A brief history of the Phillies on Opening Day
Hmm, time for a short history lesson, folks.
The 129th season opener in Phillies franchise history is set for Friday afternoon against the Astros at Citizens Bank Park.
Back on May 1, 1883, the Phillies lost their initial opener, 4-3, to Providence at Recreation Park, 24th and Columbia Avenues, when the Grays scored four runs in the eighth to overcome a 3-0 deficit. Attendance was an estimated 1,200. Future Hall of Famer Charles (Old Hoss) Radbourn was the winner, the first of 48 victories for him that season. John Coleman was the loser, the first of his 48 defeats (13 wins).
Since then, 1,880 players have worn the Phillies uniform, and 128 million fans have attended games in Philadelphia.
The initial loss seemed to set the tone, as the Phillies have won 57 openers and lost 69, with a pair of ties (1923 at Brooklyn, 5-5, in 14 innings, and 1924 vs. Boston, 6-6, in 11 innings.).
Friday’s opener marks only the third time in Astros history that they have started a season against the Phillies. The most logical reasoning is that they are in the NL Central. So, the Phillies will see Houston at home in the first three games and not the rest of the season.
The Phillies are 2-0 all time in openers vs. Houston, winning 2-0 behind Chris Short on April 12, 1965, the very first regular season game in the Astrodome. Dick Allen hit the Dome’s first home run during the season. The other Phillies win came on April 5, 1993, also in the Astrodome. Terry Mulholland was the winner in a 3-1 final.
Of the previous 128 openers, 12 have gone extra innings, with the most recent being a 5-3 loss to the Braves at Citizens Bank Park in 2007.
Other Opening Day notes:
• The Phillies are 1-1 in openers played on April 1 (no foolin’), a 3-0 Curt Schilling win in Los Angeles in 1997 and a 7-2 setback at the hands of the Braves in 2002.
• The latest season opener for the Phillies was May 2, an 8-2 defeat against Providence in 1885.
• Roy Halladay is bidding to win back-to-back season openers for the Phillies. The last pitcher to do that was Art Mahaffey, 1962-63. Halladay was the winner in an 11-1 romp at Washington a year ago, which started a new decade.
• Last decade, the Phillies were 3-7, losing the last four.
• As far as Citizens Bank Park season openers, the Phillies are 1-4.
• Hall of Famer Robin Roberts has the most Opening Day wins for the Phillies, five, and most losses, six.
• The Phillies have had a winning pitcher named Blanton, only it was Cy and not Joe, the current starter. Cy Blanton was the 1941 winner against the Braves on April 15. Wonder if he had to file his income tax forms that same day? (H/T Phillies.com)
All I can say is, I hope Halladay will be able to make the Phils 3-0 against the Astros in opening day games between the two clubs.