Aaron Judge opened the new season by doing what he did a lot last year. His Opening Day home run propelled the Yankees to a win over the Giants.
Elsewhere, the Astros’ Opening Day winning streak was snapped at 10 with the White Sox pulling through in the ninth to beat the defending champs. Adley Rutschman had a five-hit day to lift the Orioles over the Red Sox, 10-9. George Springer also had a five-hit day to give the Blue Jays a 10-9 win over the Cardinals.
In National League action, the Dodgers looked a lot like they did in 2022, defeating Diamondbacks 8-2. The first game of the Padres’ new loaded lineup didn’t go the way they would’ve liked as they lost to the Rockies 7-2.
The Evil Empire
Hey, you gotta spend money to make money. And the Yankees spared little expense in cashing their first W of the season.
It gets no more optimal than Aaron Judge, back after a mild bit of angst this winter, homering in his first at-bat after signing a $360 million contract – against the team that offered him the same deal. Or Gerrit Cole, the $324 million ace, mowing through the San Francisco Giants, striking out 11 in six innings, the highest-paid pitcher in total value teaming with the position player earning more than any other annually to send an immediate message to the American League.
After a player appears in his first game, the patch will be authenticated and placed on a Topps baseball card as part of an agreement reached by MLB and the business wing of the players’ association with Fanatics Collectibles, a division of Fanatics that acquired the trading card company Topps last year.
LeMahieu, a product of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who is entering his 13th MLB season and his fifth with the Yankees, is a three-time MLB All-Star and has won batting titles in both the American League with the Yankees and the National League with the Colorado Rockies.
A four-time Gold Glove recipient and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, LeMahieu played at LSU in 2008 and 2009 and signed with the Chicago Cubs after he was selected in the second round of the ’09 MLB Draft. LeMahieu was the starting second baseman for LSU’s 2009 CWS championship team.
Bregman, who is entering his eighth season with the Astros, played at LSU from 2013 through 2015 and led the Tigers to two College World Series appearances. The No. 2 overall selection by the Astros in the 2015 MLB Draft, Bregman was a two-time first-team all-American at LSU, and he was named the recipient of the 2013 Brooks Wallace Award as the nation’s best shortstop.
Bregman, a product of Albuquerque, N.M., made his MLB debut with Houston in July 2016, and he has helped lead the Astros to the 2017 and 2022 World Series titles as the club’s starting third baseman. He was named the 2018 All-Star Game MVP after blasting the game-winning home run for the American League, and he was named the recipient of the 2019 Silver Slugger Award as the best offensive player at third base in the AL.
Aaron Nola, a Baton Rouge native, enters his ninth season in the Philadelphia rotation, and he was instrumental in the Phillies’ drive to the 2022 National League pennant. He was selected in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Phillies, and he was named a 2018 National League All-Star. He finished third in the 2018 NL Cy Young Award voting after posting a 17-6 record with a 2.37 ERA.
Aaron Nola was a two-time first-team All-America selection and two-time SEC Pitcher of the Year at LSU, and he was voted the 2014 National Collegiate Pitcher of the Year.
Gausman, who pitched at LSU in 2011 and 2012, begins his 11th MLB season and his second with the Blue Jays. He was a 2021 National League All-Star with the San Francisco Giants, recording a 14-6 mark with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 192 innings.
The native of Centennial, Colo., earned first-team All-America honors at LSU in 2012, and he was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
Austin Nola, a native of Baton Rouge and Aaron’s older brother, made his MLB debut in 2019 with the Seattle Mariners, and he collected 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 79 games. He was traded to San Diego in August 2020, and he has contributed significantly to the Padres’ appearances in the 2020 and 2022 MLB playoffs as San Diego’s starting catcher.
Austin Nola was LSU’s starting shortstop for four seasons (2009-12), and he helped lead the Tigers to the 2009 College World Series title.
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