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roylestillman
03-15-2011, 10:36 AM
I've tried to narrow down the top 5 Home Opener moments over the years I've been attending (1976.) Here they are:

1. 1981. Carlton Fisk Grand Slam against Brewers (thanks Fenway) with over 51,000 in attendance.

2. 2010. The Buehrle Play.

3. 1978, The Blomberg Home Run.

4. 2008. The Crede Grand Slam.

5. 1993. Bo's first homer after hip surgery (maybe his first at bat?)

Just missed: Veeck's return and Buehrle's 2 hitter in 2005.

Marqhead
03-15-2011, 10:39 AM
Banner raising in 2006? Followed by a Jim Thome 3 run homer for the win on a rainy night. (If I recall correctly.)

doublem23
03-15-2011, 10:42 AM
The Bo Jackson HR wasn't Opening Day, it was his 1st game back from hip surgery, it was something like the 4th or 5th game of the 1993 season.

Are we talking just Opening Day or Home Opener? Because if it's home opener, I have to stump again for Ray Durham's catch in the 2000 Home Opener. That was unbelievable. Game wasn't anything to remember, but that play was one of the best I've ever seen.

BringBackBlkJack
03-15-2011, 10:42 AM
Banner raising in 2006? Followed by a Jim Thome 3 run homer for the win on a rainy night. (If I recall correctly.)

The ESPN piece on the Sox they did as a lead-in into the game is probably the best thing ESPN has ever done.

Fenway
03-15-2011, 10:43 AM
I've tried to narrow down the top 5 Opening day moments over the years I've been attending (1976.) Here they are:

1. 1981. Carlton Fisk Grand Slam against Boston with over 51,000 in attendance.

2. 2010. The Buehrle Play.

3. 1978, The Blomberg Home Run.

4. 2008. The Crede Grand Slam.

3, 1993. Bo's first homer after hip surgery (maybe his first at bat?)

Just missed: Veeck's return and Buehrle's 2 hitter in 2005.

The 81 opener was against Milwaukee - but Fisk did homer in the first game of the year at Fenway and the fans cheered.

The 1978 game haunts me - over 162 games one shouldn't come back to bite you but if Boston wins that game - Bucky F Dent never gets a chance to play in game 163

roylestillman
03-15-2011, 10:46 AM
Clarification: Home Opener.

...and I'm an idiot by not including the banner raising.

ewokpelts
03-15-2011, 11:42 AM
The Bo Jackson HR wasn't Opening Day, it was his 1st game back from hip surgery, it was something like the 4th or 5th game of the 1993 season.

Are we talking just Opening Day or Home Opener? Because if it's home opener, I have to stump again for Ray Durham's catch in the 2000 Home Opener. That was unbelievable. Game wasn't anything to remember, but that play was one of the best I've ever seen.the 2000 home opener was a beautiful and warm 70 degree night. i wore shorts to the game. packed house and the sox were coming back from a killer road trip already in 1st place.

ChiSoxGirl
03-15-2011, 11:46 AM
The ESPN piece on the Sox they did as a lead-in into the game is probably the best thing ESPN has ever done.

Without a doubt. Even now, it still gives me goosebumps.

ChiSoxGal85
03-15-2011, 11:55 AM
The ESPN piece on the Sox they did as a lead-in into the game is probably the best thing ESPN has ever done.
Best.piece.ever. Gotta get out the kleenex every time I see it.

Fenway
03-15-2011, 12:04 PM
The ESPN piece on the Sox they did as a lead-in into the game is probably the best thing ESPN has ever done.

L8PLu_zm9g0

Sargeant79
03-15-2011, 12:16 PM
Banner raising in 2006? Followed by a Jim Thome 3 run homer for the win on a rainy night. (If I recall correctly.)

Hands down my favorite memory opening day memory...I was there with my season ticket seat in section 154. I damn near cried when they pulled the cover off the banner.

#1swisher
03-15-2011, 01:13 PM
'06 Home Opener :gulp:


Looking forward to the 2012 Home Opener :cool:

LITTLE NELL
03-15-2011, 01:27 PM
I was at the 81 opener and still maintain that the 51,000 was inflated as it was the first game for the JR ownership group. I attended many sell outs at old Comiskey and could judge a crowd pretty good and there just were not that many SRO fans to get to the 51,000 figure.
It was still an exciting day with Fisk hitting the grand slam. I would put it in 2nd place behind the 1960 opener when Minnie Minoso played his first game after he was traded back to the Southside. Sox won 10-9 and Minnie hit 2 HRs with 6 RBIs.

