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Best Moments from MLB Opening Weekend

Ronel Blanco’s No Hitter 

While this moment was not from the weekend, it is certainly the most important. Blanco’s history in baseball is very rocky. He did not even start pitching until he was 18 and was not signed out of the Dominican Republic until he was 22 (most international players sign with a team when they are much younger). During Spring Training, there was such a slim chance that Blanco would make the roster. After injuries to key pitchers, the Astros called him up as their fifth starter. In only his eighth major league start, Blanco pitched a no-hitter and gave up two walks, both to leadoff hitter George Springer. With Houston’s shaky start against the Yankees during Opening Weekend, this was the perfect pick-me-up game for the team. This game also brought a record for Joe Espada, who became the first manager to win their first game on a no-hitter.

Photo Credits: Troy Taormina / USA Today Sports

A Hot Start for the Yankees 

After an injury to Gerrit Cole and a scare from Aaron Judge, many doubted that the Yankees would be able to start the season hot. Especially since they were starting against the Astros in Houston, which is their house of horrors. The 2023 team was known for their inability to score runs, especially once they fell behind in a game. However, the 2024 team has been able to return from deficits and score runs in many ways. Acquiring Juan Soto was the missing piece for the team, and so far, he is showing that in his offense and defense. He was the deciding factor in three of the four games in Houston and had an RBI hit off an untouchable Josh Hader. While it is still early in the season, Yankee fans can be excited to see a team that seems so much different than the previous teams they watched.  

Photo Credits: Yankees / Instagram

Jung Hoo Lee's First Homer 

In the eighth inning of the Giants game on March 30, Lee hit his first major league home run to add to his team’s lead. The former KBO MVP has enjoyed a smooth transition into his first major league season and collected three hits before his first home run. While retrieving a milestone ball like this is usually a hard task, the family that caught Lee’s ball was more than happy to give it back to the outfielder. In a heartwarming moment, the boy who caught the ball, a Padres fan, told Lee that his favorite player was fellow Korean player Ha Seong Kim. Lee told the boy that he would let Kim know. Lee then celebrated with his team, creating some of the iconic beer shower content that would be all over social media in the following days.

 Photo Credits: Denis Poroy / Associated Press 

A Wild Second Inning for the Diamondbacks 

On Opening Day, the Diamondbacks picked up where they left off last season. While the Rockies pitching is not exactly top-tier, no one expected a third inning quite like the one Arizona had. After going down in order during the second inning, the Diamondbacks came up with confidence in the third inning. Starting with singles from Geraldo Perdomo and Ketel Marte and then a walk from Corbin Carroll, the bases were loaded for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Gurriel singled to score two runs and start a 14-run inning for Arizona, who would go on to win the game 16-1.

Photo Credits: Gregory Bull / Associated Press

A New Celebration in Detroit  

Last year, the Detroit Tigers took their home run celebration very seriously. When Spencer Torkelson was allowed to pick out the celebration for 2023, he took inspiration from both his youth hockey days and the hometown hockey team, the Detroit Red Wings. This year, Torkelson wanted to take a different approach for the home run celebration and honor another company that Tigers owner Christopher Ilitch owns: Little Caesars. This led Torkelson to ask for favors and get an original commercial prop. Although it is only the first week of the season, Detroit’s celebration is among the best in MLB and should be fun to see throughout the summer. 

Photo Credits: Kamil Krzaczynski / USA Today Sports 

Rangers Pick Up Where They Left Off 

There was some concern among Rangers fans when they fell behind against the Cubs in the first game. Despite strong performances from star player Adolis García and rookie Wyatt Langford, the Rangers kept finding themselves playing catch up. In the ninth inning, Travis Jankowski found the perfect time to hit his first home run since July 2023, tying the game and setting the Rangers up to walk it off. In the 10th inning, Texas held the Cubs from scoring, and Jonah Heim walked it off with two outs. The Rangers picked up right where they left off last year when they won the World Series and left fans excited for a new season with new opportunities to shine. 

Photo Credits: Elías Valverde II / Dallas Morning News

Edited By: Sarah Muñoz 

Social Media Content Created By: Jenna Rose Weisenbach

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