The annual Patriots’ Day game at Fenway Park is notable for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s the only game on the MLB schedule that begins in the morning (11:10am, although today’s installment was delayed by rain until a few minutes past noon). In addition, the Red Sox wear their “Boston Strong” uniforms. And this year, there was the bonus attraction of Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani reviving the bygone uni tradition of a pitcher wearing a jacket while running the bases — something we almost never see anymore thanks to the universal DH.
It happened in the top of first inning, when Ohtani, who was the Halos’ starting pitcher, singled. With temperatures hovering at about 50 degrees, Ohtani called for the jacket to keep his pitching arm warm. But he had a bit of trouble with the zipper:
There is one thing in this life that Shohei Ohtani cannot do:
Zip a jacket
— Shawn Spradling (@Shawn_Spradling) April 17, 2023
Zipping up a jacket might be the only thing Shohei Ohtani can't do 😂pic.twitter.com/eKY5hyBy4H
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 17, 2023
When he singled again in the top of the second, he just said the hell with it:
obviously Ohtani doesn't wear a jacket running the bases pic.twitter.com/uPse0HgJIN
— Lorenzo (@wegoticezo) April 17, 2023
Obviously, Ohtani is the only MLB pitcher who bats on a regular basis (although other pitchers may v-e-r-y occasionally come to bat if a team executes a double-switch that forces them to lose their DH). And since he plays most of his games in southern California, he usually doesn’t have to worry about cold weather. On top of that, temperatures will soon be getting warmer, even in more northerly cities like Boston. So it may be a long time before we once again see a pitcher wearing a jacket on the bases. Whenever that turns out to be, here’s hoping the zipper works.
I actually included that in my mental list of reasons I hate the DH. Man running the bases in a jacket. Glad to see it’s lamented by others.
Wouldn’t today be a good day to be wearing their Boston Marathon inspired (sh)ity connect uniforms?
They wear those on the weekend before the Marathon but wear Boston Strong on the actual day of the race, as a way to honor the victims of the bombing.
Nike in shambles hahahah
The Nationals also have a pre-noon start. Usually an 11:05 start on July 4!
I did not know that! Thanks for schooling me.
The “Natinals” have an 11:05 am start time on July 4th.
Washington plays an 11:05am game on the 4th of July.
I’m pretty sure that Washington has a morning start on Independence Day.
I think I read something here in the comments about Washington scheduling a morning game in July.
I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure that the Washington Nationals play an early contest in July.
The Nationals July 4 home game is traditionally an 11:05 a.m. first pitch as well.
Too bad the zipper didi not work, as this looks straight out of the 70s or 80s. Love it. Nice jacket too.
Came down here to mention the Nationals tradition, but also Peacock has Sunday morning games.
Fond memories of watching Tom Seaver sliding in to second with a jacket on!
In 1969 the Mets and Pirates played a doubleheader on July 4 that began at 10:30 AM. I don’t know the circumstances behind it.
The Red Sox radio crew was trying to remember the last time they saw a pitcher wearing a jacket on the bases at Fenway, and they came up with a game from 1996 where Roger Clemens had an at bat for some reason, and hit a single. So this might be a case of keeping a tradition alive while also being the first to do something in a specific location for the first time in over 25 years.
Something extra interesting that it’s an American League pitcher keeping the tradition alive.