Baseball Wiki

Opening Day is warmly regarded in North American tradition as the beginning of a new Major League Baseball season. It falls annually around the beginning of April, signaling such a generational feeling of rebirth for some that the writer Thomas Boswell once penned a book titled, Why Time Begins On Opening Day.[1] Many feel that the occasion represents a newness or a chance to forget last season, in that the 30 major league clubs and their millions of fans begin with 0-0 records.

For generations, Opening Day has arrived amid pageantry. In Cincinnati, Ohio, home of the sport's first professional team, an annual parade marks an unofficial "city holiday" with young and old alike taking the day off to cheer on the Reds. For decades, the first pitch of every major league season officially took place in Cincinnati. Although the past decade has brought the introduction of a Sunday night opening game on ESPN as well as the staging of season-opening series in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Japan, the ensuing Monday brings Opening Day to numerous major league ballparks and the game that day in Cincinnati (the only team that always opens the season at home) is still observed throughout baseball as the "traditional opener." Opening Day is a state of mind as well, with countless baseball fans known to recognize this unofficial holiday as a good reason to call in sick at work or "play hooky" from school and go out to the ballpark for the first of 162 regular season games. Each team's home opener serve as the only regular season games during the year in which the entire rosters of both teams as well as coaches and clubhouse staff are introduced to the crowd (for the rest of the year, ballparks only introduce the starting lineups).

Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn, who played for the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, once 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."[1]

Opening Day extends throughout the sport of baseball, to hundreds of minor league baseball franchises as well as to college, high school, youth league fields and in areas far beyond North America. Similarly, there are opening-night performances for new Broadway plays.

Prior to Opening Day, the teams' managers have to decide the starting pitchers for the Opening Day game. This spot is usually given to the teams' ace pitchers, and is usually considered an honor for a pitcher to start on Opening Day. In turn, the pitchers who start on Opening Day are usually recognized throughout the baseball world as their teams' best starting pitchers.


Wilson opening day 1916

President Woodrow Wilson throws out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day. Photo 1916

There is a rich history of special events that have occurred on Opening Day, most notably a 1940 no-hitter thrown by Cleveland pitcher Bob Feller, ultimately a Hall of Famer. It remains the only no-hitter in Opening Day history.

Opening Day has been synonymous with United States presidents as well. On April 14, 1910, baseball enthusiast William Howard Taft attended the home opener in Washington D.C., becoming the first U.S. President to throw out the first pitch to start a season. Eleven sitting U.S. presidents have done the same since then. One standout, Harry S. Truman, showcased his ambidextrous talent when he threw out ceremonial first pitches with both his right and left arm in 1950.[1] On April 4, 1994, Bill Clinton inaugurated the Cleveland Indians' new ballpark, Jacobs Field, with the first pitch.

The great Ted Williams was a .449 hitter in openers, with three home runs and fourteen runs batted in during fourteen such games. "Teddy Ballgame" also boasted at least one hit in every Opening Day game in which he appeared.

On April 4, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves ignited the Opening Day crowd in Cincinnati with his first swing. It resulted in his 714th career home run, tying Babe Ruth on Major League Baseball's all-time list. Aaron would finish his career with 755 homers.

Hall of Famer Walter Johnson was arguably the greatest ballplayer in Opening Day history. In 14 season openers for the Washington Senators, the "Big Train" pitched a record nine shutouts. His two most famous starts include a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia A's in 1910 and a 1-0 marathon victory while battling the A's Eddie Rommel for 15 innings.

On April 4, 2005, Dmitri Young of the Detroit Tigers hit three home runs in his team's opener against the Kansas City Royals at Detroit's Comerica Park. He became the third major leaguer to homer three times on Opening Day, following the Toronto Blue Jays' George Bell in 1988 and the Chicago Cubs' Tuffy Rhodes in 1994.

The St. Louis Cardinals were the first major league team to open the season with a night game, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on April 18, 1950.

The longest Opening Day game in major league history was a 15-inning affair played at Cleveland Stadium on April 19, 1960. The Detroit Tigers defeated the Cleveland Indians 4-2.

The first major league team to open its season with a doubleheader was the Oakland Athletics. They hosted the Chicago White Sox for two games on April 7, 1971, with Chicago winning both times (6-5 and 12-4, respectively).

Hall of Famer Tom Seaver has started the most Opening Day games in Major League history, starting the Opener 16 times for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox.




In 2021, April 1 was the Opening Day for the 2021 MLB season.


All times are EDT (Eastern time zone).

For the finished games, there are links to for box scores (with other options) and YouTube for game highlights.

MLB scores for April 1, 2021, on Twitter

Interesting Plays[]

These great plays are from the MLB Twitter account.

Other interesting things

  • Oddity: LAD @ COL - Cody Bellinger is credited with an RBI single, not a 2-run HR (which it is actually a HR), because he "passes" his teammate between 1st and 2nd bases. The latter player (Justin Turner) thinks it is not a HR because he thinks it is caught by the Rockies left fielder, so he runs back to 1st base. Both of these Dodgers players are not communicating to each other, creating the baserunning gaffe. Cody Bellinger is out and Justin Turner scores.
  • Inning Highlight: STL @ CIN - The Cardinals are in their great start. In the top of the 1st inning, they score 6 runs (a failed fielding shift, a fielding error, and a 3-run HR are involved).
  • Epic: ATL @ PHI - The Phillies have the epic 10th inning with both their defense at home plate (to preserve a tie) and offense (walkoff).



Pick 'em Contest[]

MLB 2021 pick 'em (game)

In 2021, MLB gives the contest to the people around the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and all areas affected by the U.S.) and Canada (excluding Quebec) to play for $200,000. A participant has to be 18+ years of age to play for the money. Underage participants can also play, but they cannot play for the money. Participants pick the winner of each game and answer 2 tiebreaker questions (if there is a tie for the greatest number of games chosen correctly). This contest ends at 1PM EDT on April 1, 2021 (just minutes before the first MLB games will start in 2021).

Other info[]

2021 is the first year since 2019 to start the regular season regularly (March or April) because 2020 is unprecedented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


They are all from


2022 Opening Day

The 2022 MLB regular season was supposed to begin on Thursday, March 31, 2022.


  • STL @ PIT 1:05pm
  • WSH @ NYM 1:10pm
  • TB @ BOS 2:10pm
  • ARI @ MIL 2:10pm
  • TOR @ BAL 3:05pm
  • NYY @ TEX 4:05pm
  • CHC @ CIN 4:10pm
  • KC @ CLE 4:10pm
  • COL @ LAD 4:10pm
  • SF @ SD 4:10pm
  • MIN @ CWS 4:10pm
  • ATL @ MIA 4:10pm
  • PHI @ HOU (Interleague) 7:09pm
  • LAA @ OAK 10:07pm
  • DET @ SEA 10:10pm

Due to the prolonged lockout, the Opening Day was delayed by 1 week. Therefore, we will be games in 2 separate Opening Days on April 7 & 8.

April 7[]

April 8[]

NOTE: Only the teams that did not play on April 7 will be shown in this section.


2023 Opening Day

Thursday, March 30, 2023

[HRs] [BestMoments]



2024 Opening Day

2024 Opening Day (pick em)

The 2024 MLB season will begin on Thursday, March 28, 2024. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres are beginning the regular season on Wednesday, March 20 in Seoul, South Korea for a 2-game series (each team will be designated as a home team for each game).

Seoul Series (March 20 & 21)[]

Thursday, March 28[]

Friday, March 29 (only for rescheduled games)

[Opening Day recap]

[Opening Day best moments]


External links[]