Opening Day at MLB: New Patches № 21, NL DH and Guardians

Andrew McCutchen received the first hit of the year, confronting the still dormant ivy on Wrigley Field. He acted as a striker for the National League. Also wear a Robert Clemente patch № 21.

A little later on the opening day, Nick Hörner made his first home run in 2022. He connected to a pitcher who used an electronic bracelet to receive his signals from the catcher.

Shortly afterwards, in another yard, the Cleveland Guardians took to the field for the first time.

A new season and definitely a new look in the Major League Baseball.

And if on Thursday in some places the weather was not quite summer, then who cares?

“It may be cold, it may be wind. But it’s opening day, ”said Cardinals fan Mary Welsh of Belleville, Illinois, at Busch Stadium before St. Louis hosted Pittsburgh.

Near Disneyland, where temperatures were approaching 100 degrees, Shoi Otani’s AL MVP accelerated to 100 miles per hour and swung beyond the Los Angeles Angels.

Late at night in Phoenix, after starter Padres Yu Darwish threw six innings without hitting, rookie Seth Beer made three Homer runs in the ninth to give Arizona a win in returning to National Beer Day in the United States.

No kidding.

In Atlanta, the Brothers celebrated the World Series championship with a parade before the game. On every football field, referees began to speak – this year they joined referees from other sports in announcing a crowd of revision decisions.

As seats filled in rainy Washington, cool Kansas City and elsewhere, fans seemed to decide that the 99-day lockout of owners, which delayed spring training and postponed opening day for a week, didn’t stop them from returning.

Wearing Ernie Banks ’T-shirt, 23-year-old Philip Liewski of Guthrie, Oklahoma, enjoyed the view of Wrigley as the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers relaxed. He said anger and irritation over the labor dispute did not dampen his enthusiasm for the game.

“Not at all,” Liewski said. “I’m glad they came to a conclusion sooner than later. I was upset that we didn’t have time to do it on April 4th. But it’s April 7, so not many days after that. “

More than eight months after announcing the new change, Cleveland played its first regular season game as the Guardians. Known as the Indians since 1915, the club has made the transition in the interests of social justice.

Cleveland wore its road uniform for the Kansas City game with the city name on the T-shirt.

“Supporting the city is what it comes down to,” star pitcher Shane Bieber said the day before the launch. “Going there with my teammates, doing it right – that’s all we can do. It was a little different to get used to the changes, but I would say that we all get used to it day by day. “

Many stars from other sports were at Kaufman Stadium to see the promising Bobby Vita Jr. and the royal team defeated the Guardians 3-1. Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reed and several of his players were present, as well as members of the Kansas basketball team that paused North Carolina for the NCAA Men’s Championship on Monday night in New Orleans.

Due to the strong wind it was much colder than the temperature during the game of 47 degrees, and intermittent rain turned into strips of ice during the performance of the national anthem.

After the previous rains at Yankee Stadium and Target Field, the Brewers-Cubs game became the first of the season.

It was a raw 44 degrees when Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendrix threw the first pass that Colten Wong picked up to jump out the wind.

McCatchen made a double in the second inning for the first hit of the season, then distinguished himself and scored in the fourth for the first run. The 35-year-old McCatchen, who became the NL MVP of 2013, has been recognized as a Milwaukee striker.

As part of a working agreement with the MLB, the National League has now forever adopted a designated striker – the American League began using it in 1973, and the NL added it to the abbreviated pandemic of the 2020 season before returning to allowing pitchers to beat last year.

Before the Cubs hit the bottom of the third, a video clip on the left field showed a clip dedicated to the pitchers’ strikes, and Sarah McLachlan’s song “I Will Remember You” was the soundtrack.

“Thank you pitchers. See you as a last resort, ”it was said at the end.

McCatchen is one of several active winners of the Robert Clemente Award, who will wear number 21 – the number worn by the late Pirates Hall of Fame – on the back of his hats and helmets for the rest of his career.

MLB said it was “a special tribute to his sustainable legacy”. The announcement was timed to the 50th anniversary the year in which Clemente, the great Pittsburgh of Puerto Rico, died in a plane crash while providing humanitarian aid.

“It’s a privilege. It’s an honor, “said Nationals quarterback Nelson Cruz, Clemente’s top winner.” He means so much to baseball in general. He was a role model – how to be a professional on and off the field. A great player and a great man who lost his life trying to help others ”.

“He paid the final price, and everything we do is not enough,” he said.

Herner launched the first Homer, two races for the Cubs from NL Cy Young award winner Corbyn Burns. Brewer’s hunter Omar Narvaez and Burns used a newly approved electronic sound call system – Narvaez could press a button on his bracelet to signal what he wanted to quit without fear of wiggling his fingers and stealing the sign.

Not that Herner needed help, apparently.

“Who had Nick in Homer’s first pool?” Cubs manager David Ross joked after winning 5-4.

In St. Louis, Tommy Edman’s drive became the first game in which a referee announced the result of a repeat test.

“After consideration, the call was confirmed. Haumran, ”crew chief Jim Reynolds said succinctly to the joyful crowd of cardinals.


AP Baseball author Jay Cohen, AP Sports Writers Tom Withers and Dave Scratt and freelance AP writer Steve Overby contributed to this report.


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