10 Highlights from the Red Sox Home Opener

Four GOATs threw the first pitch, David Ortiz almost cried, and more.

The Red Sox home opener ended on a sour note, with the hometown nine dropping Monday afternoon’s contest to the Baltimore Orioles. Prized new acquisitions David Price and Craig Kimbrel surrendered eight runs, which ultimately sank the Sox in the end.

But even though Monday’s affair didn’t end with a Red Sox victory, it still produced plenty of memorable moments. The Fenway opener is a sacred day in Boston, and this year’s theatrics lived up to the hype.

Here are 10 awesome moments from Monday’s home opener:

1. Boston sports legends throw out the first pitch with David Ortiz.

Ortiz will go down as one of the most revered athletes in Boston sports history, so it only makes sense that other Boston sports legends joined him for the first pitch prior to his last ever home opener. Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, and Ty Law accompanied Ortiz to the pitcher’s mound, representing a total of 19 championship rings. Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, and Tim Wakefield also took part in the festivities, joining Ortiz to shout “Play ball!” before the game got underway.

2. David Ortiz’s daughter sings the national anthem.

When 15-year-old Alex Ortiz took the field, Big Papi had to fight back tears.

3. John Farrell receives a standing ovation for his first game back at Fenway.

Farrell’s job may be on the line this season, but the Fenway Faithful put their critiques of the embattled skipper aside when he was introduced Monday. It was Farrell’s first time back at Fenway Park since he announced last August he was battling lymphoma.

4. The Red Sox continue to mash.

Though the Sox lost, they still put up seven runs Monday. It was the fifth time in six games this year they’ve scored six runs or more. They can’t be expected to keep up this pace for the duration of the season, obviously, but it’s good to see the offense get off to a fast start. With the sorry state of their starting pitching, the Red Sox will likely need all of the runs they can get.

5. Ortiz’s hot start continues.

The highlights for Ortiz didn’t only occur during the pregame festivities. Big Papi went 2-for-5 Monday, including an opposite field single in the first inning that knocked in a run. Ortiz is now hitting .318 this season, which means he’s well on track to outperform the lackluster .236 batting average he posted last April. Not a bad beginning to the farewell tour.

6. Mookie Betts loves Opening Day.

Betts, who last week became the youngest Red Sox player in the last 100 years to homer on consecutive Opening Days, impressed yet again Monday. He went 3-for-5 out of the leadoff spot and mashed a home run in the ninth inning, breaking a 3-for-23 slump.

Betts stole the show during the home opener last year, as he hit a lead-off home run, made a leaping catch in the field, and put on a base running clinic as well. The kid is well on his way to superstardom.


7. Hanley is a Gold Glover.

Hanley Ramirez’s transition to first base couldn’t be going better. He flashed the leather again Monday, even receiving a hearty round of applause after making an over-the-shoulder grab on a pop-up in shallow right field (which is one more fly ball than he caught all of last season, by the way).

8. Brock Holt dominates the sixth inning.

The legend of Brock Holt has been alive and well through the first week of the season. In the sixth inning Monday, he doubled off a base runner after laying out for a spectacular catch in left field and sprawled out for a breathtaking slide into third base. He’s hitting an impressive .368 so far this year.

9. Koji Uehara is mowing hitters down.

On Monday, the Red Sox probably would’ve been better if Uehara had pitched the ninth inning instead of Kimbrel, his replacement at closer. After only throwing for two weeks in Spring Training, Uehara has retired the first 12 batters he’s faced this season. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning and struck out two hitters in the home opener.

10. The season debut of “Sweet Caroline.”

Summertime can’t be too far away.