The baseball season isn’t kicking off Thursday as originally scheduled, but we can live vicariously through some of our favorite memories of Opening Days past.
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Yahoo! Sports asked numerous past and present MLB players for their favorite Opening Day memories. Of those interviewed are former Cubs Tommy La Stella (2015) and Mark DeRosa (2007).
April 5, 2015 was not only the first game of the MLB season — on Sunday Night Baseball, nevertheless — but La Stella’s Cubs debut. The Wrigley Field bleachers were under construction, the weather was fit for football season and Jon Lester was making his Cubs debut.
Yeah, it was a strange day.
La Stella batted ninth, behind Lester — who was still 0-for at the plate for his career. La Stella recorded a broken bat single, one of the Cubs’ five hits in a 3-0 loss. Even so, the positive vibe among the Cubs was palpable.
“And none of those details matched the enthusiasm that night for the Cubs, for us, who we could be and what we were to become after five consecutive fifth-place finishes in the NL Central,” La Stella said. “Some opening days are little more than game one of 162, but not that opening day.
“It was the night the Cubs and baseball in Chicago came back to life.” (As told to Tim Brown)
Like La Stella, DeRosa joined a Cubs team coming off a last place finish the season prior. The 2007 Cubs’ season began with a 5-1 loss in Cincinnati, but it was the first step to the North Siders’ first postseason appearance in four years.
“I’ll always remember opening day in 2007 when we were in Cincinnati,” DeRosa said. “The fans came out in droves for the parade and it felt like we were back in Little League. The whole city rallied around opening day.
“It was an incredibly cool scene and it was the start of a big year for me with the Cubs, so I’ll never forget that one.” (As told to Mike Oz)Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.