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10 memorable individual performances in Red Sox home openers

10 memorable individual performances in Red Sox home openers

Today should've been the 108th opener at Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox as they were to host the Chicago White Sox to begin their home schedule.

But as we all know, the coronavirus pandemic has changed that as well as the rest of the world. 

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There's still hope that they'll be baseball at Fenway in 2020, but on the day the gates were supposed to open and signal the unofficial start of spring in Boston, let's look back at a few of the Red Sox's most memorable individual performances with some Opening Day Dreaming Delivered by Coors Light.

April 20, 1912

The Red Sox christened Fenway Park by beating their rivals from New York, then known as the Highlanders, 7-6 in 11 innings before 24,000, including Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, grandfather of future president John F. Kennedy, and the Royal Rooters.

Tris Speaker (pictured, 3-for-6, two RBI, game-winning single) and Steve Yerkes (5-for-7) were your hitting heroes for a team that would go on to win the World Series. 

April 12, 1916

A left-hander named Babe Ruth held the Philadelphia A's to one unearned run on four hits and strikes out six in 8 1/3 innings. He went 0-for-2 batting ninth, proving he didn't have much of a future as a hitter. The '16 Sox would go on to win the World Series. 

April 6, 1973

On a day that featured the debut of the designated hitter in the American League, catcher Carlton Fisk, coming off his rookie of the year season, got his second year off to a booming start with three hits, including a two-run homer of Yankees ace Mel Stottlemyre, and six RBI as the Sox spotted their archrivals a three-run lead and roll, 15-5.

(Now, if we could just forget Fisk's three-run, eighth-inning homer for the White Sox in a 5-3 Red Sox loss in the Fenway opener in '81 after Boston let him switch Sox as a free agent that winter.) 

April 10, 1998

Mo Vaughn hit a walk-off grand slam to cap the Red Sox' rally from a five-run deficit off a Mariners bullpen that featured ex-Sox relievers Tony Fossas and Heathcliff Slocumb and future Sox reliever Mike Timlin.

Those that stuck around Fenway when it was 7-2 to start the ninth headed home happy after an 8-7 win on Opening Day. The Sox would go on to make the playoffs at 92-70 but were eliminated in the ALDS by the Cleveland Indians. 

April 1, 2002

Tony Clark, the future head of the MLB Players Association, was a Red Sox first baseman for 90 games in 2002. In the first of those, he went 3-for-5 with a home run and drove in three runs.

The Sox needed all of them in a wild 12-11 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Clark would help the Sox out even more two years later when, as a Yankee, his ground-rule double in the ninth kept Ruben Sierra from scoring from first and ending ALCS Game 5 and with it, the Sox' World Series hopes.

April 11, 2005 

In addition to being memorable for the pregame ring ceremony and banner raising that was 86 years in the making (and for Yankees closer Mariano Rivera being cheered and Alex Rodriguez, pictured, jeered by the Fenway fans for their roles in the Sox' 2004 pennant), the Sox got a strong pitching performance from Tim Wakefield in an 8-1 thumping of the Yankees.

Veterans of '04 Wakefield (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 5 SOs), Trot Nixon (2-for-3, two RBI) and Doug Mirabelli (two-run homer) started '05 off right.

April 8, 2008

The Sox home opener in 2008 was another banner-raising day that included a tearful Bill Buckner emerging from the Green Monster to a standing ovation to throw out the first pitch.

After the pregame festivities, the Sox rolled to a 5-0 shutout over the Detroit Tigers. Kevin Youkilis went 3-for-3 with two RBI and Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed four hits and struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings. 

April 7, 2009

Josh Beckett held the Tampa Bay Rays to one run on two hits and struck out 10 as the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-3.

Beckett would go on to win 17 games and the Sox racked up 95 victories that season before being swept by the Angels in the ALDS.

April 8, 2013

Clay Buchholz got another championship season off to a great start as he shut out the Baltimore Orioles for seven innings on three hits.

