LOS ANGELES -- Jamey Wright knows a few things about MLB Opening Days.
He's witnessed 16 of them, including the historic opener the Dodgers played in Australia over the weekend. It was Wright's second Opening Day for the Dodgers in the past three years, with a stop in Tampa Bay wedged in between.
As special as the one in Sydney was, Wright said the most memorable of his 16 came at Dodger Stadium in 2001, when he was the starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in a game they actually lost. Here's how he tells it:
The last eight are pretty memorable for the simple fact that I had Minor League deals and had to earn a spot. So that's pretty special. I definitely appreciate the last couple, in particular, because you never know if that's the last one.
But the one in particular that means the most to me was 2001 with Milwaukee, [when] I started Opening Day in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. I remember at the time there was a lot of controversy over Gary Sheffield, and every time he came up the fans booed; it must have been a contract dispute.
It was the sixth or seventh inning and I was matched up with Chan Ho Park, 0-0, and Sheffield hits a solo home run and he turned the boos into cheers -- and they wind up beating us, 1-0. The fact that it was Dodger Stadium, it's my favorite place in the world to play. Being the Opening Day starter, it was pretty cool. The next year, I was supposed to start Opening Day, but pulled an oblique.
I remember that game in Dodger Stadium, everything about it. The crowd, everything was just awesome. Opening Day in Dodger Stadium this year with this team, it will be exciting for me having come back to the team. That's pretty special, as well.
Jamey Wright is a reliever for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.