SAN DIEGO – It has been a long winter without baseball. But with Opening Day finally on the horizon, here's a look at the top five Opening Day moments in Padres history:
1. Petco Park opens in style
April 8, 2004
At long last, the Padres unveiled their sparkling new ballpark in the East Village, and 41,400 crammed into Petco Park to see the home opener. San Diegan David Wells got the start and was excellent as the Padres carried a 1-0 lead into the ninth inning. But Trevor Hoffman took a rare blown save, and the Giants went ahead, 2-1, on Ray Durham's two-run double. No matter. Sean Burroughs tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. The Giants again took the lead in the 10th before the Friars mounted another rally. Miguel Ojeda's two-out double tied things up, and Burroughs walked off with a single, giving San Diego its first Petco Park victory, 4-3.
2. The 1-0 Padres
April 8, 1969
The first game in franchise history went about as smoothly as the Padres could've hoped. Right-hander Dick Selma got the nod at San Diego Stadium, and turned in arguably the best Opening Day start in franchise history. He went the distance in a 2-1 victory over the Astros, striking out 12, which still stands as a franchise Opening Day record. Selma also had two hits, making him the first player with a multihit game in franchise history. Ed Spiezio notched the franchise’s first hit and first home run with a solo blast in the fifth inning. Ollie Brown's sixth-inning RBI double was the difference.
3. A historic inning
April 1, 1997
The Padres trailed the Mets, 4-0, entering the bottom of the sixth on Opening Day at Qualcomm Stadium. Then they authored the most prolific Opening Day inning in modern baseball history. The Padres scored 11 times in the sixth en route to a 12-5 victory over New York. The frame started with back-to-back-to-back homers from Chris Gomez, Rickey Henderson and Quilvio Veras. Tony Gwynn pounded out two hits in the frame.
4. Cy Young from the get-go
April 9, 1976
In 1975, Randy Jones established himself as the first true ace in Padres history. A year later, Jones became their first Cy Young Award winner. He put himself on course for the award from Day 1. Jones pitched a complete game at San Diego Stadium, allowing two runs (one earned) as the Padres cruised to an 8-2 victory over the Braves. It was classic Jones -- he struck out only two but induced 18 outs via the ground ball. Jones went on to lead the Majors with 22 victories (tied with Baltimore’s Jim Palmer), 315 1/3 innings and an astounding 25 complete games. This was the first of them.
5. Maybin's big day
March 31, 2011
The Cardinals got the last laugh in 2011. But the Padres got the first one. With the Padres down to their final out on Opening Day in St. Louis, newly acquired center fielder Cameron Maybin provided the heroics with a game-tying homer off closer Ryan Franklin. The Padres won the game two innings later on three successive two-out hits from Chase Headley, Maybin and Nick Hundley against Bryan Augenstein. Maybin's RBI single put the Padres in front for good. Heath Bell worked a 1-2-3 11th for the save.