Opening day, if it happens, will be either July 23 or 24. Usually it’s a special day in baseball. Like Christmas. But with baseball. This year it’s an oddity. Like a birthday after you’re fifty.
Being that opening day starter, though, carries with it the implied understanding that you’re not just on a major league roster, you are on the A-team.
It’s interesting to see which Rangers have gotten the most opening day starts.
Some names you would expect. Others will surprise you.
The catcher with the most opening day starts for the Texas Rangers is Pudge Rodriguez, with eleven. Next in Jim Sundberg with nine. Assuming he gets the nod this year, it will be Robinson Chirinos’s fourth for the Rangers.
At first, Rafael Palmeiro had eight opening day starts. Next is Pete O’Brien with the early day Rangers.
Second is no surprise. Ian Kinsler was the Rangers opening day starter seven times. Rougned Odor is next on the list with five.
Three players are tied at with seven Rangers opening days at third. Adrian Beltre, Hank Blalock, and Buddy Bell. That’s some real talent there.
No surprise at short. Elvis Andrus has been the opening day Rangers shortstop eleven times. And is sure to be twelve this year, passing Pudge as the Ranger with the most opening day assignments.
The outfield looks like this. Left, Rusty Greer, six year. Center, George Wright, four years. And right, Ruben Sierra, six. Raise your hand if you remember George Wright. He was not Orville and Wilber’s brother.
Lance Parish has four opening day DH starts. Surprisingly, Choo has been the opening day DH just twice.
And the Ranger pitcher with the most opening day assignments is, drumroll— Charlie Hough with six. Kevin Milwood had four, all in a row, from 2006 to 2009. Kenny Rogers, Nolan Ryan, and Jon Matlock all had three.
That’s only two more than Tanner Scheppers.
So here is the Rangers all-opening-day lineup.
Rusty Greer, CF
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Rafael Palmeiro, 1B
Lance Parish, DH
Ruben Sierra, RF
George Wright, LF
Elvis Andrus, SS