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Top Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day Moments

With the Los Angeles Dodgers opening their season in the states tomorrow, another season of great moments is fast approaching. Even though there are many great moments throughout the season, Opening Day remains one of the most exciting days for fans and players alike. Over the years, many Dodgers stars have contributed to some of the best moments in baseball history. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable Opening Day moments for the Dodgers.

Top Dodgers Opening Day Moments

5. Baseball is Back

April 25, 1995, Dodgers 8, Florida Marlins 7 at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami

the MLB playoffs. These consequences continued into the new year, with the season delayed until April 25th. 1995 saw a shortened season that kicked off in Miami with a matchup between the Dodgers and the Marlins. While this game certainly was not the best showing for either team, baseball was finally back after a long hiatus that left many fans longing for the game.

The Dodgers made an impact early when Raul Mondesí launched a two-run home run off John Burkett. The Dodgers scored two more runs before Burkett was pulled from the game. In the seventh inning, Mondesí hit another home run, and Eric Karros closed the scoring with a ground-rule double.

Antonio Osuna tried to pitch the last three innings but almost blew a save in the 9th inning. Osuna gave up four runs, but Rudy Seánez held it down, giving the Dodgers the first win of the 1995 MLB season.


4. Kershaw Chaos

April 1, 2013, Dodgers 4, San Francisco Giants 0 at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles 

On Opening Day in 2013 against their rival Giants, future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw made a statement for himself. Kershaw pitched an excellent game, allowing only four hits and striking out seven. However, Kershaw’s eighth-inning home run against George Kontos was even more memorable. This home run was the first of Kershaw’s career and broke a scoreless tie.

The Dodgers scored more in the eighth inning, with Carl Crawford scoring on a wild pitch and two runs scoring on groundouts. Kershaw’s home run was the big run of the game, and his 94-pitch shutout was the reason the Dodgers were able to win their first game of 2013.


3. FernandoMania

April 9, 1981, Dodgers 2, Houston Astros 0 at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

In 1980, Fernando Valenzuela was supposed to be the team’s No. 3 starter. After an injury to Jerry Reuss, Valenzuela got the ball for Opening Day against the Astros. Valenzuela made the most of his first start and went from a back-end rotation piece to a superstar. Craig Reynolds had a single to center field in the first inning, and Valenzuela only allowed four other hits after that and struck out five.

The Dodgers relied on small ball to win this Opening Day, getting their two runs on a sacrifice fly and a double. Valenzuela’s first start won over the hearts of the Mexican community in Los Angeles, and he quickly became a fan favorite. Although this season was shortened due to the strike, Valenzuela still set records and was the first player to win the NL Cy Young and NL Rookie of the Year in the same season.


2. Welcome to Los Angeles

April 18, 1958, Dodgers 6, San Francisco Giants 5 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles 

For Opening Day in 1958, the Dodgers played their first home game in front of a Los Angeles home crowd. This season marked the first season away from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, and they were welcomed by the largest crowd in baseball for the time. Although they did not move into their current home at Dodger Stadium until 1962, the team found a temporary home at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Pitcher Carl Erskine pitched eight innings, allowing four runs and striking out seven, while opposing pitcher Al Worthington made it through only four and a third innings, allowing three runs. The biggest run that day came off of the bat of Dick Gray, who hit a home run in the seventh inning to mark the end of the scoring for the Dodgers.


1. Breaking the Barrier

April 15, 1947, Dodgers 5, Boston Braves 3 at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn 

Easily the most iconic moment in Dodger history, Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier has to be the number one Opening Day moment. Not a single moment has carried as much significance in MLB history as this moment did. Although Robinson went hitless in his first game, the sentiment of this moment shined through regardless.

While many fans in this era showed their disdain for Robinson, he went on to have a Hall of Fame career and a name that is recognizable to even the largest baseball hater.


Memories in the Making

The Dodgers continue their season and make their 2024 home debuts against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday at 4:10 Eastern time. Pitching for the Dodgers, Tyler Glasnow is making his second start, and Miles Mikolas is pitching for the Cardinals.

Main Photo Credits: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


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