600 HRC Members Sizzled On Opening Day
Written by Jim Rednour
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Slammin’ Sammy Knocked Out Two On Opening Day After so many years and amazing achievements playing for Chicago’s northside team, The Cubs, many people forget that “Slammin’ Sammy Sosa also played for the Windy City’s southside squad from 1989-1992.
It was during his first stint in America’s second city that Sosa achieved the amazing feat of hitting two home runs on the same Opening Day on March 31, 1991. Sammy and his White Sox teammates spoiled what should have been a festive final Home Opener at Baltimore’s nostalgic Memorial Stadium by clipping the Oriole’s wings 9-1.
Willie Mays Opens in Style
Just one month shy of his 40th
birthday, Willie Mays hit homer number 629 on the first pitch he saw on
Opening Day April 6, 1971, to lead the Giants over the Padres 4–0
Mays hit seven Opening Day home runs, but this one late
in his Hall-of-Fame career was perhaps the most memorable because it
marked the start of a historic streak. Following the Opener, Mays went
on to hit home runs in each of the Giants’ next three games, setting a
MLB record of homering in four straight games to open a season.
Ken Griffey, Jr. Rocks Spring Training, Opening Day When 19
year-old Ken Griffey, Jr. reported to Seattle’s spring training camp in
1989, conventional logic said he had little-or-no chance of making the
team. But after 20 pre-season games it became evident that he wasn't
just the best player on the Mariners’ team, he was the best player in
the league that spring.
After making the opening day roster, he
continued to impress…especially on Opening Day 1989, when on his first
at-bat at the Seattle Kingdome, he hit a home run on the first pitch he
saw from the White Sox's Eric King. Griffey went on to hit 16 home runs
that season -- in baseball history, only Tony Conigliaro and Mel Ott hit
more homers as teenagers.