Check out the 10 best home runs from a power-packed Opening Day
Thursday's slate of Opening Day games featured 29 players combining for a total of 33 home runs -- each made just a bit more special by taking place on the day they did. That's a lot of dingers to sift through, but we've narrowed it down to the ten best from the first day of baseball:
10. Matt Olson picks up where he left off
As a rookie in 2017, Olson averaged more than a home run every 10 trips to the plate. In just 59 games, he swatted 24 balls over the fence. That power is back for 2018. During the fifth inning of Thursday's 6-5 extra-innings win over the Angels, Olson tied up the game with a 112.6 mph rope to the right-field corner:
9. Nelson Cruz hits a towering homer to center
Cruz has the nickname "Boomstick" for good reason: He hits a lot of home runs, and most of them go a long way. Even at 37 years old, the Boomstick still lives up to his nickname. He hit the highest home run of Opening Day on this ball that sailed 131 feet into the air:
8. George Springer homers for his second-straight Opening Day
Springer's 2017 season was bookended by dingers. He hit a home run on Opening Day as well as one in Game 7 of the World Series. He got his 2018 off to a similar start with his second-straight Opening Day leadoff home run:
Only time will tell if 2018 comes to a similarly joyous ending.
7. Nick Markakis completes the Braves comeback
The Braves went to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning trailing the Phillies, 5-0. Over the next three innings, they scored five runs to tie the game. So, when Markakis came to bat with two on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, he was able to complete the team's climb from a five-run deficit to a three-run walk-off win with one swing:
Not all home runs sail over the outfield fence. We only saw one inside-the-park home run on Opening Day, but it was a good one. A slight outfield miscue and a strange bounce on a throw allowed Nunez's speed to shine:
5. Anthony Rizzo homers near his home of Parkland, Fla.
For Rizzo, Opening Day was particularly special. With the Cubs starting the season in Miami, he was just miles from his hometown of Parkland, Fla., and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, his alma mater. Before the game, he honored the victims of the Parkland shooting with a shirt. In the second inning, he did it with his bat:
4. Adam Jones hits the first walk-off home run of the season
Prior to the 11th inning, Opening Day was a rough one for the Orioles' veteran outfielder. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on the afternoon. Leading off the bottom of the 11th inning of a 2-2 tie with the Twins, Jones flipped the script on his day with a walk-off home run to give the Orioles a 3-2 win:
If that scene looks familiar, it's because it is:
The White Sox tied an Opening Day record with their six home runs on Thursday. Three of those came off the bat of designated hitter Matt Davidson. The third made him the fourth player to hit three dingers on Opening Day:
Want to see all three? You can do that too!
We spent all offseason anticipating what damage a lineup with both Stanton and Aaron Judge could do to baseballs. Opening Day offered an early answer. In his first at-bat as a Yankee, Stanton showed that fans in the outfield seats should be ready for some souvenirs:
When you tuned in to the first game of the 2018 season on a weekday afternoon, you probably expected a leisurely start to the season, or at least a routine called strike or ball. Cubs center fielder Ian Happ had other plans as he sent the very first pitch of the 2018 regular season over the fence: