Series: The Last 50 or so Cardinal Opening Days

I know you read the title and said why the “or so”? It is simple that this is an ongoing post that continues to add to it every year after the next Opening Day. For our purposes we are starting at 1966 and will continue through the present.

opdaySome notes of interest from the past 50 or so Opening Day is that Yadier Molina has started more than any other player in that time frame and has the most starts in the opener in Cardinals History at 12 games.

Bob Gibson started 10 opening days with a streak of nine in a row. He is follow with Chris Carpenter  and Adam Wainwright with 5 since 1967. Later in this post I will go with the most in Cardinals history at each position as a starter. One oddity is Stan Musial is not listed first at any position as he played several spots for the Cardinals early on in his career.

The Cardinals have won 27 and lost 23 with 24 of then at home in the last 50.  The largest win was in 1982 over the Hoston Astros 14-3. The teams the Cardinals have played the most times in the last 50 years are as follows:

  • Pittsburgh 8 times
  • Chicago Cubs 7 times
  • Montreal Expos 5 times
  • New York Mets 5 times
  • Philadelphia Phillies 5 times


Let’s give you our links to the past 50 or so Opening Days. We hope you enjoy them!

In 2016, the Cardinals traveled to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates. Adam Wainwright was on the hill for St. Louis and lefty Francisco Liriano took the ball for Pittsburgh. Jerry Layne was behind the plate call balls and strikes in front of 39.500 in attendance.

The Pirates got in the scoring column in the bottom of the second as Gregory Polanco led off with a double, Jordy Mercer walked and with one out Liriano singled them home. The Pirates led 2-0. They got single tallies in the 5th and 7th inning to lead four to nothing.

The Cardinals only managed five hits in the game as Yadier Molina had two with Carpenter, Holliday, Wong and Grichuk each mustering one hit. The Cardinals scored in the 9th inning as Molina singed and Wong was hit by pitch. After a conference on the mound with Clint Hurdle, Liriano got two outs and then Carpenter singled home one run before Matt Adams flew out to end the game. Time of game was 3 hours and 2 minutes.

Liriano was the winning pitcher and Adam Wainwright was the loser in the opener. The Pirates would go on to sweep the Cardinals in the opening series of the season. This was just a precursor of things to come in the 2016 season.


Let’s take a moment and look back at the entire history of Cardinals Opening Day and find the players that have started the most times at each position.

  • Catcher- Molina 12, Simmons 10
  • First Base- Bottomley 10, Hernandez 9
  • Second Base- Javier 11, Schoendienst 10
  • Third Base- Boyer 11, Reitz 7
  • Shortstop- Smith 13, Marion 9
  • Left Field- Brock 14, Musial 10
  • Center Field- Moore 9, Flood 8
  • Right Field- Slaughter 10, Musial 5
  • Starting Pitcher- Gibson 10, Dean 5, Wainwright 5, Carpenter 5

Hope you have enjoyed our series on Cardinals Opening Days.


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