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 #OpeningDayAtHome, fans could connect with each other while watching their team’s selected game at a set time. The Royals’ thrilling rally to beat the Mets, 7-2, in 12 innings in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series to secure their first championship in 30 years aired on Royals.com and Las Mayores Twitter.
• Complete Opening Day at Home coverage
“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.
Looking back at that Game 5, the Royals, up 3-1 in the World Series, appeared headed home for Game 6 as they trailed, 2-0, entering the ninth inning. Mets right-hander Matt Harvey had been nearly unhittable through eight.
But Lorenzo Cain got things going for the Royals with a leadoff walk. He then stole second base, and Eric Hosmer followed with a blast off the left-field wall, a run-scoring double that chased Harvey. Mets manager Terry Collins opted for closer Jeurys Familia, whom Alex Gordon had homered against in the ninth inning of Game 1.
Familia got Mike Moustakas to ground out, pushing Hosmer to third. Then came one of the most talked about plays in Royals history.
Salvador Perez chopped a grounder to the left of third baseman David Wright. The moment Wright released his throw to first, Hosmer broke for home. A good throw home by first baseman Lucas Duda probably would have resulted in a game-ending double play, forcing a Game 6.
But the Royals’ advance scouts and coaching staff had determined that Duda’s throwing accuracy was shaky at best. Hosmer’s gamble appeared worth it in the Royals’ eyes.
Sure enough, Duda’s throw was wild and Hosmer slid home safely, tying the game at 2 on a play that became known in Royals lore as the “Mad Dash.”
“At that point, we knew we weren’t going to get many more chances against a guy like Familia,” Hosmer said later. “I thought that was the best chance to score.”
The Royals would go on to score five runs in the 12th inning. It started with Perez walking, then pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson stole second and went to third on a groundout.
Then, Christian Colon, who scored the winning run in a walk-off victory in the 2014 American League Wild Card Game vs. the A's, delivered a single that plated the go-ahead run in his only postseason at-bat of 2015.
An RBI double by Alcides Escobar and a three-run double by Cain sealed the Mets’ fate. Right-hander Wade Davis nailed down the final three outs for the Royals, and the World Series trophy was headed back to Kansas City.
"It's the best," Hosmer said afterward. "We came back and won a world championship. Words can't even describe how awesome this feels right now. Couldn't have done it with a better group of guys. We battled since Day 1, Minor Leagues a lot of us, and this is an unbelievable feeling."
Added then-Royals manager Ned Yost, “With their character, with their heart, with their passion, with the energy that they bring every single day, I mean, they leave everything on the field."
Also 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.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.