This Day in History: Padres Set Opening Day Record


In 1997, the San Diego Padres opened their season against the New York Mets. On April 1st of that year, the Padres ended up setting a major league record offensively, no fooling.

They set the record for most runs scored in one inning on Opening Day.

Joey Hamilton was on the mound for the Padres against New York’s Pete Harnisch.

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The Mets jumped out to a 4-0 lead when Todd Hundley homered and Bernard Gilkey hit a two-run single. The score remained that way until the bottom of the sixth.

Then the Padres then absolutely unloaded on the Mets.

Chris Gomez, Rickey Henderson and Quilvio Veras started the inning with back-to-back-to-back home runs, making it 4-3.

Next, Tony Gwynn singled between the shortstop and third baseman (shocker), then stole second to set up an RBI single by Ken Caminiti.

Toby Borland came in relief of Harnisch. He immediately walked Greg Vaughn and John Flaherty.

Then Barry Manuel came in and subsequently walked Chris Gomez and then beaned Rickey Henderson to score a run, then walked Quilvio Veras to score yet another run.

Gwynn then got to bat again in the inning, this time with the bases loaded. He lined another one through the “5.5 hole” to score two more runs.

Steve Finley then doubled to bring in Gwynn along with Veras, making the score 11-4.

The Friars scored 11 runs in the first inning which is the most runs scored in one inning on Opening Day ever.

The Padres eventually won 12-5. Gwynn ended with 3 hits and 2 RBI. Finley had 3 RBI.

Hamilton didn’t have a sharp outing for the Padres either, but he got the win, pitching 6 innings and striking out 6. Every starter got a hit except catcher John Flaherty.

That game kicked off a good season offensively for the Padres, but the team didn’t mesh in time and they finished 4th in the NL West with a 76-86 record.

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