This day in baseball history, Opening Day 1970
Added 04-07-20 08:31:02pm EST - “The 1970 baseball season opened on Monday, April 6, and Tuesday April 7. On the 6th, Washington and Cincinnati held their traditional league openers. The rest of baseball followed on the 7th. Teams normally send out their best pitcher…” - Powerlineblog.com
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The 1970 baseball season opened on Monday, April 6, and Tuesday April 7. On the 6th, Washington and Cincinnati held their traditional league openers. The rest of baseball followed on the 7th.
Teams normally send out their best pitcher on Opening Day. 1970 was no exception. The following Hall of Famers pitched their team’s opener: Ferguson Jenkins (Cubs), Phil Niekro (Braves), Gaylord Perry (Giants), Bob Gibson (Cardinals), and Tom Seaver (Mets). Other notable aces who opened included Mickey Lolich (Tigers), Chris Short (Phillies), Jim Perry (Twins), Tommy John (White Sox), Dave McNally (Orioles), and Mel Stottlemyre (Yankees).
There were twelve opening games back then. Five of them produced shutouts. They were hurled by Lolich (against the Senators), Gary Nolan (against the Dodgers), Short (against the Cubs), Jim Perry (against the White Sox), and Andy Messersmith (against the Brewers).
Speaking of Opening Day shutouts, Walter Johnson holds the record for them. He pitched seven shutouts in his 14 openers. They included a one-hitter in 1910, a two-hitter in 1915, an eleven inning shutout in 1916, a three-hitter in 1917, a thirteen inning shutout in 1919, a four-hitter in 1924, and a fifteen inning shutout in 1926, at the age of 38.
In the most exciting opener of 1970, neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. In the last Opening Day game ever at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, Tom Seaver gutted his way through eight innings, and Steve Blass through ten. Both pitchers allowed nine hits.
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