorado skipper doesn’t want to run up the score against the Expos with his team ahead 15-1.
2003 The Royals become the first major league team to begin the season 5-0 after losing 100-games the prior year. Runelvys Hernandez, the winner of a coin toss making him the Opening Day starter, wins his second game as allows two hits in seven innings beating the Indians, 2-1
2003 To show support for the U.S. troops in Iraq, the White Sox announce all active military members showing a military ID will be given free admission to home games at U.S. Cellular Field. Tickets would not be available for the Cub series in June.
2004 Braves’ general manager John Schuerholz announces the team has exercised the option to retain Bobby Cox as the team’s manager through the 2005 season. The 62-year old skipper, who is ninth in all-time in managerial wins with 1,906, has won a record 12-consecutive divisional titles.
2005 The Washington Nationals, formerly known as the Expos, lose their inaugural season opener bowing to the Phillies, 8-4. The franchise, which played its initial 36 years in Montreal, becomes the first team to represent the nation’s capital since the Senators left to become the Texas Rangers in 1971.
2006 Sluggerrr, the Royals’ Mascot, celebrates his tenth birthday at Kauffman Stadium. In the off-season, the nearly seven-foot tall lion with a crown built into his skull is very active in the Kansas City community visiting local schools encouraging youngsters to be good students and a good citizens.
2009 In an Opening Day 4-1 victory over the Phillies, Jordan Schafer becomes the 99th rookie to homer in his first major league at-bat. Joining Joe Harrington (1895), Chuck Tanner (1955) and Jermaine Dye (1996), the 22-year old outfielder becomes only the fourth player to accomplish the feat in franchise history.