Opening day fills even the most hardened baseball fan with hope and optimism.
For one day, one week, one month, all 30 teams are "in it." Plus there's the pageantry, the stories from players about what opening day meant to them as a kid. It's a fun afternoon that somehow feels new every year.
The Phillies get to spend it next season in the venerable baseball town of Miami, Florida.
It's the first time since 2003 the Phillies are opening the season in Miami. Opening day is Thursday, March 26, the earliest start ever excluding international games. The final day of the regular season is Sunday, Sept. 27.
Some key dates/notes from the schedule:
• The Phillies' home opener is Thursday, April 2 at 3:05 p.m. against the Brewers.
• The Phillies and Braves do not meet at all for the first time until May 4 in Philly. The Phils will have played 34 games by then (barring rainouts).
• The Phillies knock out three NL Central road trips in the month of April: Chicago, Milwaukee and Cincinnati. They also take their one and only trip to San Francisco April 27-29.
• The first West Coast trip is May 18-24 when the Phillies go to Dodger Stadium for four and Coors Field for three.
• Mike Trout and the Angels come to Philadelphia July 17-19. Trout last played here in May 2014, so long ago that the Phillies' starting pitchers in the two games were A.J. Burnett and Cliff Lee.
• Home interleague opponents: Rangers, Blue Jays, Athletics and Angels.
• Road interleague opponents: Mariners, Astros, Blue Jays and Rangers
• In September, 16 of the Phillies' final 18 games come against the Braves, Nationals and Mets.
Go here to check out the schedule in its entirety.
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