On Thursday, Major League Baseball presented “Opening Day at Home” -- a full slate of 30 games broadcast nationally across various platforms including networks, digital streaming and social media, creating a full-day event on what would have been Opening Day. The experience was intended to invite fans to feel a
On Thursday, Major League Baseball presented “Opening Day at Home” -- a full slate of 30 games broadcast nationally across various platforms including networks, digital streaming and social media, creating a full-day event on what would have been Opening Day. The experience was intended to invite fans to feel a sense of community and unity on a day many were looking forward to while underscoring the importance of staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Using the hashtag #OpeningDayAtHome, fans could connect with each other while watching their team’s selected game at a set time. The Angels’ game, showcasing three-time AL MVP Mike Trout's 5-for-5 performance in an 11-4 win at Yankee Stadium on May 26, 2018, aired live on Angels.com and MLB’s YouTube channel.
• Trout, MLB share Opening Day message for fans
“Opening Day at Home” was an opportunity for MLB to raise awareness for several worthy charities that are helping provide relief to the most vulnerable communities impacted by the pandemic. Last week, MLB and the MLBPA made a $1 million joint donation to Feeding America and Meals on Wheels, in addition to a $30 million commitment made by MLB clubs to emergency relief for ballpark employees. If so willing and able, fans can contribute toward these charities, MLB's official charity Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and additional causes at MLB.com/give.
It was arguably the best performance of Trout's career, as he racked up 11 total bases with a homer, three doubles and four RBIs. And it’s a game that Trout looks back on when he’s in a rare slump, as he studies his swing from that night and tries to replicate it. Trout credited looking at the video of his at-bats from that night for a surge at the plate last April, when he homered five times in a four-game span for the first time in his career.
The Millville, N.J., native began his effort with an RBI double in the first inning off Sonny Gray, before doubling off Gray again in the third to help set up a two-run rally. Trout gave the Angels a one-run lead with a two-run blast off Gray in the fourth, which was also his third homer in as many games.
"I was just getting pitches where I like it, and I wasn't missing them," Trout said after the game. "It's always a battle with Sonny Gray, being with Oakland for a few years and seeing him a lot. It's a battle every time when we face each other. It's a fun competition."
After Gray departed, Trout kept it going with an RBI double in the sixth off reliever Tommy Kahnle as part of a four-run inning for the Angels that essentially put the game away. Trout's last hit showcased his speed, as he reached on an infield single to become the first Angels player to record a five-hit game since Cameron Maybin on May 16, 2017.
"He had a night that was incredible," then-manager Mike Scioscia said after the game. "He's certainly capable of doing what we saw out there tonight, and it was big for us. Gave us a big lift, and we needed it. In this park, you've got to keep scoring, and we did."
Amazingly, Trout added a second five-hit game just a few months later, also going 5-for-5 with five RBIs in a 12-3 win against the White Sox on Sept. 8, 2018. Trout, though, finished second in the balloting for AL MVP to Mookie Betts that year, only to win the award again in 2019.
This week, MLB unlocked its expansive vault and is offering fans special access to the most unforgettable moments. MLB has made the entire 2018 and 2019 game archives free to all fans through MLB.TV. Fans can also access more than 200 full classic MLB games on YouTube including timeless World Series games, memorable postseason matchups, no-hitters and perfect games.
Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.