Found April 01, 2013 on
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By Tony LastoriaSpecial to FOX Sports Ohio
The Indians kick off their 2013 season in a matter of hours.
As with every season there is always some excitement that comes with the first game of the season. That enthusiasm can quickly dissipate a few days or weeks into the season, but nonetheless, at least for one day at the start of the season optimism is at its' height.
This season marks the 113th season opener in franchise history. The Indians are 57-55 all-time on opening day, have lost four straight season openers and eight of their last ten.
Over the years there have been some memorable and some not so memorable season openers. Here is a rundown of some of the most memorable:
Fellers no-no: Few of us were alive to see it live or hear it on the radio, but on April 16, 1940 in a 1-0 win over the White Sox the great Bob Feller threw the only opening day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball. Feller finished the game with five walks and eight strikeouts, and had some great defense behind him that day, none other than a fantastic diving play by second baseman Ray Mack to record the final out in the game. Feller went on to have one of his best years of his 18-year career finishing with a 27-11 record, a career high in wins for him and tops in the majors that season. He also led the league in ERA (2.61), strikeouts (261), complete games (31), and innings pitched (320.1). While there was no Cy Young Award back then, he finished second in the MVP voting and won the Sporting News Player of the Year Award.
Robinsons impact: On April 8, 1975 the Indians opened the season with a 5-3 win over the Yankees at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. It was Frank Robinsons debut season as a manager, one where he became the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball history. He was a player-manager that season though did not play the field as he only served as the designated hitter for 49 games. In his first at bat as the Indians new player-manager he hit a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning off of Yankees pitcher Doc Medich. Robinson played three seasons for the Indians from 1974-1976 and in 100 games hit .226 with 14 homers and 39 RBI. He went 186-189 (.496) as a manager with the Indians from 1975-1977.
Hello, Jacobs Field: If you polled the fans, most would probably consider the 1994 season opener as the greatest ever. The Indians opened the season at home on April 4, 1994 against the Seattle Mariners, and sent everyone home happy with a thrilling come from behind 4-3 win in 11 innings. It was the inaugural game at the newly opened Jacobs Field, and the game served as but an appetizer to the fun that was to be had at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario for many games to come after that. The game featured President Bill Clinton throwing out the first pitch, Mariners lefty Randy Johnson no-hitting the Indians through seven innings, a big two-run double off the wall by Manny Ramirez in the eighth to tie the game at 2-2, an Omar Vizquel RBI in the tenth inning to tie the game at 3-3, and then Wayne Kirby coming up as the hero with a base hit down the left field line in the eleventh inning to seal the walkoff win.
The Snowout: The season opener itself was not exactly memorable as on April 2, 2007 the Indians came away with a convincing 12-5 win over the White Sox in Chicago. What made this game memorable is how things transpired shortly after it just four days later at the Indians home opener. Playing against the Mariners on April 6, 2007, the northeast Ohio area was pounded with a heavy amount of snow. Paul Byrd had a no-hitter going in the fifth inning, but with heavy snow falling, play was stopped even though the game was but one out from becoming official. The snow kept coming and the game was eventually cancelled, and the entire four-game set with the Mariners that weekend was snowed out. The weather was so bad that the Indians had to move their next home series with the Los Angeles Angels from April 10-12 out of town to Milwaukees Miller Park.
Longest opener ever: Just last season on April 5, 2012 the Indians were cruising along to what looked like an opening season and home opening win over the Blue Jays. Justin Masterson was masterful for eight innings allowing a run on two hits, one walk, and had ten strikeouts. With the Indians up 4-1 in the ninth closer Chris Perez was summoned to close out the win, but he struggled to find the strike zone and was hit hard and eventually blew the lead as the Blue Jays tied the score at 4-4. The score stayed that was for many more innings until J.P. Arencibia smacked a three-run homer in the 16th inning that propelled the Blue Jays to a 7-4 win. The games 16 innings bested the previous record of 15 innings for the longest season opening game in Major League Baseball history.
Others season openers of note:
April 14, 1925: The Indians scored 12 runs in the eighth and beat the Browns 21-14. It is the most total runs ever scored in an American League season opener.
