CINCINNATI -- 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
CINCINNATI -- 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.
• Complete Opening Day at Home coverage
Using the hashtag #OpeningDayAtHome, fans could connect with each other while watching their team’s selected game at a set time. The Reds' Opening Day win over the Pirates one year ago at Great American Ball Park was featured on reds.com and also on the MLB Vault YouTube channel.
“Opening Day at Home” also 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 official charity Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and additional causes at MLB.com/give.
During a 5-3 victory over the Bucs on March 28, 2019, it was a big day for two new Reds who were signed during Spring Training to Minor League deals and made the team out of camp.
José Iglesias delivered two doubles and Cincinnati’s first RBI of the season. But the biggest moment was reserved for Derek Dietrich in the seventh inning.
The Reds trailed, 2-1, in the bottom of the seventh when José Peraza led off with a first-pitch home run against Pirates ace Jameson Taillon. Taillon continued to falter and put two more on base with none out. Richard Rodríguez entered from the bullpen and manager David Bell countered by sending up Dietrich to pinch-hit in his Reds debut.
Dietrich lifted a 2-1 Rodríguez fastball into the first rows of seats in right-center field for what proved to be the game-winner. The sellout crowd of 44,049 fans erupted as an excited Dietrich rounded the bases.
“I don’t think I could have written it up any better on Day 1,” Dietrich said after the game.
Dietrich received the first curtain call of his career and obliged when he emerged from the dugout and tugged the Reds emblem on his jersey.
“It’s obviously just a huge home run and a great way for him to start his career here in Cincinnati,” Bell said after notching his first win as a Major League manager.
Little did anyone know at the time, Dietrich’s homer -- the first of his seven vs. Pittsburgh in 2019 -- was the start of what became an intense rivalry between the two clubs. Pirates pitchers hit Dietrich with pitches throughout the season, sparking multiple bench-clearing incidents.
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 '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.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.