1 of 19Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame
William Howard Taft begins presidential tradition
William Howard Taft started a presidential tradition of throwing out the first pitch when he tossed a ball from the stands to Washington Senators ace Walter Johnson.
2 of 19AP
Babe Ruth breaks in Yankee Stadium
When Yankee Stadium opened in 1923, it was already known as "The House That Ruth Built." Fittingly, Ruth christened the stadium in its very first game, blasting a three-run homer off Red Sox right-hander Howard Ehmke
3 of 19AP
Bob Feller's no-hitter
Although he had been in the league four years, "Rapid Robert" was still just 21 years old at the start of the 1940 season. Regardless, the Indians ace ventured into Comiskey Park and stifled the White Sox, becoming the only player ever to record a no-hitter on Opening Day.
4 of 19AP
Jackie Robinson breaks color barrier
In one of the most culturally significant moments in American history, Jackie Robinson broke the major league color barrier in the Brooklyn Dodgers' season opener against the Boston Braves. Playing first base, Robinson went 0-for-3 in his major league debut, but the impact he made on the nation is immeasurable.
5 of 19Walter Iooss Jr./SI, Tony Triolo/SI(2)
Hank Aaron ties Babe
With 713 home runs entering the '74 campaign, Hank Aaron began the season one four-bagger shy of all-time homer king Babe Ruth. Hammerin' Hank didn't waste much time, smacking the record-tying blast in the season opener at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium.
6 of 19Sporting News Archives/Icon SMI
Manager Frank Robinson goes yard
Robinson debuted as Cleveland's player-manger against the Yankees, becoming the first black manager in major league history. Robinson hit a solo homer in the first and the Indians went on to win the game 5-3.
7 of 19John Iacono/SI
Hall of Famer Tom Seaver holds the record for most opening day starts with 16. He tied Walter Johnson with 14 in 1983 and added two more starts in 1985 and 1986 with the White Sox. He made 11 of his opening day starts with the Mets, a team record.
8 of 19Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
George Bell hits three homers
Bell was the first player in major league history to hit three bombs on Opening Day. The 1987 American League MVP hit all three off Brett Saberhagen.
9 of 19AP
Obscure outfielder Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes became the first National League player to hit three homers on Opening Day, hitting all three off Doc Gooden. Of course, the Cubs still lost the game 12-8 and Rhodes went on to finish the season with a .234 batting average and ... eight home runs.
10 of 19AP
John McSherry's death
With the Reds hosting the Expos in the first game of the 1996 season, McSherry was assigned to work home plate. But just seven pitches into the game, McSherry called timeout and slowly walked over to the Reds' dugout. Then McSherry stumbled and collapsed, dying of a massive heart attack.Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0903/mlb.memorable.opening.day.moments/content.9.html#ixzz1I7Scq0al
11 of 19AFLO/ALLSPORT
Cubs-Mets storm Japan
Only the diehard fans saw the 2000 opener live. The game was the first to take place outside North America as the Tokyo Dome matchup between the Cubs and Mets began at 5:08 a.m. EST. But early risers may have caught the end of the Cubs 5-3 victory behind a strong outing from starter Jon Lieber.
12 of 19Rick Stewart/Getty Images, AP (3)
Derek Jeter's injury
From his rookie season in 1996 through 2002, Jeter averaged 154 games per season and became the unquestioned leader of the Bronx Bombers. But Jeter dislocated his left shoulder on the 2003 season's very first day. Jeter was trying to take an extra bag on a slow ground ball by Jason Giambi, but the star shortstop collided with Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby at third base. Jeter went on the disabled list for six weeks, missing 36 games.
13 of 19Ron Schwane/Icon SMI
Indians-Mariners caught in snow
Cleveland was one strike away from an opening day victory when inclement weather postponed the game. The Jacobs Field ground crew broke out shovels and snowblowers, but the storm ended up postponing the entire series. Cleveland's next home series was played in Milwaukee.
14 of 19Deanne Fitzmaurice /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Ken Griffey's record-tying homer
It had been 10 years since Ken Griffey Jr. hit an opening day home run, but his blast to start off 2009 tied him with Frank Robinson for the most opening day homers of all time with eight. It was Griffey's 612th career home run.
15 of 19Simon Bruty/SI
Barack Obama throws out the opening pitch
When it came to headgear, the First Fan stuck to his Chicago roots. Sporting a White Sox hat to go with his Nationals' jacket, the southpaw tossed one high and outside. Obama's pitch came nine days before the 100th anniversary of President William Howard Taft becoming the first president to throw out the first pitch on opening day.
16 of 19Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Jason Heyward's Homers in First At-Bat
With one swing of his bat, Jason Heyward sent already high expectations soaring even further. Heyward drilled a Carlos Zambrano fastball into the right-field bullpen for a three-run homer in his first at-bat.
17 of 19AP
Hernandez hits a three-run walk-off
Ramon Hernandez hit a two-out, three-run homer off closer John Axford in the bottom of the ninth inning, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in an opening-day flashback to their NL Central title season.
18 of 19Koji Watanabe/Getty Images
Ichiro Suzuki returns home
Ichiro gave his fans in Japan a performance to cheer about with four hits in the Seattle Mariners' 3-1 victory against the Oakland A's at the Tokyo Dome.
19 of 19Jae C. Hong/AP
Kershaw homers, tosses shutout
Clayton Kershaw launched his first career home run to break a scoreless tie in the eighth inning before finishing off a four-hitter that led the Los Angeles Dodgers over the defending champion San Francisco Giants 4-0 on Opening Day.
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