Opening Day weekend opens the door for many MLB firsts

Yoenis Céspedes at Citi Field in 2018. (AP/Seth Wenig)

Where do we begin?

This season is significantly different to any in recent memory. The already unique 2020 MLB season had more in store as many baseball firsts happened this past weekend. From father-son legacies and rule changes to new manager accomplishments, the league had a wild but exciting start.

Prior to the start of this year’s baseball season, baseball’s bureaucrats changed some rules. They include but are not limited to:

  • Universal designated hitter
  • Runner on second to begin extra innings

Yes. You heard that correctly. The National League now has a designated hitter in 2020. Along with this change, any games heading into extra innings will automatically have the hitting team start with a runner on second base every half-inning — and in scoring position.

Some people however, including Cleveland Indians pitcher, Mike Clevinger, were not too keen on making the extra inning change. Clevinger took to Twitter to air out his grievance.

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels became the first player in MLB history to be put on second base due to the extra innings rule.

Another MLB first due to a rule change was New York Mets’ Yoenis Céspedes’ home run against the Atlanta Braves on July 24 making him the first player in MLB history to hit a home run as a designated hitter in the National League.

Céspedes was not the only Latin member of the Mets to attain a first. Mets manager, Luis Rojas, broke cultural grounds when he became the first Latino to manage a game in the organization’s history.

The Toronto Blue Jays — unofficially known this season as the Buffalo Blue Jays due to their inability to lock down a home stadium and being forced to play at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, home of the Buffalo Bisons, their Triple-A affiliate — became the first major league team ever to start a full infield of players with MLB All-Star fathers.

So much has happened in MLB’s first weekend of 2020, but the baseball season is still young and a lot more may happen.

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