No April Fools Joke — Opening Day in Texas

The dawn of another baseball season for the Red Sox brings back memories, a lot of them, on Opening Days past.

I started watching the Red Sox in mid-April of 1980, so this is my 31st year keeping tabs on this team from start to finish of a season. Here are the Openers I remember off the top of my head. I’d be curious to hear all of you chime in on yours.

Opening Day, 1981: Carlton Fisk, playing his first game with the White Sox, stuns and angers everyone at Fenway by belting a game-winning three-run homer against Bob Stanley in the top of the eighth. This one was a crusher.

Opening Day, 1983: This was my first Opening Day as a fan. My mother let my sister and I skip school so we could go to the game. It was freezing. I remember Eckersley got shelled. It was Yaz’s last Opener so it was cool to be there. Blue Jays beat the Sox, 7-1.

Opening Day, 1985: A hyped Red Sox team — they had finished the ’84 season with a great second half — come sout of the gate with a 9-1 win over the Yankees at Fenway. Oil Can went the distance. Rice, Armas and Evans all went deep. They swept the Yankees, but it was not a good season.

Opening Day, 1986:  From the late, great voice of Ned Martin: “We are ready for the first pitch of the 1986 season and here it is, flyball, deep left-center, and … GONE !!!” Ned was stunned. Even he had never seen the first pitch of a seaosn hit out of the park. And the pitcher was Jack Morris. But Kirk Gibson dominated this game, belting two homers, including the game-winner against Sammy Stewart on an 0-2 pitch.

Opening Day, 1988: Lee Smith, the prized new acquisition, gives up a two-run homer to Alan Trammell in the 10th. The headline in the next day’s Herald? “Wait till next year”.

Opening Day, 1991: Jack Clark belts a grand slam at SkyDome. Unfortunately, the rest of his time with the Red sox didn’t go as well.

Opening Day, 2003: Tropicana Field. Bullpen by committee. Walkoff homer by Carl Crawford against Chad Fox. Ouch.

So those are the ones that stand out.

5 Comments

I think I Tek start would have helped Lester in this one. Besides, what did Salty really do anyway? Maybe I’m just loyal to the ole’ timer…

Good to see Gonzo and Papi have good days at the plate. I hope Papi continues his fast start. The defense was pretty shaky (Dustin made a couple great plays, though) and the pitching was pretty dreadful. Hope tomorrow’s a better pitching day! GO SOX!

Thanks for the memories, Ian. I listened to many many Sox games broadcast by Ned Martin. Happy times.

The Sox are notoriously inconsistent on Opening Day,,,,, sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. Let’s not panic. LOL
Great to see Papi go deep, and Adrian settled in nicely. We’ll get ‘em tomorrow.

Morning to all. Not quite the fireworks that I was hoping for in the opening game, but what are you gonna do?? Just take in the bright spots of the game I guess.
Papi sends one out on opening day.. When was the last time he did that, or even had one before May 1st?? Good sign.
Youk seems to be more comfortable at the plate and is giving it his all at 3rd. Good sign.
AGonz was 2/4 with 3rbi (and 1 theft) in his first outing with the Sox. Good sign.
I know that Lester looked awful and Bard did too, but barring some physical reason, they both have nowhere to go but UP!
Night game for the Sox today, maybe a different outcome.
IDOBELIEVE,IDOBELIEVE,IDOIDOIDOIDOBELIEVE!!!

I was supposed to be off in time for 1st pitch but my bosses mother passed away yesterday morning so I didnt make it, but from what I saw on the replay, I’m glad I didnt see it.

See y’all tonight.
LET’SGOREDSOXLET’SGO!!!

Crawford is on the sox’s side this year….

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