St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day 1973 – Looking at the Last 50

Friday, April 6, 1973, 1:35PM
Three Rivers Stadium
Attendance: 51,695, Time of Game: 2:02
The starters for this game were Bob Gibson and Steve Blass and neither would be around to finish this game. The Cardinals will have a slight difference in the lineup from last year as they add Bernie Carbo and Ray Busse to the lineup. This would have been the FIRST game the Pirates played after the death of their star right-fielder Roberto Clemente who was in a plane crash on New Years Eve delivering food to starving nations.
Cardinals Lineup
  • Lou Brock
  • Ted Sizemore
  • Jose Cruz
  • Joe Torre
  • Ted Simmons
  • Joe Hague
  • Ken Reitz
  • Bernie Carbo
  • Ray Busse
  • Bob Gibson

Pirates Lineup

  • Rennie Stennett
  • Manny Sanguillen
  • Al Oliver
  • Willie Stargell
  • Bob Robertson
  • Richie Hebner
  • Gene Alley
  • Milt May
  • Steve Blass

The Cardinals score three runs in the 2nd inning on five hits with the big blow belonging to Bernie Carbo’s double. Two more added in the 3rd on a single, walk, and hit-by-pitch from Blass and the Cardinals have a comfortable 5-0 lead.

The Pirates scratch on back off Gibson with a single, walk and tow groundouts to score their first run in the 6th inning. They follow that with one more in the 7th on a lead off home run by Richie Hebner and now it is a 5-2 Cardinals lead.

In the 8th inning, Gibson yields with one out, tow singles and a walk and he is replaced by Diego Segui who fans the next batter. However, Richie Hebner doubles, inch hitter Gene Cline triples, then a intentional walk is issued followed by an error on the shortstop and the Pirates are ahead 7-5 going into the 9th inning.

Ramon Hernandez to the mound for the Buccos and he issued a lead off walk but promptly gets the next three batters to fly out and the Pirates win 7-5 on  opening day.

Umpires: HP – Ed Vargo, 1B – Paul Pryor, 2B – Bruce Froemming, 3B – Terry Tata.
Time of Game: 2:02.
Attendance: 51,695.