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Elephant Rumblings: ‘Arizona or bust’ to start 2020 MLB season?

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Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics
Could this be the A’s home to begin the regular season?
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A’s Coverage:

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Today in Baseball History:

  • 1910 - William Howard Taft becomes the first U.S. President to throw out a ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Attending the game in Washington, D.C., President Taft tosses the first ball to future Hall of Famer Walter Johnson, who pitches the first of his 14 Opening Day Washington games, striking out nine, en route to a 3 - 0 one-hit shutout against Eddie Plank and the Philadelphia Athletics. A double by Home Run Baker - caused by right fielder Doc Gessler tripping over a fan who had spilled out of overflow seating - spoils Johnson’s chance at an opening day no-hitter.
  • 1911 - Cleveland Naps star pitcher Addie Joss dies unexpectedly in Toledo, Ohio, from meningitis at the age of 31. Beset with arm injuries, Joss made just 13 appearances last season, but his 160 wins and ERA of 1.88, compiled in nine seasons, will earn him a plaque at Cooperstown in 1978.
  • 1915 - In the opening game at Shibe Park, Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Herb Pennock shuts out the Boston Red Sox, 5 - 0. Pennock gives up only one hit, a scratch single by Harry Hooper with two outs in the 9th inning.
  • 1925 - Two future Hall of Famers make their major league debuts with the Philadelphia Athletics in the same game. Lefty Grove starts against the Boston Red Sox and leaves in the 4th inning after walking four and striking out nobody. He gives up five runs on six hits. In the 8th inning, Mickey Cochrane pinch-hits a single, while the Athletics go on to score nine runs in the last four innings to win, 9 - 8, in ten innings. Grove, known as Groves in Baltimore, is also listed that way in the New York Times box score. Grove will become the first pitcher to lead the American League in strikeouts and walks in the same year.
  • 1931 - At Braves Field, Jack Quinn of the Brooklyn Robins becomes the oldest pitcher to start an Opening Day game. The 47-year-old Pennsylvanian gets tagged with the lost as the Boston Braves beats Brooklyn, 7 - 4.
  • 1968 - At the Astrodome, New York Mets pitcher Nolan Ryan earns the first of his 324 major league victories.
  • 1969 - The expansion Montreal Expos host their first game north of the border, marking the first time a regular-season major league game is played outside of the United States. The Expos win their debut at Jarry Park, edging the St. Louis Cardinals, 8 - 7. Mack Jones hits a three-run home run and two-run triple and Dan McGinn takes the win in 5 1/3 innings of relief. Jones’ blast is also the first major league home run hit outside the United States, while light-hitting Dal Maxvill hits a grand slam for the losers.
  • 1990 - Starter Bret Saberhagen gets the win and reliever Mark Davis earns the save as Kansas City beats Toronto, 3 - 1. It is the first time ever that two reigning Cy Young Award winners have figured in the same victory.
  • 2005 - On a historic night at RFK Stadium, Livan Hernandez and Vinny Castilla are up to the task. Hernandez carries a one-hitter into the 9th inning and Castilla falls a single shy of the cycle as the Washington Nationals post a 5 - 3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first major league game in Washington, D.C. in over 33 years. After beginning their first season in the nation’s capital with a nine-game road trip, the Nationals start the first game at RFK Stadium since the departure of the Washington Senators with former pitcher Joe Grzenda handing a ball to U.S. President George W. Bush, who throws the ceremonial first pitch. Grzenda tossed the final pitch in Senators history against the Yankees on September 30, 1971.

Best of Twitter:

Arizona or bust?

... or perhaps Japan?

Meanwhile, in Taiwan ...

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