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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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