Daniel Nava's three-run homer provided the offense in a 3-1 victory.

April 13, 2015

Mookie Betts showed off his future MVP form early in the 2015 season with a 2-for-4, four-RBI day that included a three-run homer in the second inning and two stolen bases in the first.

All of that came after he robbed Bryce Harper of a home run in the first with a leaping grab in front of the bullpen fence in right. The Sox went on to a 9-4 win over the Washington Nationals but it didn't portend to good things as they finished 78-84 and last in the AL East. 

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10 memorable Boston Red Sox home opener wins at Fenway Park

10 memorable Boston Red Sox home opener wins at Fenway Park

The Boston Red Sox were scheduled to play baseball at Fenway Park for the first time in 2020 on Thursday, but the outbreak of the coronavirus has delayed the start of the MLB season, and it's unknown when the action will resume at America's most beloved ballpark.

The Red Sox have given fans many great memories in home openers throughout their storied history -- everything from high-scoring games, walk-off finishes and World Series banner ceremonies.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

While we wait for baseball to return, let's look back at some of the Red Sox's most memorable home opener wins with some Opening Day Dreaming Delivered by Coors Light.

April 11, 2005

It's hard to find a more memorable home opener than this one. 

The Red Sox unveiled their 2004 World Series banner on a beautiful Monday afternoon in Boston, and they did it in front of the rival New York Yankees. Ceremonial first pitches were thrown by Celtics legend Bill Russell, Bruins legend Bobby Orr, as well as Patriots stars Tedy Bruschi and Richard Seymour.

The Sox offense scored eight runs on nine hits and Tim Wakefield pitched seven strong innings to power the defending champs to an 8-1 victory.

April 10, 1998

The Mariners jumped out to a 7-2 lead after eight innings thanks to a very good performance from lefty ace Randy Johnson. Unfortunately for the "Big Unit", he wouldn't earn the victory because the Mariners bullpen gave up seven runs in the bottom of the ninth, including a walk-off grand slam to former American League MVP winner Mo Vaughn.

April 6, 1973

The first game to ever include the designated hitter happened when the Red Sox hosted the Yankees for the home opener in 1973.

The Yankees' Ron Blomberg was the first DH to ever step up to the plate in the first inning, and he walked in a run with the bases loaded. Both teams have used the DH with great success since then, and the best example is the career of Red Sox legend David Ortiz.

April 8, 2008

It took the Red Sox 86 years to win their title after 1918, and Boston sports fans only had to wait three years to celebrate the next one.

Boston unveiled its 2007 World Series title flag at Fenway Park before a 5-0 win over the Detroit Tigers.

April 21, 1939

A new era for the Red Sox began in 1939 with Ted Williams embarking on a Hall of Fame career. He went 1-for-5 with an RBI and played right field in his first career home opener.

The Red Sox won 9-2 over the Philadelphia Athletics.

April 4, 2010

The Red Sox welcomed the defending World Series champion Yankees to Fenway Park to kick off the 2010 season with a rare night home opener.

The Yankees had a 5-2 lead after five innings, then the Red Sox offense woke up and scored seven runs over the next three innings en route to a 9-7 win. These teams also combined for 24 hits, including three home runs.

April 6, 1973

Many of the Red Sox' home openers against the rival Yankees have been high-scoring games, and 1973 was no different.

Boston won 15-5 led by Carlton Fisk, Rico Petrocelli, Doug Griffin and Carl Yastrzemski. Fisk went 4-for-6 with two homers and six RBI. Petrocelli went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Griffin was 4-for-5 with two RBI. Yastrzemski went 2-for-4 and also hit a home run.

April 5, 2018

The Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 regular season games in 2018, and that included a walk-off victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the home opener.

Boston trailed 2-0 entering the bottom of the ninth inning and scored two runs to force extra innings. Hanley Ramirez came up to the plate with the bases loaded in the 12th inning and delivered a walk-off single to seal a 3-2 win.

