Batter up! In 2018, Major League Baseball celebrates Opening Day on March 29. Every year on this day, thousands of people call in sick or take a personal holiday just so they can be in the seats when the first pitch is thrown. This year is especially exciting because it will mark the first time since 1968 that all teams will begin play on the same day. Opening day is always exciting, and this year more so than ever. It’s the earliest opening day in history. No waiting until April; this year we’ll see our teams compete on March 29. So get your jerseys, caps, and Cracker Jacks ready, because it’s MLB Opening Day and it’s time to play ball!
Major League Baseball Opening Day - History
National Holiday petition
In 2014, Budweiser and Ozzie Smith started a petition to make Opening Day a National Holiday.
The first opening night game
In 1950, the St. Louis Cardinals became the first MLB team to open their season with a night game.
A president throws the first pitch
William Howard Taft threw out the first pitch attended the home opener in DC in 1910, making him the first president to throw out a first pitch.
The first pitch
The first Major League Baseball game ever played was on April 22, 1876.
Major League Baseball Opening Day Activities
1. Go to a game, of course
If there’s a ballpark in your town hosting a game, go! There's nothing like the excitement of Opening Day, and it has to be experienced to be believed. No stadium? No problem. Make a date with your TV and watch your favorite team, or better yet, head to a favorite sports bar to enjoy the camaraderie.
2. Wear a hat
Each year MLB encourages baseball fans to wear their team’s hat on Opening Day, regardless of whether they can make it to a game or not. So wear your favorite hat and show your team pride!
3. Cook up some hot dogs
Make it a true party and eat like you’re there. Boil some hot dogs, steam the buns, grab a cold beer and snack on peanuts. Don't forget the fixin's: yellow mustard, ketchup, relish and onions.
Take The Cracker Jack Prize Quiz
5 Facts About Cracker Jacks That Will Blow Your Mind
1. They date back to 1872
Frederick Rueckheim began selling popcorn from a cart in Chicago in 1872. He and his brother, immigrants from Germany, tinkered with the popcorn to make it stand out. The came up with Cracker Jacks, a hit at the 1893 World’s Fair.
2. The packaging sealed the deal
They were one of the first companies to use wax-sealed cardboard containers, allowing them to distribute their product all over the country.
3. Coupons, not prizes were first found inside
Today we love those prizes inside, but when Cracker Jacks first started out, they put coupons in the boxes. These coupons could be collected and redeemed for a variety of goods (like jewelry and housewares).
4. Cracker Jack baseball cards are worth a pretty penny
In 1914 and 1915, Cracker Jack offered sets of baseball cards. Have one? Today a set of those cards are worth as much as a hundred grand, with individual cards worth as much as $40,000.
5. While the Cracker Jack name was registered in 1896, the mascots weren’t introduced until 1916.
The boy on the box is Sailor Jack, and with him is his dog, Bingo. Sailor Jack is modeled after Frederick’s grandson.
Why We Love Major League Baseball Opening Day
A. Baseball is an American tradition
Baseball is as American as red, white, and blue, apple pie, pick-up trucks, and consumerism. It's an American tradition
B. It's practically a national holiday
In 2014 Budweiser, and Ozzie Smith, started a petition to get MLB Opening Day recognized as a National Holiday. It didn’t work, but we agree. Why shouldn’t we all have the day off to enjoy America’s favorite pastime?
C. The pageantry is intoxicating
While every baseball city seems to have its own special way to celebrate Opening Day, Cincinnati’s parade dates back the furthest. The Findlay Market Parade has been held annually since 1920.