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Elephant Rumblings: It’s Opening Day!

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MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at San Francisco Giants D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

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Today in Baseball History:

  • 1973 - The “Alert Orange Baseball” is used for the first time in major league history. The unique baseball, an invention of Oakland Athletics owner Charlie Finley, is used in an exhibition game between Oakland and the Cleveland Indians. Finley contends the ball, painted the color of a construction worker’s hat, will be easier for both players and fans to see. But pitchers complain that the ball is slippery and hard to grip, while batters are unable to pick up the spin of the ball without seeing the seams. Although Finley pushes for the use of colored baseballs during the regular season, the idea will never come to fruition.
  • 2012 - The A’s secure a split of their season-opening series with the Mariners with a 4 - 1 win at the Tokyo Dome. Among the A’s 3 homers is the first one in the major leagues by Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes; Josh Reddick and Jonny Gomes, both also acquired over the winter, hit the other two, while Justin Smoak hits a solo shot for Seattle’s only run. Bartolo Colon earns the win with 8 solid innings of work.

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