It's poll time! What was your favorite moment from the first day of baseball?
After months and months of waiting, baseball that counts finally returned to us on Sunday afternoon -- and it immediately went about making up for lost time. Evan Longoria jump-started the season (and the Rays offense), Madison Bumgarner announced his plans for world domination and two out of three games ended in walk-off fashion.
Just one question remains: Which memorable moment from the first day of baseball was your very favorite? We've assembled a worthy group of finalists below, all you have to do is make your voice heard. (And if it's too tough to choose only one, just think: It's not even Opening Day yet.)
Evan Longoria hits 2017's first homer
At 1:10 p.m. ET, Chris Archer of the Rays threw the very first pitch of the season. Less than two innings later, Evan Longoria gave us our very first dinger, sparking Tampa Bay to a 7-3 win over the Yankees:
Madison Bumgarner makes #PitchersWhoRake history
Remember last season, when Bumgarner made us rethink everything we knew about pitchers hitting? Yeah, as it turns out, that wasn't a fluke: Yesterday against the D-backs, the lefty padded the Giants' lead with a solo homer in the fifth ... then put San Francisco back ahead with another dinger in the seventh, becoming the first pitcher ever to homer twice in an opener:
Alas, Home Run Derby campaign aside, Bumgarner wouldn't have the last laugh. But we'll get to that.
Carlos Martinez honors Oscar Taveras and Yordano Ventura
For the past two seasons, St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez has etched the number 18 into the back of the pitcher's mound prior to every start in honor of the late Oscar Taveras, his friend and former Cardinals teammate who was killed in a car crash during the 2014-15 offseason. He even started wearing a No. 18 jersey.
Before his start against the Cubs on Sunday night, however, Martinez added one more number to his pregame ritual: Yordano Ventura's No. 30, in memory of the Royals pitcher who was killed in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic this past offseason.
Martinez then went out and made his late friends proud, striking out 10 over 7 1/3 innings in the Cardinals' thrilling 4-3 win over the Cubs.
If one walk-off is good, two is better
Speaking of that thrilling 4-3 win, the first 2017 edition of one of baseball's fiercest rivalries had it all: stellar starting pitching, dramatic comebacks (thanks to an eighth-inning, three-run homer from Willson Contreras) and even the first new and improved intentional walk.
Alas, it had to come to an end eventually, and Randal Grichuk sent everybody home with a two-out, walk-off single in the ninth:
But that wasn't the only wild finish of the day. Despite Madison Bumgarner's many dingers, the D-backs refused to say die, rallying from deficits of 3-0, 4-3 and 5-4. Then, with the game tied in the ninth, Chris Owings played the hero, lining a single to right to give Arizona a season-opening 6-5 win.