Top Moment #2: Mayberry Opens Season with Walk-off Single

Source: REUTERS / Tim Shaffer

As the snow melts, the waiting is almost over. When pitchers and catchers report, there’s a little relief as baseball withdrawal is put on hold, but nothing is like the return of meaningful games. Anticipation and excitement build up as Opening Day approaches. A new year means new hopes, dreams, and memories. For a baseball fan, Opening Day is more than the beginning of a new season; it’s one of the best “holidays” out there.

The words “cold,” “rain,” and “losing” have been associated with Opening Day through the years. Win or lose, it’s great to have baseball back again.

2011’s first game resulted in a victory as the Phillies opened the season with a bang, indicating that there were many more great moments to come.

From 2007 to 2009, Brett Myers was the Opening Day starter. He found himself on the mound at Citizens Bank Park for Opening Day once again, but this time he was on the other side. His opponent, Roy Halladay, was making his second Opening Day start in a Phillies uniform. The edge was given to Halladay, but both starters pitched well.

The game remained scoreless after five, but the Astros took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh after Halladay exited. The Phillies got two back, but still trailed 4-2 entering the bottom of the ninth. It wasn’t too early in the season for a comeback.

Jimmy Rollins led off the inning with a single. “As JRoll goes, the Phillies go,” and that’s exactly what happened. Rollins scored on Ben Francisco’s single. The Phillies trailed by one. Wilson Valdez singles. Tie game.

Enter John Mayberry.

Mayberry smacked a liner which sailed over Michael Bourn’s head. Bourn did not have a chance as Francisco waltzed home for the winning run.

The Phillies beat the Astros, 5-4, in dramatic fashion on Opening Day.  It was a sign of more exciting things to come throughout the season.

The return of baseball and an amazing come from behind victory — it really doesn’t get much better than that!  (Well, maybe except for our #1 Top Moment of 2011.  Stay tuned to find out what it is).

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  1. Mazinman

    February 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I was lucky enough to be at this game right along the right field line. For 8 innings it was a pretty sorry game as we were cold, wet, and losing for most of it. That 9th inning made the cold go all away though. A nice foreshadowing of the importance that Mayberry would have on the team that year.

  2. Manny

    February 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    No. 1 got to be the extra-innings game vs the Reds… with Valdez as the winning pitcher and Baez pitching five scoreless innings… that game was unreal!

  3. Bob in Bucks

    February 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Nice game but how can this be higher than clinching or winning #102?

  4. bacardipr05

    February 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I guess Ben Fran wont be crossing the plate for us anymore…

  5. Adrian Martin

    February 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Being at the clincher was really exciting (especially the Raul Ibanez slam), but I admit this game would have been sweeter. There’s nothing like a comeback win, and on Opening Day? It doesn’t get much better.

  6. Don M

    February 3, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Yea I was there …. something about Opening Day of baseball… all the unknown, and anticipation of the season – especially to start last year with such High Hopes – to have Halladay start, but leave after 6 IP, with 101 pitches …. to fall behind to the Astros, with Brett Myers on the mound …. and then to score 3 in the 9th … a walk-off hit to win it

    it doesn’t get much better than that

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