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 #OpeningDayAtHome, fans were able to connect with each other while watching their team’s selected game. Rockies fans relived Nolan Arenado's cycle on Father's Day in 2017, which he completed with a walk-off home run in a 7-5 victory over the Giants.
“Opening Day at Home” also served as 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 official charity Boys & Girls Clubs of America and additional causes at MLB.com/give.
Often, cycles come in blowouts. When one guy does it all -- hits a single, double, triple and home run -- it’s just his day. On June 18, 2017, it was Arenado's day, but also the Rockies'.
Arenado tripled in the first inning, but he didn’t score. He and Mark Reynolds singled to start the fourth. Nonetheless, the inning ended with the Giants up, 2-0. Arenado’s double and Pat Valaika’s two-run homer in the sixth gave the Rockies a 3-2 lead.
The Giants came back in the ninth, though, on Hunter Pence’s two-run homer and Brandon Crawford’s RBI double.
Arenado was due up fifth in the bottom of the inning, so it would take some help for him to get a chance for an illustrious feat. And no player had hit a walk-off home run to complete a cycle with his team behind.
Call it Father’s Day magic.
Arenado came up with two outs and two runners on and sent Mark Melancon’s first-pitch fastball into the left-field bleachers. And after teammate Charlie Blackmon’s helmet clipped above Arenado's left eye, the image of the blood trickling down Arenado’s cheek and onto his uniform will not be forgotten in Denver.
Also this week, MLB unlocked its expansive vault and is offering fans special access to the league’s most unforgettable moments. MLB has made the entire 2018 and '19 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.