Opening Day By The Numbers


The wait is almost over. Opening Day is one of the most anticipated days of the year and you can count me among the many that believe it should be national holiday. One of the things I like to do before the season starts is look up Opening Day stats, both single game and career.

September 24, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder

Alex Gordon

(4) receives congratulations from designated hitter

Billy Butler

(16) after hitting a home run during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

For instance, both Alex Gordon (.095/.136/.381) and Billy Butler (.105/.190/.105) have struggled immensely. Of the 18 Royals with 20+ career OD plate appearances, they are the only two to post on-base percentages below .200. Danny Tartabull easily has the most impressive line. He hit .500/.545/.850 in his five Opening Day’s as a Royal.

Here are some more random Opening Day numbers:

1 – Starts by both Luke Hochevar and Zack Greinke.

3 – Number of walks by Bo Jackson in 1990, the most ever by a Royal on Opening Day. George Brett holds the career mark with 11.

4 – Career home runs by George Brett. That’s twice as many as anybody else (Hal McRae, Frank White, John Mayberry and Gordon each hit 2).

7 – Starts by Kevin Appier. The Royals went just 1-6 scoring 3 runs or less in all the losses.

9 – Number of times the offense has been struck out 10+ times. They have gone an unsurprising 2-7 in those contests.

11 – The number of runs the Royals scored in 1979, the only time in 44 games they have reached double digits. They’ve been shut out twice (1976 and 2012).

.130 – The Royals winning percentage when they score 3 runs or fewer. They are 3-20 in those games and 12-9 when scoring 4+. Yay offense!

.424 – Freddie Patek‘s OBP in 33 plate appearances. His 4 hits in 1979 tied him with Lou Piniella (1969) and Frank White (1977) for the most ever in the season’s first game. Patek hit .367/.424/.600 with 4 stolen bases in his 8 Opening Day games as a Royal.

2.21 – Gil Meche‘s ERA in his 3 starts. That’s the lowest mark among the seven Royals who have started 3+ Opening Days. Jeff Suppan‘s 7.31 ERA is the highest. Shocking, I know.