Some Recent Opening Day Memories to Get Through This Miserable Time

On April 9th of 2019, it was a drizzly and cold day in the city of Boston. Normally, the rain makes everybody miserable, but that day was different. Nobody seemed to care about the weather that day. Why? Because the reigning World Series champion Red Sox were being honored at their home opener at Fenway Park. Opening day is always a reason for celebration in Boston, whether it is celebrating a World Series trophy or celebrating the end of a long winter.

Not this year.  Not yet, at least.

On the day that Bostonians look forward to every year, it is only right that we look back on some recent opening day memories since we have no Opening Day to watch.

April 3, 2017 vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Admittedly, I was hoping to keep this list about baseball, but it is only right to include this unforgettable day.  Just two short months after their epic Super Bowl LI comeback against the Atlanta Falcons, the New England Patriots were honored by the Red Sox at the home opener against the Pirates.  Tom Brady, joined by Rob GronkowskiJames WhiteDion Lewis, and owner Robert Kraft, brought out the five Super Bowl trophies.  Brady surprised the crowd by revealing his recovered game-worn Super Bowl jersey, which had been stolen from the locker room after the game.  Rob Gronkowski, in true Gronk fashion, grabbed the jersey from Brady, leading to an ensuing chase through the infield.

Although overshadowed by the pregame festivities, the Red Sox put on a good showing against the Pirates.  Rick Porcello followed up his Cy Young Award-winning season with an Opening Day win with 6.1 IP, 6H, 3 ER.  The Red Sox offense knocked Pirates ace Gerrit Cole (wink, wink) around for five runs and seven hits over 5 IP, including a 3-run home run for Andrew Benintendi.
Final Score: Red Sox 5, Pirates 3
April 13, 2015 vs Washington Nationals
This one is strictly for baseball reasons.  Although this day did include another Super Bowl celebration, this game is memorable for the game that took place after the ceremonies.  In his first Opening Day with the Red Sox, Mookie Betts made his presence felt with a three-run homer, a robbery of Bryce Harper, and two stolen bases on one pitchDavid Ortiz also helped out, pitching in a solo homer in the sixth. 

Rick Porcello made his Fenway Park debut pitching eight innings and allowing three earned on four hits.  On the opposing side, Jordan Zimmerman lasted only 2.1 IP, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits.
Final Score: Red Sox 9, Nationals 4
April 4, 2010 vs New York Yankees
This 2010 season opener for the Boston Red Sox was also the first Opening Day night game in Fenway Park history.  It was also the 25th time the Red Sox faced off against the rival Yankees in their home opener. 
The Red Sox trailed the Yankees by three runs into the sixth inning, when they scored three of their own to tie it up.  The Yankees came back and scored two to take the lead before Dustin Pedroia tied it up with a two-run homer in the 7th and took the lead with an RBI single in the 8th.  This was the second straight year in which Pedroia hit a home run on Opening Day.
Hideki Okajima earned the win for the Red Sox while Jonathan Papelbon recorded the save.  On the losing side was Yankee reliever Chan Ho Park, who blew the save by giving up the home run to Pedroia.
Final Score: Red Sox 9, Yankees 7
April 11, 2005 vs New York Yankees
This is another game that is more significant for the pregame festivities than for the actual game (though the game wasn’t bad either).  This marked the first game at Fenway Park celebrating a World Series in 86 years.  The Red Sox players received their rings in a ceremony that will be remembered in Boston for a long time.

For the game, it was one that saw the Red Sox trounce the Yankees (which is always fun to watch).  The Red Sox jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead before giving up a run in the fourth to make it 4-1.  Boston went on to score another four runs and hold the Yankees scoreless the rest of the way.

Tim Wakefield dominated, going seven strong innings and giving up zero earned runs, with the inly run scoring on an error.  The Red Sox brought a balanced attack on offense with Trot NixonDoug Mirabelli, and Kevin Millar each tallying two RBIs apiece.  The offense scored seven runs on seven hits through five innings to hand Mike Mussina the loss.

Final Score: Red Sox 8, Yankees 1

Hopefully there will be an Opening Day at Fenway Park this year, but it is not looking likely.  The offseason from hell for the Red Sox continues, with no end in sight.  Well, it was fun to reminisce.  It seems like reminiscing will be the only thing we are able to do for a while.

No So Fun Fact: Out of all the players mentioned in this article, across all sports, only three remain with their team from that years Opening Day (Benintendi, Pedroia, and James White). Photo: Getty Images/Maddie Meyer

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