5 best Opening Day moments since 2010
Michael Zagaris / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The 2020 MLB season was set to get underway on Thursday, but the coronavirus pandemic has put the sports world on hold.

In lieu of making new Opening Day memories then, let's look back at the five best moments from the past decade.

Kershaw wins it single-handedly (2013)

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw wasted no time getting his 2013 Cy Young-winning campaign off the ground. In one of the most remarkable recent Opening Day performances, Kershaw stymied the rival San Francisco Giants with a 94-pitch, four-hit shutout that included seven strikeouts without a walk in the 4-0 win.

Oh yeah, and he also crushed a long home run to break a scoreless tie in the eighth - still the only dinger of his career - off reliever George Kontos. To call this Opening Day performance epic is probably selling it short.

MadBum goes deep twice (2017)

It's not often the mind turns to season-long record pursuits on Opening Day. But, in 2017, Madison Bumgarner made us all wonder if a full-time pitcher could hit double-digit homers in the modern era.

Wes Ferrell, the current record holder among pitchers, hit nine way back in 1931, and it seemed like Bumgarner was gunning for his mark when the ace clobbered a pair on the first game of the season. Not bad for a guy who also struck out 11 batters over seven innings that day.

MadBum wound up getting injured in 2017 and only hitting one more homer the rest of the way, but the hope of Opening Day can be quite powerful.

Stanton's 2-homer game in Yankees debut (2018)

Giancarlo Stanton made some serious noise on Opening Day in 2018 during his first game with the New York Yankees after a blockbuster trade from the Miami Marlins.

In his first at-bat, the 2017 National League MVP crushed an offering from Toronto Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ to deep right-center field, recording the highest exit velocity for an opposite-field home run in the Statcast era at the time (117.3 mph).

Eight innings later, Stanton continued an impressive debut by hammering a Tyler Clippard changeup 434 feet to deep center during an eventual rout of Toronto.

He'd end up hitting 38 homers that season, while driving in 100 runs.

Happ homers on very 1st pitch of season (2018)

What a way to start a season. Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ wasted no time in the earliest regular-season game ever played on American soil. He liked the very first pitch of the game, promptly lifting it over the right-field fence. With no other contests on the schedule until later on that day, Happ's bomb was the definitive opening salvo.

It was the high point in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the switch-hitter, who hit only 14 more round-trippers over 142 games despite going yard 24 times in his 2017 rookie season.

Ichiro retires in Japan (2019)

During his long, storied, and undoubtedly Hall of Fame career, Ichiro produced a wealth of Opening Day moments.

There was his MLB debut at the turn of the millennium when he recorded his first two hits of 3,089 stateside. He would go on to lead baseball that year in hits (242) and stolen bases (56) while winning AL Rookie of the Year and MVP.

Then, in 2012, Ichiro and the Seattle Mariners opened the season at the Tokyo Dome and he went 4-for-4, tying Ken Griffey Jr.'s franchise record for Opening Day hits.

But nothing tops Ichiro's final trip to the Tokyo Dome, when the then 45-year-old walked off the diamond for the last time. This moment technically occurred during the second game of a two-game series to kick off the 2019 campaign. But for Ichiro, we'll bend the rules.

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5 best Opening Day moments since 2010
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