SABR celebrates Opening Day 2022 with new collection of Games Project stories

2022 Opening Day

APRIL 7, 2022 — Fifty years ago, baseball’s first-ever labor stoppage delayed the start of the 1972 season. By the time the players’ strike was resolved, the scheduled Opening Day on April 5 had passed. Instead, 22 major-league teams played their first games of 1972 on April 15, and the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles held their rain-delayed opener a day later.

The belated start provided plenty of storylines. The New York Mets mourned the recent passing of manager Gil Hodges as Tom Seaver shut out the defending World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates. The Oakland A’s began their championship season by rallying to beat the Minnesota Twins. The Texas Rangers, newly relocated from Washington, lost to the California Angels on a ninth-inning wild pitch. The Detroit Tigers’ one-run win over the Boston Red Sox proved significant when Billy Martin’s Tigers finished a half game ahead of the Red Sox at the end of the strike-skewed schedule.

Accounts of those four games from Opening Day 1972 – David Krell on the Mets and Pirates, Geoff Young on the A’s and Twins, Steve West on the Angels and Rangers, and Christopher Chavis on the Tigers and Red Sox – are available at the SABR Games Project.

As we celebrate the start of a new baseball season in 2022, the SABR Games Project has published a variety of new stories on memorable Opening Day games, including historic firsts involving new leagues, broadcasting, and baseball’s color barrier; debuts of significant rule changes; first steps in championship seasons; and presidential appearances at the ballpark:

To find more SABR Games Project stories about Opening Day games, click here.

Originally published: April 7, 2022. Last Updated: April 6, 2022.