The Red Sox would go on to win the World Series in October.

April 8, 1985

The Red Sox dominated the Yankees in their first Fenway Park matchup of 1985.

Eight of the nine Red Sox starters tallied at least one hit, with Dwight Evans and Tony Armas hitting one homer apiece. Jim Rice also went 1-for-3 at the plate with three RBI and two runs scored.

April 14, 1942

Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky made his Fenway Park debut in the 1942 home opener, where he went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored in an 8-3 victory against the Philadelphia Athletics.

A look back at the last 10 Opening Day ceremonial first pitches at Fenway Park

A look back at the last 10 Opening Day ceremonial first pitches at Fenway Park

Thursday was supposed to be a special day in Boston.

The Red Sox were scheduled to host the Chicago White Sox for Opening Day at Fenway Park. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we're going to have to wait a while longer before the first pitch of the 2020 season is thrown.

But that doesn't mean we can't take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most iconic Red Sox home opener moments. From Tom Brady to Carl Yastrzemski, a number of Boston legends have kicked off the baseball season in Boston with memorable first pitches.

Let's take a look back at the last 10 of them with some Opening Day Dreaming Delivered by Coors Light.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

2010 - Johnny Pesky

Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky began a new decade of Red Sox baseball by tossing out the first pitch at Fenway Park alongside Pedro Martinez. The ceremonies took place before Boston's opening game vs. the rival Yankees.

2011 - Carl Yastrzemski

Photo courtesy Getty Images

Yaz hadn't made many appearances at Fenway Park after retiring in 1984, but he returned to throw out the first pitch prior to the 2011 home opener against the Yankees.

2012 - Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield

Photo via AP

After many seasons as Red Sox mainstays, both Varitek and Wakefield decided to call it a career prior to the 2012 MLB season. The two Red Sox icons joined forces to celebrate their careers with the ceremonial first pitch in 2012.

2013 - Jimmy Fund patients

The 2013 Opening Day ceremonies were a tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Red Sox' relationship with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. It is the longest-standing team/charity relationship in all of professional sports.

2014 - Mayor Marty Walsh

Former Boston mayor Thomas Menino assisted on the ceremonial first pitch for current mayor Marty Walsh, who threw some heat. They were joined by members of the 2004 World Series team.

2015 - Tom Brady

Photo via AP

Brady is no stranger to Red Sox Opening Day ceremonies. One of his appearances took place in 2015 as Boston celebrated the Patriots' unforgettable Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seattle Seahawks. We would have selected Malcolm Butler for this particular event, but Brady is always a safe choice.

2016 - Ty Law, Bobby Orr and Bill Russell

Photo via AP

The Red Sox hardly ever lack star power for their Opening Day ceremonies, and that much was evident in 2016. They had three Boston legends in the house as Hall of Famers Ty Law (Patriots), Bobby Orr (Bruins) and Bill Russell (Celtics) each threw out the first pitch.

2017 - Tom Brady

Perhaps one of the most memorable first pitches in Red Sox Opening Day history, Brady was joined by Rob Gronkowski and other former Patriots teammates to celebrate their Super Bowl LI win over the Atlanta Falcons.

2018 - U.S. women's hockey team, other medalists from Winter Olympics

Photo via AP

Four members of the gold medal-winning U.S. women's hockey team tossed first pitches alongside Paralympics silver medalist Jake Adicoff, luge silver medalist Chris Mazdzer and Paralympian Dan Cnossen, a gold medal-winning biathlete and former Navy SEAL who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan.

2019 - Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Stephon Gilmore

Photo via AP

After the Red Sox celebrated their 2018 World Series title with a ring ceremony, they were joined by members of a Patriots team that had earned its sixth Super Bowl title two months earlier vs. the Los Angeles Rams. Edelman earned Super Bowl MVP honors.