Harry Potter
03-15-2011, 02:31 PM
Without a doubt. Even now, it still gives me goosebumps.

Absolutely. Even the first few notes on the piano

Foulke You
03-15-2011, 02:47 PM
the 2000 home opener was a beautiful and warm 70 degree night. i wore shorts to the game. packed house and the sox were coming back from a killer road trip already in 1st place.
Besides 2006, the 2000 opener was one of my favorites. Unseasonably warm, crowd was buzzing, they had a night game with fireworks, and Ray Durham's catch in the top of the 1st was unbelievable. Frank Thomas hit a 1st inning bomb in the bottom half of the inning that sent the crowd into a frenzy. It set the tone for a fun season and an MVP year for Frank. (I refuse to acknowledge the juiced up MVP "winner" that year Jason Giambi) Frank was coming off a down season in 1999 and the media was all over him in Spring Training because Jerry Manuel was an idiot who wanted Frank to participate in a shuttle run when his foot was bothering him. This was also at the zenith of Sosa worship among the Chicago media so it was nice to see Frank shake all of that off with a big HR to follow up Durham's catch.

soxfan21
03-15-2011, 03:28 PM
'06 home opener, followed by last year with Buehrle's play. When he made that play it seemed as though the whole place went silent for a second, then just erupted.

tebman
03-15-2011, 04:28 PM
Some of my faves among those I've attended:

1. 2006 -- How could it not be? World Series Champs, banner unveiling, dramatic rainstorm, Thome homer. It was a ballgame and a floor show!

2. 2010 -- Buehrle's Flip-O-Matic performance.

3. 1981 -- (lifted from roylestillman) Carlton Fisk Grand Slam against Brewers with over 51,000 in attendance. That was fun -- sunny day, full house, spruced-up ballpark, and Fisk's big ol' hit.

These come to mind, though honorable mention goes to 1986 with Fisk starting in left field. Got a standing O when he caught his first fly ball. :redneck

Fenway
03-15-2011, 04:34 PM
I was at the Opener in 1982 - which because of snow delays wound up being a twinite DH :scratch: - it was 'nippy'

2 weeks later they finally played Boston in what SHOULD have been the Opening Day and that as well was a twinighter - and without question the coldest 7 hours I have ever spent in a ballpark - They announced the crowd as 5,000 for the 2 games - I don't think it was much more than 2,000.

There was so much snow in Chicago for what should have been Opening Day that the Red Sox went back to Winter Haven for a couple of days.

Whitesox029
03-15-2011, 05:07 PM
Shouldn't shortchange the '05 opener, although that game was a lot cooler looking back on it than it was at the time, since it was a 1-0 victory, which is exactly the same way the season ended. It was also a beautiful day, and about 1 hr 58 minutes, vintage Buehrle.

the 2000 home opener was a beautiful and warm 70 degree night. i wore shorts to the game. packed house and the sox were coming back from a killer road trip already in 1st place.
I remember that game for the weather and the incredible catch Ray Durham made going back on a ball at 2nd base...I'm pretty sure it was in the first inning, and that it saved two runs being with two outs and men on...now to check my memory...

EDIT: From Retrosheet.org:
ANGELS 1ST: Erstad doubled to left; Kennedy singled to right
[Erstad to third]; Vaughn flied to left; Salmon popped to
second; M. Johnson allowed a passed ball [Kennedy to second];
Anderson walked; Glaus was called out on strikes; 0 R, 2 H, 0 E,
3 LOB. Angels 0, White Sox 0.
Not bad! The only detail I missed was that it was with one out with men on 1st and 3rd instead of 2 out with men on 2nd and 3rd.

TheCommander
03-15-2011, 07:06 PM
2005 is the only home opener I have ever attended, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. The way the rest of the season unfolded doesn't hurt either. :D:

DumpJerry
03-15-2011, 07:16 PM
The ESPN piece on the Sox they did as a lead-in into the game is probably the best thing ESPN has ever done.
Of course they would not include any scenes of el Duque against Boston in Game Three of the ALDS....

Medford Bobby
03-15-2011, 07:47 PM
The 1977 Opener was fun as Bill Veeck gave every fan Styrofoam baseballs to throw right at first pitch. I remember fans still threw balls during the game. The Sox won the game and a win for Ken Brett.

