Opening Day Tribe Trivia

With fans forced to take in the Cleveland Indians’ Opening Day from home this year due to the coronavirus, here is a little Opening Day trivia to pass the time. The questions are broken down arbitrarily into categories, ranked accordingly (and with some perceived bias) by me.

Answers follow further down the page.


a) This Indians legendary pitcher made seven Opening Day starts, most in franchise history.

b) This player packed a powerful punch to the lineup while leading the club with nine Opening Day starts as the team’s designated hitter.

c) With his Opening Day start at shortstop in 2004, Omar Vizquel tied this all-time Indians legend with eleven such starts at the position in his career.

d) This recognizable non-sports figure threw out the first pitch of the 1994 season to open Jacobs Field.

e) How many Opening Day starts has Francisco Lindor made for the Indians (prior to Friday night’s game with the Royals)?

f) This Hall of Famer homered in his first at bat of a special 1975 season off of the New York Yankees’ Doc Medich at Cleveland Stadium. The blast was the eighth of his career in the first game of the season, moving him past fellow HoFers Willie Mays and Eddie Mathews for first place on the all-time Opening Day home run list (his record has since been tied by Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn).

g) This player homered in his Major League debut, taking California’s Dave Frost deep in his second big league at bat to open the 1980 season.

h) This free agent addition opened Jacobs Field with a quality seven innings of work against the Seattle Mariners in 1994, allowing two runs on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts in a no-decision.

i) Prior to Corey Kluber‘s run of five straight Opening Day starts, this pitcher made three straight for the Indians’ starting rotation.

j) This player was the Indians’ starting Opening Day center fielder from 1949 to 1955 and again in 1957.


a) This rookie made his big league debut at shortstop in 2019, replacing the injured Francisco Lindor on the Indians’ roster.

b) This long-time Tribe backstop is the franchise leader in Opening Day starts at catcher with 11.

c) This Hall of Famer outfielder made eleven straight Opening Day starts for the club, setting the franchise record that has since been matched by three others.

d) This closer blew a save on Opening Day in the last decade, allowing three Toronto runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at five. The contest was decided in 16 innings, with the Blue Jays coming out on top, 7-4.

e) This player started for the Indians at designated hitter on Opening Day in 2019.

f) The Indians faced frustrating left-hander and all-time Opening Day strikeout king Randy Johnson in the first game of the 1994 season. He took a no-hitter into the bottom of the eighth inning until this player broke up the bid with a single to right (before later scoring the tying run).

g) This recent Tribe All-Star was the last to make consecutive Opening Day starts in center field.

h) The longest Opening Day game in Major League history (16 innings) was played by the Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field on April 5 of what year?

i) Replacing the injured Jason Kipnis, this player was the Indians’ starting second baseman for 2019’s Opening Day.

j) This Hall of Fame outfielder drove the third pitch of his Major League career (against Detroit’s Earl Whitehill) over the wall in right field at Cleveland Stadium for a home run in his first career at bat.


a) This Cleveland pitcher became the first to make multiple Opening Day starts, following his 1902 opener with a second effort in 1905 for the Naps. He was also the first pitcher in franchise history to start a season-opening game hosted at League Park and was the first to flirt seriously with a no-hitter in team history (throwing nine hitless innings before giving up a hit and the game in the tenth in his rookie year).

b) Who was the last Indians player to make back-to-back Opening Day starts at first base?

c) After hitting an RBI-single in his first Major League at bat to open the 1970 season, this outfielder took Baltimore’s Dave McNally deep in his second plate appearance. Despite driving in both of the Tribe’s runs on the day, the Indians lost to the Orioles by an 8-2 count.

d) Hall of Fame pitcher Addie Joss made his final of three straight Opening Day starts for the Naps in what year?

e) This player, making his second of ten Opening Day starts at second base for Cleveland, began a season in which he would win the American League batting title by recording three hits in four at bats in a 6-2 win over the Detroit Tigers.

f) What is the franchise record for consecutive Opening Day wins by the Cleveland franchise?

g) This Indians reserve outfielder delivered an Opening Day walk-off single for the Tribe in 1994, driving in Eddie Murray with the winning run in the bottom of the 11th off of Seattle’s Kevin King to give the Indians a stunning 4-3 comeback win.

h) This pitcher became the first in Cleveland franchise history to record a win on Opening Day and did so in complete game fashion, allowing an unearned run in nine innings in a 6-1 Naps win over the Chicago White Sox.

i) Since 1904, how many times have the Naps and/or Indians used the exact same lineup for Opening Day games?

j) These two Hall of Fame pitchers are tied for the second-most Opening Day starts in MLB history with 14, but neither of them did so in an Indians uniform (HINT: both spent part of only one season with the club and for one, it ended his string of 14 straight Opening Day starts).

BONUS POINT (not that we’re counting) – Name this former Indians manager who is also tied with the above-mentioned duo with 14 Opening Day starts during his 21-year big league career.

*** ** * ** ***


a) Bob Feller
b) Travis Hafner
c) Lou Boudreau
d) President Bill Clinton
e) Three (2016, 2017, 2018)
f) Player-manager Frank Robinson
g) Joe Charboneau
h) Dennis Martinez
i) Justin Masterson
j) Larry Doby

a) Eric Stamets
b) Jim Hegan
c) Tris Speaker
d) Chris Perez
e) Hanley Ramirez
f) Sandy Alomar Jr.
g) Michael Brantley
h) 2012
i) Brad Miller
j) Earl Averill

a) Earl Moore
b) Nick Swisher
c) Roy Foster
d) 1910
e) Nap Lajoie
f) Five (set in 1925-29, matched from 1931-35 and 1951-55)
g) Wayne Kirby
h) Bill Bernhard
i) Just once (1919-1920 seasons)
j) Steve Carlton and Jack Morris

BONUS POINT – Walter Johnson

Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images

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