Baseball is and always has been America’s pastime, so Opening Day is always celebrated with some of the best festivities around. However, if you’re just now getting into the 150-year-old world of American baseball, then you might not necessarily be familiar with just how much this day means to long-time baseball fans. Thankfully, we are here to give you the lowdown on this incredible tradition and totally turn you into a baseball believer!
What Is MLB Opening Day?
MLB Opening Day is the beginning of regular season play for Major League Baseball. This is a joyous day for millions of baseball fans across the country who have been without their beloved sport for almost six months! MLB Opening Day means that the wait for a new season is over and people can forget about heartbreak and frustrations from last season with a fresh start and a chance at winning it all. There’s really nothing better than packing into stadiums with 50,000 of your closest fans to root on your team and help get them off to a good start.
When Is MLB Opening Day?
Baseball is full of tradition, and the dates of MLB Opening Day have typically occurred on specific dates. Most Opening Days take place on a Monday in early April. However, Opening Day has recently been occurring on Thursdays or Fridays in late March. For example, in 2019, we experienced the earliest ever Opening Day on Thursday, March 28th. In 2020, Opening Day was scheduled for Thursday, March 26th, but was postponed and later rescheduled to Thursday, July 23rd thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
What Are Some Opening Day Celebrations and Traditions?
Depending on where you’re from and who your team is, you probably have a few of your own personal favorite traditions for Opening Day. Here are a few of our favorites:
- There is a long tradition of the President of the United States throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day. This tradition started back in 1900 with President William Taft throwing out the first pitch for the then-Washington Senators. In the years since, many Presidents have carried on this tradition including Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
- Every year on Opening Day, one team gets to raise the championship banner and start defending their World Series title. This is a great way to celebrate with fans and get pumped up for the upcoming season to hopefully build on your previous success. With no fans allowed at games for the entire MLB season this year, the 2019 champion Washington Nations will not raise the banner or distribute championship rings to the team until they are able to share this experience with fans in-person at Nationals Park.
- Finally, we have the legendary Findlay Market Parade for Opening Day that takes place in Cincinnati. For nearly 100 years, people typically take off work and school for the day to celebrate and attend the parade in downtown Cincinnati. It’s not uncommon for 100,000 people to line up in the streets to watch the parade with floats, bands, and an overall good time. Due to such an amazing tradition, the Cincinnati Reds always played in the first game on Opening Day until 1989 and remain the only team to always open the season with a home game except for two special circumstances in 1966 and 1990.
As you can see, Opening Day is a big deal! So make sure you’re prepared for Opening Day and the MLB season itself with betting education and root on your favorite team.