It’s raining like crazy in San Francisco right now, less than three hours before the Giants and Brewers open their season. If it gets rained out, Henry Schulman says they’ll play two tomorrow, because Milwaukee won’t make another trip to the Bay this season. That led Schulman to recall the last time the Giants opened with a doubleheader:
The Giants actually played a season-opening doubleheader in Atlanta in 1990. I covered it. Rich Rueschel, who was supposed to pitch the rained-out opener, beat the Braves in the first game of the doubleheader. The Giants then got beat by Pete Smith in the nightcap.
Smith was still a pretty young pitcher and pretty excited to win on “Opening Day.” When we went to interview him he was so hyped up he offered us writers some chicken wings from the spread. (The answer is no, I didn’t eat any.)
He may have been hyped, and he was still young, but Smith had already pitched 66 games and was beginning his fourth year with the big club in 1990. In fact, he had more games behind him at that point than he had in front of him, at least in an Atlanta Braves uniform. Other fun stuff from that game:
Blessed with a lot of time on my hands and a girlfriend who actually liked baseball (her only redeeming trait), I’m pretty sure I watched more ballgames that spring, summer and fall than anytime before or since. The Braves had something like 144 on TBS that year, and we’d get about 50 Reds games where I was at the time as well. Between those, whatever national games were on, and the playoffs, I easily took in parts of 200 games that year.
Yeah, we’re in a different world now.