Happy Jackie Robinson Day. April 15th was 75 years exactly since he appeared in his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers to make history. With celebrations and tributes of all kinds spread amongst the league and country, Jackie had his memory honored across all of Major League Baseball.
Aside from the special celebrations, Friday is always a nice appetizer for the weekend slate of games. We had a lot to digest through the afternoon and beyond. A fun day indeed, so let’s get right into it…
Walk This Way, Corey
The ultimate compliment was laid at the feet of the first-year Texas Ranger, Corey Seager. Usually held in reverence to bats like Barry Bonds, Corey Seager was given special treatment in the 4th inning of Friday’s game against the Angels when he was walked with the bases loaded. Joe Maddon is known for being an outside-of-the-box thinker, but he has people throughout baseball discussing this decision.
Corey Seager is a good hitter but is not known to be that prolific of a bat that is worthy of the feat. This has only happened 3 times in recorded baseball history since 1950. Corey Seager joined the list of just Josh Hamilton in 2008 and Barry Bonds in 1998. The other interesting wrinkle was that Maddon was the manager who decided to walk Josh Hamilton in 2008 as well when he was managing the Rays. This is not something that happens often. Flex those muscles, Seager.
Let's get wacky on a Friday night!
We got an intentional walk with the bases loaded!!! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/enmXExTi24
— MLB (@MLB) April 16, 2022
Wilson with the Wind
Tom Hanks made an appearance in Cleveland to throw out the first pitch, and he brought a friend with him. He walked towards the bump with what viewers recognized as Wilson in tow. Many people recognized him immediately as his volleyball friend from isolation in the classic movie Robert Zemeckis’ Castaway. The windy day led Wilson all over the infield as the fans adored the volleyball that seemed to have a life of its own. As far as the first pitch goes, Tom Hanks’ did not embarrass himself. His heave made it within the area of home plate, which is supposedly the bar for celebrity first pitches at this point.
Wilson, Wilson, Wiiilllssssooonnn ‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/LEVLIeQEV7
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 15, 2022
Ichiro Throws Out First Pitch
Another first pitch but of a completely different ilk. I put them next to each other on purpose because the difference is staggering. A sort of passing of the torch in Seattle happened on Opening Day with Julio Rodriguez catching the opening dart of a first-pitch from Suzuki. Ichiro is set to take his deserving place in the Mariners Hall of Fame when August rolls around. With some announcements paired with the induction, the Mariners will have a completely Ichiro-themed weekend with fireworks, bobbleheads, and t-shirt giveaways. Well deserved for a true living legend.
Ichiro wearing his 2001 jersey,
throws the ceremonial first pitch to the star of the future Julio Rodriguez.
Seattle Baseball Perfection.#SeaUsRise @komonews pic.twitter.com/QXIBkQ3JUP
— Niko Tamurian (@NikoTamurian) April 16, 2022
Pitchers Can Celebrate Too
It’s hard to say how well this would go over in the MLB, but it sure was fun to watch. College baseball players are having fun at a good clip, and they could teach some of the MLB players that have trouble accepting it at times. This is an all-time celebration after getting a strikeout, and I think it’s awesome to see this level of energy on the pitching side. More bat flips and more of whatever you’d call this celebration.
Y’all have heard of the K strut now let @brock_weirather introduce you to the “K Jazz Hands” pic.twitter.com/Oy9arP4VU4
— Stephen Schoch (@bigdonkey47) April 15, 2022
Mets show Jackie Robinson Day Spirit
Players choose to honor Jackie Robinson in many ways on this special day, and Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, and Robinson Canó used their uniforms to pay homage to #42. Their ensemble was arguably the best of the day, and their offensive explosion on the field might have been a product of looking so good. Robinson Canó’s cleats drew inspiration from the classic Brooklyn Dodgers’ cream-colored home jerseys. Pete Alonso’s cleats had distinct features of Ebbets Field and other Dodgers’ related colors to pay tribute. Lindor’s might have been the cleanest and most classic, with the 42 all over as the main design. Amazing showing by three great hitters residing in Queens.
.@Lindor12BC came ready for Jackie Robinson Day. #Jackie42 pic.twitter.com/D5uYY3xY1Y
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 15, 2022
Pete Alonso and Robinson Cano wearing customized cleats for Jackie Robinson Day via @stadiumck pic.twitter.com/hWNW2yAAXz
— Joon Lee (@joonlee) April 15, 2022
Get a Ring & Foul Ball
A night that this couple would remember forever became even more memorable. It’s hard to say how rare it is that a foul ball would find the recently engaged couple at beautiful Camden Yards, but it did. The old adage says that the ball doesn’t lie, and it sure might be a good omen for this newly engaged couple. What a fun moment to watch unfold live on TV.
In tonight's Orioles-Yankees game, a couple got engaged on the field before the game and then caught a foul ball later in the night.
What are the odds of that? pic.twitter.com/Pmtjhz4rz3
— Ben Brown 🌻 (@BenBrownPL) April 16, 2022
Slugger Steals the Show
We love mascots, and ones with dance moves will forever be featured. The Portland Sea Dogs are lucky to have Slugger rooting for the home team. They take their mascots seriously in Portland, Maine. So serious that they don’t even call Slugger by that title. He goes by another more official title. He has been appointed and has held the title of the Sea Dogs’ Director of Crowd Entertainment since the teams’ creation back in 1994. Go, Slugger!
It's been such a long time pic.twitter.com/3uC7uDTtvw
— Slugger The Sea Dog (@Slugger_SeaDog) April 15, 2022
Rogers boys stay Twinning
Taylor and Tyler Rogers joined the list of sets of twins to make an appearance in the same Major League Baseball game. This happened on Monday night, and it made the news as a feel-good story and had all sets of siblings wondering what it would be like to play each other at the highest level of baseball. Historically, they became the 10th member of the list of twins to even have a rostered spot on MLB teams. It was the first time that twins appeared in the same game since Jose and Ozzie Canseco in 1990. Friday night, they exchanged lineup cards at home plate.
Imagine exchanging lineup cards with your identical twin at the highest level? This is awesome. pic.twitter.com/OSfoEYq1P2
— MLB (@MLB) April 12, 2022
Bill Loves Baseball too
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made an appearance at the Vanderbilt vs. Florida Gators baseball game in Nashville on Friday. It had me thinking about what Bill’s creative game planning could bring to the game of baseball. Known for thinking outside of the box and unique ways of strategizing against opponents, his mind seems made for success on the diamond. Put him in the room for a few hours, and he probably would solve the baseball pace of play issue.
Great to have @Patriots head coach Bill Belichick at The Hawk!#VandyBoys pic.twitter.com/M8qZ0eLD6t
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) April 15, 2022
Shohei in a Cowboy Hat
Shohei Ohtani is electric, and he was even more so on Friday night. Check out his celebration in the dugout when he dons the cowboy hat after his 2nd home run of the game. Ohtani is so cool that he literally could pull off anything, and the cowboy hat is truly working for the modern-day Sultan of Swat. See you, Space Cowboy.
Shohei Ohtani in a cowboy hat is exactly what we needed to see today pic.twitter.com/TLo3kSWimf
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 16, 2022
The best thing about baseball is that it continues today. More moments await us upon the first pitch here on Saturday. Sit back and enjoy the moments as they happen. Another great weekend of the greatest game on this planet awaits us.
Photo by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)