Opening day oopsies: Unforgettable MLB gaffes from games throughout history

Opening day oopsies: Unforgettable MLB gaffes from games throughout history

Batter up!

Today, baseball players and fans across the nation are gearing up for the first game of the regular season after spring training.

Some AL and NL teams lack heavy hitters and All-Star pitching staffs. However, divisional matchups are looking strong for the 2024 MLB season.

As baseball fans everywhere anticipate game time, we can’t help but look back on some of the greatest opening day gaffes in history.

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Nolan Ryan, while pitching for the California Angels, walked 10 batters on opening day in 1974. (Robert Riger/Getty Images)

The New York Mets got crushed during game one

The New York Mets lost their franchise debut to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 11, 1962.

The new franchise played in St. Louis opening day and was defeated by the Cardinals 11-4.

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Nolan Ryan walked a lot of batters on opening day

On opening day in 1974, Nolan Ryan, former pitcher for the California Angels, walked 10 batters against the Chicago White Sox.

However, Ryan, nicknamed “the Ryan Express,” only gave up four hits and two runs on April 5, and the Angels beat the White Sox 8-2.

In 1999, Ryan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Cody Bellinger

Justin Turner ran past former Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger on the base pass after a homerun resulting in an out. (Matt Dirksen/Getty Images)

Rockies vs. Padres back and forth, back and forth

On April 4, 2005, the opening day game between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres was a reminder to baseball fans everywhere that anything can happen at game time.

The Rockies took the lead at Coors Field in Denver and scored seven runs against Woody Williams in the first five innings.

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Left-hander Joe Kennedy started for the Rockies. When the Padres closed the gap to 7-6, Kennedy was replaced by left-hander Javier Lopez. Lopez quickly gave up a single, and right-hander Allan Simpson was called in.

In the top of the sixth, the Padres scored five runs, taking the lead, 8-7. That same inning, the Rockies tied up the game, only to have the Padres retake the lead the next inning.

The back and forth continued, but the Rockies won on opening day in 2005 by a final of 12-10.

Truist Park in 2023

The Miami Marlins have one of the lowest MLB attendance records annually. (Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)

The Phillies have gone into extra innings during 12 opening day games

The Philadelphia Phillies have played 12 opening day games in extra innings. Two of them ended in a tie.

In 1923, the Phillies tied the Brooklyn Robins, now known as the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-5. The game went for 14 innings before it was called due to darkness. Back then, ballparks didn’t have lights.

Then, in 1924, the Phillies ended in a 6-6 tie against the Boston Braves. The game went 11 innings before being called due to lack of light.

Cleveland vs Toronto: The longest opening day game

On opening day in 2012, the Cleveland Guardians and the Toronto Blue Jays went head-to-head at Progressive Field for 16 innings. The game is recorded as the longest running opening day game.

The mound saw 14 different pitchers, including Ricky Romero and Jason Frasor for the Blue Jays and Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano for the then-Indians, among others. Throughout the game, 540 total pitches were thrown, according to MLB.

The game ran for 5 hours and 14 minutes, and concluded with a 7-4 loss for Cleveland.

Former Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia ended the game with a three-run homerun.

A view of Progressive Field in Cleveland

The Cleveland Guardians and Toronto Blue Jays played a 16-inning game on opening day in 2012. (Ben Jackson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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The Miami Marlins have the worst opening day record

The Miami Marlins have an opening day record of 12-18 since the franchise began in 1993.

In 2023, the Marlins lost to the New York Mets 5-3 on opening day. In 2024, they will play the Pittsburgh Pirates in Miami.

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Miami also has the second-worst attendance record in the MLB and opening day has yet to sell out.

The Bellinger, Turner base scramble of 2021

On opening day in 2021, the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the Colorado Rockies in Denver.

In the third inning, Cody Bellinger, a former Dodgers outfielder and first baseman, was at bat with Justin Turner waiting at first. Bellinger cracked a fly to left field and, thinking he had hit a home run, celebrated as he circled the bases.

Turner wasn’t so sure it was gone. He believed the ball was caught in the outfield, so he ran back to first, passing Bellinger on the way. The ball tipped off Raimel Tapia’s glove and left the field for a home run. However, the damage was already done, and Bellinger was called out.

Gabriele Regalbuto is an SEO editor at Fox News Digital. Gabriele has a Journalism and Communications degree from West Virginia University. She has worked to produce content for newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms. At Fox, she has assisted in coverage of breaking news events including the 2024 presidential cycle, 2022 midterm elections, Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

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