For more than a decade, if you were a Tigers fan and were looking forward to Opening Day, you were looking forward to Jack Morris being on the mound.
The gritty Tiger ace toed the rubber for 11 consecutive opening day starts for Detroit, from 1980-1990. He added three more opening day starts for the Minnesota Twins
and Toronto Blue Jays, giving him 14 for his career.
Tomorrow against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park, Justin Verlander will make his fifth straight start on opening day. He’s 0-1 with three no decisions in his previous attempts with a 8.30 ERA. Tiger fans hope he fares better tomorrow afternoon against the Sox.
Here’s the list of pitchers who have made the most opening day starts in baseball history:
Tom Seaver (16)
Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson, and Jack Morris (14)
Roger Clemens and Robin Roberts (13)
Bert Blyleven (12)
Fergie Jenkins and Dennis Martinez (11)
Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, and Warren Spahn (10)
Eight of the 12 hurlers who’ve made at least 10 starts on opening day are in the Hall of Fame. Morris keeps inching closer in voting every year, while Johnson and Clemens aren’t eligible yet. Based on this list, starting a lot of games on opening day is a good indicator of greatness.