Baseball is back! Those three words are music to my ears. With the start of the season just underway, I thought I would take a look at what you should watch for during the first half of the season. Check out the important series, milestones and giveaways that you should be aware of.
April 10: After starting the season with six games on the road, the Yankees will play their ninth home opener at Yankee Stadium 2.0. They face-off against the Rays again, but this time in the Bronx. Hey, its Magnetic Schedule Day, too!
April 12: Matt Holliday enters 2017 just five hits shy of 2,000. He is projected to reach that milestone on this date, per the Yankees.
April 14: Speaking of Matt Holliday: the St. Louis Cardinals – the team with the second-most World Series championships – roll into town for a rare match-up between the two historic franchises. The Yankees and Cardinals have only played nine times in the regular season, with the Yankees having won six. The last time the Cardinals came to the Bronx? June, 2003. Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Mike Mussina started for the Yankees that series.
April 30: El Gary Bobblehead day? Sign me up.
May 5: The Yankees make a trip to the historic Wrigley Field for just the fourth time since interleague play began. Oh, and this time they’ll be facing off against the defending world champions in what projects to be a battle of youth. It is the first time the two teams will play each other since May 21, 2014. The Yankees are 9-4 lifetime in the regular season against the Cubs.
May 14: Derek Jeter Night. Mother’s Day. Sunday Night Baseball. Circle this one on your calendar. This will be must-see for every Yankee fan. The Yankee legend will have his No. 2 retired and his Monument Park plaque revealed. It should be a special night in the Bronx.
May 18: Matt Holliday is at a point in his career where an abundant number of milestones are within reach. He is just five home runs short of 300 for his career and he is expected to hit his fifth home run of the season against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on this day.
June 9: Reggie Jackson Bobblehead Night. If you are a Yankee – or baseball – memorabilia collector, you should probably get tickets to this game. And they play one of Reggie’s other former teams, the Orioles.
June 12: Brett Gardner is 50 hits shy of 1,000 for his career. He is expected to achieve the milestone when the Yankees make this trip to Anaheim to face the Angels.
June 25: Ah, the 71st Old-Timers’ Day. There is really only one important question surrounding this game: will Alex Rodriguez make an appearance and hit one into Monument Park? One can only dream.
July 9: Another one for the collector: Whitey Ford Bobblehead Day. It is also an interleague matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers and the last game before the All-Star break.
Lead photo: Kim Klement / USA Today Sports