Top 3 Opening Day moments in Chicago Cubs history
By Mia Perlman
With all of the chaos surrounding Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Player Association’s inability to make a deal through negotiations so far, who knows what to think? The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reported that according to a league spokesperson, games would be canceled without being made up after Feb 28. Not only that, players will not be paid for the canceled games, further raising tensions.
While the owners who enforced the lockout could lift it at any moment, it seems as if they are unwilling to do so. A delay of spring training games until at least March 5 has already been announced, and who knows what will happen to the regular season. Keeping this threat in mind, we might have a shortened season among us. Another shortened season is less than ideal after going through the 60-game COVID-19 abbreviated season in 2020.
MLB and MLBPA are still negotiating this week and into the weekend to reach an agreement to start the season on time. However, the more days that pass, the more bleak things look. That leaves baseball fans, including Chicago Cubs fans, with nothing to do but wait and reminisce upon better times. So what better way to spend this time than remembering Opening Days past while waiting for this year?
Here are the top 3 Chicago Cubs Opening Day moments to date
Let’s begin with Opening Day of 1994 at good ole Wrigley. Karl Rhodes, also known as “Tuffy,” led the game off with a home run against New York Mets superstar pitcher Dwight Gooden. Rhodes hit three homers off of Gooden that day in the first, third and fifth innings. Though the Mets won by a score of 12-8, Rhodes’ performance was the most memorable part of the game.
Next up, we have Opening Day of 1969. The Chicago Cubs took on the Philadelphia Phillies at the Friendly Confines in this game. Most notably, Cubs legend Ernie Banks had two homers, three hits and five RBI. To make the story better, his father was present at the game, cheering him on. The game went into extra innings, and Willie Smith won it for Chicago with a two-run walk-off homer off Barry Lersch, making the final score 7-6. Talk about a feel-good story.
Finally, we have a more modern success story with Opening Day 2018. The Chicago Cubs were facing the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park, and unlikely hero Ian Happ hit a leadoff blast on the first pitch to start the game at Marlins Park. That leadoff homer set the tone for the rest of the game, and the Cubs went on to win the game by a score of 8-4.
Reflecting on these three Opening Day moments, it is difficult not to be excited for Opening Day 2022, whenever that might be. Hopefully, MLB and the MLBPA will come to an agreement sooner rather than later so we can see some baseball.