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Original Issue


To start the 1966 season here are some questions—and answers—about the who, what and when of Opening Days

? Who pitched the only Opening Day no-hitters?

•In 1909 Leon Ames of the Giants held the Dodgers hitless for nine innings but gave up a hit in the 10th and lost 3-0 in the 13th. In 1940 Bob Feller of the Indians allowed no hits as he shut out the White Sox 1-0.

? Who has pitched the most shutouts?

•Walter Johnson of the Senators is first with seven (1910-14-15-17-19-24-26). His 1926 shutout, a 15-inning game against the Athletics, was the longest opener ever played.

? What pitchers have the best Opening Day records?

•In terms of percentage, Wes Ferrell (6-0) and Lon Warneke (5-0) top the American and National Leagues, respectively. Johnson (8-5 in the AL) and Grover Cleveland Alexander (9-3 in the NL) lead in total wins.

? Who hit the most Opening Day homers?

•Babe Ruth, who batted .435 in 15 openers and banged seven home runs.

? What were the highest-scoring openers?

•Cleveland defeated St. Louis 21-14 in 1925, a game in which the Browns' peerless first baseman George Sisler made four errors. A nine-run rally by Boston in the ninth inning enabled the Braves to tie Philadelphia 17-17, but the Phillies scored twice in the 10th to win the 1900 opener.

? When were the first night openers played?

•The first was in 1950 with the Cardinals beating the Pirates 4-2 in St. Louis. A year later, in the first American League night opener, the Senators defeated the Athletics 6-1 in Philadelphia.

? Which President was the first to attend an opener?

•William Howard Taft began the tradition in 1910 and saw Walter Johnson and the Senators beat Eddie Plank and the Athletics.

? What teams have the worst Opening Day records?

•By losing to the Dodgers 6-1 last season, the New York Mets dropped their fourth straight opener. This enabled them to tie the record set by the Troy Haymakers, who were in the NL from 1879 through 1882.