April 17, 1951: The Indians score a run in the ninth to beat the Tigers 2-1 in Detroit. The game marked the debut of Al Lopez as the new skipper for the Indians, replacing the beloved Lou Boudreau. Lopez was the first Hispanic manager in baseball history.
April 10, 1968: Sonny Siebert throws a two-hit shutout in a 9-0 Indians win against the White Sox in Chicago. Catcher Duke Sims led the Indians offense as he smacked two homers.
April 7, 1977: Down 4-2 in the ninth inning against the Red Sox in Fenway, third baseman Buddy Bell smacked a two-run homer to tie it and the Indians eventually won 5-4 in eleven innings.
April 6, 1987: The season opener itself was not memorable as the Indians lost 7-3 to the Blue Jays in Toronto. But it was the now famous Indians Uprising year where they were supposed to compete for the World Series, yet went on to finish 61-101 and dead least in the division.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
On Sunday the Cleveland Indians announced their opening day roster. In order to get to the final 25-man roster and make room on the 40-man roster, the Indians announced the following transactions:
Right-handed pitcher Frank Herrmann - who had right elbow surgery on March 13th - was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
They re-assigned right-handed pitcher Matt Capps, right-handed...
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This year's roster is particularly interesting after an offseason...
The Cleveland Indians have selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir from the Triple-A Columbus Clippers and added him to the 25-man Major League roster.
Kazmir, 29, went 1-0 with a 3.46ERA in four games this spring (13.0IP, 18H, 5R/ER, 1BB, 13K), winning the fifth spot in the rotation after accepting a non-roster invitation to Major League camp on January 8.
The Cleveland Indians reassigned a number of players on Sunday including pitchers Matt Capps and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Both players were told in mid-March that they would not appear on the Opening Day roster for the Indians. Both have re-signed deals that will allow them to start the year at Triple-A playing for Columbus.
Capps dealt with shoulder problems to start spring training and...
TORONTO -- Nick Swisher bobbed through the Cleveland Indians clubhouse after Tuesday nights season opener.Wheres that lineup card? Swisher said. Gotta get that one for No. 17.No. 17, of course, is new manager Terry Francona, who no doubt will appreciate the gesture after his tenure got off to a grand opening with a 4-1 win over the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.To Francona this...
Cleveland pitcher Scott Kazmir has a sore abdominal muscle and might miss his first scheduled start for the Indians.
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Manager Terry Francona said Kazmir will be reevaluated after he tries to throw a bullpen on Wednesday. The 29-year-old lefty was...
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It’s a Start
Big right-hander Justin Masterson made his second consecutive opening day start for the Indians on Tuesday against the Blue Jays and overall was effective in six innings of work. However, Masterson did struggle with his pitch location in his first three innings as he surrendered three hits and walked four over that time frame and loaded the bases in the third inning...
The Indians today outrighted LHP DAVID HUFF to AAA Columbus after he cleared waivers without another team claiming him. TheY weren't so lucky with regards to Ezeuiel Carrera, who was claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies.
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FOX Sports Ohio writer Pat McManamon sat down with new Indians manager Terry Francona prior to the season for a profile he was writing on Francona for Cleveland Magazine. In the interview, Francona talked about many elements of his life and career that have made him themanager, and man, he is today. To mark the opening of the major league season, Fox Sports Ohio presents this interview...
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Roster Moves: Scott Kazmir was added to the Indians roster today with the anticipation that he will be placed on the 15 Day DL, retroactive to his last start in Spring Training. To make room, Nick Hagadone has been sent back to AAA Columbus, but he will be able to be brought back as soon as Kazmir is placed on the DL. Carlos Carrasco could be the fifth starter and is already on the...
The Indians open up the 2013 season in a dome in chilly Toronto as a high of 35º and a possibility of snow is expected. The Tribe will be throwing out a brand new lineup, featuring at least four players who have never taken an official at bat as a member of the Cleveland Indians. As a whole, it is the strongest lineup on paper that the Indians have fielded in years and a whole...