Can you think of any other game that it was ok to throw an object on the field and was sanctioned my management??:scratch:

I still have my 1977 Opening Day ball......

http://www.chicagotix.com/images/Specialtixs/w-sox-1977-sc-prog.jpg

TomBradley72
03-15-2011, 07:51 PM
The 81 opener was against Milwaukee - but Fisk did homer in the first game of the year at Fenway and the fans cheered.

The 1978 game haunts me - over 162 games one shouldn't come back to bite you but if Boston wins that game - Bucky F Dent never gets a chance to play in game 163

I was at that game-Nordhagen drops a tee shot into short center to score Lemon- what a great game.

(I got busted for cutting school- but it was worth it)

Bruizer
03-18-2011, 01:21 PM
Banner raising in 2006? Followed by a Jim Thome 3 run homer for the win on a rainy night. (If I recall correctly.)

Yes! And it was a night game with a 3-hour rain delay that knocked Buehrle and Sabathia out with a 3-3 tie if I recall. Didn't get home until 2 am and had to go to work the next day, but it was worth it!

Railsplitter
03-19-2011, 11:16 AM
1974. The streakers.

rcescato
03-19-2011, 11:31 AM
The Bo Jackson HR wasn't Opening Day, it was his 1st game back from hip surgery, it was something like the 4th or 5th game of the 1993 season.

Are we talking just Opening Day or Home Opener? Because if it's home opener, I have to stump again for Ray Durham's catch in the 2000 Home Opener. That was unbelievable. Game wasn't anything to remember, but that play was one of the best I've ever seen.

That was the home opener. I was there with my dad and 2 brothers and sister in law. It was the last game for my dad and we all went. That home ru n was electrifying

Thome25
03-19-2011, 12:33 PM
My favorite home opener moment was on April 9th 1993.

Bo Jackson hit a towering rainbow shot into right field for a HR in his 1st game back from hip replacement.

SOXSINCE'70
03-19-2011, 02:12 PM
Besides 2006, the 2000 opener was one of my favorites. Unseasonably warm, crowd was buzzing, they had a night game with fireworks, and Ray Durham's catch in the top of the 1st was unbelievable. Frank Thomas hit a 1st inning bomb in the bottom half of the inning that sent the crowd into a frenzy. It set the tone for a fun season and an MVP year for Frank.

And IIRC,all those fireworks cam from the worthless arm of the immortal Ken Hill, who would later be traded
to the Pale Hose.He'd lost his control.The fastball wasn't there anymore.
It would then become apparent his career was O-VAH!

SOXfnNlansing
03-19-2011, 07:11 PM
the 2000 home opener was a beautiful and warm 70 degree night. i wore shorts to the game. packed house and the sox were coming back from a killer road trip already in 1st place.

..... and Durham made that fabulous catch

Frontman
03-19-2011, 07:32 PM
Crede's slam for the 2008 Home Opener was awesome. It was my first Home Opener game, and it was the closest I ever sat to the field at USCF (we were second row, just even with the tarp on the 3 base/left field side.) To watch a home run go out into the Sox bullpen from that close was just incredible fun.

bigdommer
03-21-2011, 04:22 PM
The most amazing thing about Mark's kick 'n flip on opening day in 2010 was that it was probably the first and last time that someone won a gold glove on opening day.

Dan H
03-21-2011, 07:32 PM
I am going to date myself and say 1971. Pinch hitter Rich McKinney lined a single into left field to clinch a 3-2 win over Minnesota. 44,250 attended when no crowd came close to that many the year before when the Sox had lost 106 games. The emotion was intense.

Foulke You
03-21-2011, 07:59 PM
And IIRC,all those fireworks cam from the worthless arm of the immortal Ken Hill, who would later be traded
to the Pale Hose.He'd lost his control.The fastball wasn't there anymore.
It would then become apparent his career was O-VAH!
I actually attended the infamous "Ken Hill Game" during the 2000 season. It was the one and only game he started for the Sox. If I remember right, Hill was waived/released by the Angels and the Sox picked him up in an attempt to find an arm to replace the injured Cal Eldred who was having a fine season until his elbow fell apart.

mzh
03-21-2011, 08:05 PM
2009 was nothing special but fun. Buehrle pitched solid, Thome hits a 3 run bomb in the 8th to put us ahead. BBB shuts em down in the 9th.

DonnieDarko
03-21-2011, 08:10 PM
I actually attended the infamous "Ken Hill Game" during the 2000 season. It was the one and only game he started for the Sox. If I remember right, Hill was waived/released by the Angels and the Sox picked him up in an attempt to find an arm to replace the injured Cal Eldred who was having a fine season until his elbow fell apart.

