Baltimore Orioles: Happy Opening Day Memories


Mar 31, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Opening Day bases on the field before an opening day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

For the truly serious baseball fan, there are very few days on the annual calendar that are more special than opening day. It is the embodiment of hope and renewal, accompanied in the north also by the return of warmer days and longer nights. At once, it also looks back to memories of seasons past, perhaps extending also to fond memories of opening days in little league baseball.

Baltimore Orioles fans actually have quite a strong recent legacy of happy memories on opening days. Though the new winning tradition of the Buck Showalter era is actually only in its fifth spring, the seasonal opener winning tradition is quite fabulous in this millennium.

The Orioles have won 11 of the past 14 opening games, including a current four-game winning streak. And they won six in a row to kick off the 21st century. Not bad! Looking back at the box scores, there were also some very cool walk-off and extra-inning wins.

As the Baltimore Orioles take on the Tampa Bay Rays to initiate the 2015 campaign, they will be playing a common opening day foe. Three of the past five years have been against the Rays, and five of the past nine. The O’s are 3-2 in these games.

Most recently the Orioles beat the Rays just two years ago 7-4 to make a winner of Jason Hammel. Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the first, and after the Rays came back to take a 3-2 lead, Chris Davis hit a three-run shot in the seventh inning – the first of 53 homers that year.

Of course, neither Wieters nor Davis will be in the lineup this time around. Actually, only Manny Machado and Adam Jones are repeats from that day just two years ago, and perhaps Steve Pearce if Buck includes him tomorrow.

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We’ll write and comment more about the Orioles’ lineup and roster tomorrow. It might change by then! The Orioles and Dan Duquette are being the Orioles and Dan Duquette! The only constant is change.

What the Orioles don’t want to repeat is what happened on the same exact date five years ago in 2010. The Birds lost a walk-off game to the Rays, 4-3, and then went on to lose 10 of the first 11 games and opened the season at 2-16.

Here are the openers over the past 14 years …

YearH / AOpponentStarter W / L
2014HomeRed SoxTillmanWin
2004HomeRed SoxPonsonWin

Next: Orioles 2015 Preview and Predictions