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1. John McSherry collapses and dies (1996)
Only seven pitches into the Opening Day game between the Expos and Reds in Cincy, home plate umpire John McSherry called time out. He then collapsed and died of a massive heart attack. The game was called, which disturbed Red owner Marge Schott much more than McSherry's death. "Snow this morning and now this," she said. "I don't believe it. I feel cheated. This isn't supposed to happen to us, not in Cincinnati. This is our history, our tradition, our team."
|If it was up to us, April 15 would be a national holiday.|
3. Hank Aaron ties Babe (1974)
The Braves opened their season in Cincy with Hammerin' Hank on the verge of tying and breaking the Babe's all-time homer mark. Some said Aaron should sit out the series so he could tie and break the record at home in Atlanta. Henry said no go, and hit No. 714 off Jack Billingham in his second at-bat.
4. Rapid Rob tosses a no-no (1940)
On April 16, Feller, all of 22 years old but starting his fifth major league season, held the White Sox hitless in 47-degree weather at Comiskey Park as the Indians won the opener, 1-0. It was Feller's first no-hitter (he would add two more in his Hall of Fame career).
|Ruth slammed the first home run in the ballpark's history.|
6. Ron Blomberg walks in a run (1973)
Yankees vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Yanks loaded the bases in the top of the first, and up came Ron Blomberg -- the first official plate appearance by a designated hitter in major league history. Blomberg walked to force in a run, collecting a ribbie off good old Luis Tiant.
7. Walter Johnson and Eddie Rommel go 15 rounds (1926)
April 13, 1926. On the mound for the Senators in D.C. was the great Walter Johnson, 38 years old, in one of his 14 opening day starts. On the mound for the opposing A's was knuckleballer Eddie Rommel. The two battled for 15 innings. Johnson allowed only six hits and struck out 12. Rommel gave up nine hits and walked five. In the bottom of the 15th, Joe Harris drove in Goose Goslin to give the Senators a 1-0 victory.
8. Frank Robinson homers in first game as manager (1975)
Robinson, the future Hall-of-Famer, debuted as player-manager of the Cleveland Indians on opening day, April 8, 1975, the first African-American manager in major league history. Batting second as Cleveland's DH, he took Doc Medich over the fence. He "got me 0-2, then threw a bastard slider that I barely fouled off," recalled Robinson. "I thought, 'This sonofabitch is trying to strike me out on three pitches on my day. He's trying to embarrass me.' "
Robinson's homer was the eighth he hit on Opening Day, a major league record.
|Apparently, Ronny was a gamer, but he couldn't handle the pressure of Opening Day '86.|
10. Rhodes hits three home runs (1994)
Unknown Cubs outfielder Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes shocked the denizens of Wrigley Field by hitting three straight home runs off Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden. He also singles, but in typical Cubs fashion, the Mets win 12-8.
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