What was so special about the "Ken Hill Game"? I mean, special enough to warrant its own name?

SephClone89
03-21-2011, 08:10 PM
2009 was nothing special but fun. Buehrle pitched solid, Thome hits a 3 run bomb in the 8th to put us ahead. BBB shuts em down in the 9th.

And Dewayne wise strikes out.

Not once, not twice, but thrice.

Foulke You
03-21-2011, 08:17 PM
What was so special about the "Ken Hill Game"? I mean, special enough to warrant its own name?
It was only memorable during that time period. I remember a lot of discussion on WSI back then about it. Hill was awful and fans starting having a lot of angst about our pitching staff during the 2nd half of the 2000 season after the injury to Eldred. He got bludgeoned to death and didn't even last more than a few innings. Fans were a bit critical of management for not adding a big pitcher at the deadline to replace Eldred and have a legit ace for the playoffs. Ken Hill became symbolic in the eyes of some fans about the team's relative inactivity at the deadline and they were just hoping that Eldred got healthy. Baldwin and Sirotka had great seasons and Parque was decent but there was no ace pitcher on that staff. I remember a lot of sarcastic posts referring to "Ken Hill" every time the Sox added a vet pitcher from waivers. I guess I should have written "semi-infamous". Now the Jose Paniagua game...THAT was infamous.:tongue:

DonnieDarko
03-21-2011, 08:21 PM
Now the Jose Paniagua game...THAT was infamous.:tongue:

How was it infamous? You have to keep in mind that my memories of the Sox from this time period (pre-All Star Break 2000) are not very good. >_>

Foulke You
03-21-2011, 11:39 PM
How was it infamous? You have to keep in mind that my memories of the Sox from this time period (pre-All Star Break 2000) are not very good. >_>
I'm going by memory here (so someone please correct me if I make an error) but the jist of it was that the Sox had a huge 4 game set with the Twins at Comiskey in late August/Early September of 2003. The Sox won the first game big and were leading the 2nd game big too. During this 2nd game the Sox were up by a bunch but rather than step on the Twins throats in a key division race, Sox manager Jerry Manuel went to Jose Paniagua in the 9th inning to close it out. Paniagua was a veteran castoff at the end of his career that the Sox picked up on waivers to fill out their bullpen. The guy was awful and couldn't get a single hitter out. The Twins scored a bunch of runs and the Sox came within an eyelash of blowing a sure win. The fans were booing and I believe Sox closer Flash Gordon had to be used to close the game out when it should have never got to that point. Even though we won the game and had a 2 game lead in the division, it just felt like a loss and the late rally got the Twins bats and cofidence going for the rest of the series. They took the next 2 games to tie the Sox in the division before leaving town. The Paniagua game seemed to have a lasting effect on the team's morale. Almost everyone felt that Jerry Manuel blew a big chance to really deflate the Twins and go for the jugular. The Sox ended up getting swept at the dome a short while later and finished about 4 games behind the Twins for the division in a year they absolutely should have won it.

Zisk77
03-22-2011, 11:06 AM
I'm going by memory here (so someone please correct me if I make an error) but the jist of it was that the Sox had a huge 4 game set with the Twins at Comiskey in late August/Early September of 2003. The Sox won the first game big and were leading the 2nd game big too. During this 2nd game the Sox were up by a bunch but rather than step on the Twins throats in a key division race, Sox manager Jerry Manuel went to Jose Paniagua in the 9th inning to close it out. Paniagua was a veteran castoff at the end of his career that the Sox picked up on waivers to fill out their bullpen. The guy was awful and couldn't get a single hitter out. The Twins scored a bunch of runs and the Sox came within an eyelash of blowing a sure win. The fans were booing and I believe Sox closer Flash Gordon had to be used to close the game out when it should have never got to that point. Even though we won the game and had a 2 game lead in the division, it just felt like a loss and the late rally got the Twins bats and cofidence going for the rest of the series. They took the next 2 games to tie the Sox in the division before leaving town. The Paniagua game seemed to have a lasting effect on the team's morale. Almost everyone felt that Jerry Manuel blew a big chance to really deflate the Twins and go for the jugular. The Sox ended up getting swept at the dome a short while later and finished about 4 games behind the Twins for the division in a year they absolutely should have won it.

What wa infamous was Paniagua flipping off the crowd as he exited. He was released by the sox 10 minutes later. The win gave us a 4 game lead over the twins ,but we dropped the next 2 games to Santanna and Radke. The sox had a brutal schedule the rest of the way...Yankees, Bosox, etc while the twins played no one with a winning record besides us. The won 2 uincredibly lucky games as well. They beat Cleveland when the tying run scored on a sac fly to ss (the ball was caught in the infield but the ss was suurprised by Jacque Jones going). The second had the twins trying to score the tying run with 2 out in the bottom of the ninth. The throw beat the runner by a mile but the twinking slid hard into Benjie Molina and broke his hand while kicking the ball out of his glove to the backstop. Tying run scored and so did the winning run as the ball rolled away. Just unbelievable.

BainesHOF
03-22-2011, 11:38 AM
For me, I'd have to go with 1981 by a fairly wide margin. The place was jam-packed and there was a big buzz in the air because of the Fisk, Luzinski and LeFlore signings. Fisk's dramatic homer in Boston only amplified it. I had seats behind home plate in the upper deck and still remember being amazed by watching a drunk wander among the empty beer kegs on the roof. The joint exploded when Fisk jacked his grand slam. And of course the sound reveberated so much louder in Comiskey than the Cell.

Next I'd go with 2006 for obvious reasons, but the game was meaningless compared to the pre-game pagentry.

Don't sell 2005 short. That was quite a tense, classic victory and launched the season of all seasons.

chisoxfanatic
03-22-2011, 02:54 PM
I haven't been to many home openers...But, I would have to say that 2006 was quite epic. The weather was nice pre-game. The banner unveiling ceremony was quite an emotional one, done up perfectly (I still have the tone of the music to memory--I can hum it)...It's actually when it REALLY hit me that they won the World Series. Then there was the long rain delay scaring off about 3/4 of the crowd. We huddled around the Sox dugout for the rest of the game once it started and shared umbrellas. Then Jim Thome put an exclamation point on it all by ripping a HR right through the heavy rain. I remember leaving the ballpark at about 1:30 and had to be at work the next day!

Foulke You
03-22-2011, 05:38 PM
What wa infamous was Paniagua flipping off the crowd as he exited. He was released by the sox 10 minutes later. The win gave us a 4 game lead over the twins ,but we dropped the next 2 games to Santanna and Radke. The sox had a brutal schedule the rest of the way...Yankees, Bosox, etc while the twins played no one with a winning record besides us. The won 2 uincredibly lucky games as well. They beat Cleveland when the tying run scored on a sac fly to ss (the ball was caught in the infield but the ss was suurprised by Jacque Jones going). The second had the twins trying to score the tying run with 2 out in the bottom of the ninth. The throw beat the runner by a mile but the twinking slid hard into Benjie Molina and broke his hand while kicking the ball out of his glove to the backstop. Tying run scored and so did the winning run as the ball rolled away. Just unbelievable.
Thanks for fixing my errors. I knew I probably had a detail or two wrong. I remember Paniagua did something to anger the team and the fans to boot but I couldn't remember exactly what it was. There is nothing quite like performing poorly and then taking it out on the fans. 2003 is still a sore subject with me. With a #5 starter and a manager with half a brain, we could have won that division and been a threat in the playoffs with the kind of seasons Loaiza, Colon, and Buehrle were having.

As far as the Twins...has any team had more goofy fluke finishes then they do the last 10 years? From that Jacque Jones game you mentioned all the way to last years phantom ump call against the Rangers at 3B, the speaker pop up double against the Rays, etc. etc. Mercy.

soxinem1
03-22-2011, 05:52 PM
Can you think of any other game that it was ok to throw an object on the field and was sanctioned my management??:scratch:

I remember the 1985 game when it was seat cushion night and the umps blew a call on a Carlton Fisk HR. Comiskey Park was pretty full this Saturday night so seeing thousands of seat cushions fly on the field was pretty amazing.

I kept mine and grabbed several others and gave them away as presents. I still have the two I kept.

Management didn't tell anyone to do it but they sure didn't discourage it either. They waited nearly five minutes until the umps said it had to stop of the game would be forfeited.

2003 is still a sore subject with me. With a #5 starter and a manager with half a brain, we could have won that division and been a threat in the playoffs with the kind of seasons Loaiza, Colon, and Buehrle were having.

Manuel was never the brilliant manager, but you can blame KW for that. He was the one who assembled that pitching staff and fluffed with the #5 rotation slot from day one of the 2002 off-season.

The 2003 White Sox could have been a dangerous post-season team, much like the cubs were that year. Buehrle, Bart, and Loaiza would have been tough in a short series.