There are two things going on today: April Fools Day and Opening Day for most of Major League Baseball. When trying to decide which would be better to post about, I figured why not combine the two and talk about the most ridiculous opening day in MLB history.
It was April 9, 1913, almost 100 years ago, and the grand opening of the now defunct Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, the brand new home to the Dodgers (before they moved to Las Angeles). Fans began lining up early to get their seats on this historic occasion. And they waited, waited and waited. It seems the superintendent had forgotten the keys to the stadium at his house and couldn’t open the gates.
Eventually an official returned from rushing home to get the spare key to the stadium and let the fans in.
Although delayed, fans were happy once the band began playing signaling the beginning of the flag raising ceremony. Unfortunately, another delay surfaced when owner Charles Ebbets halted the ceremony and got down on his hands and knees to look for fifteen cents he had dropped in the grass behind second base. The inventor of the hotdog, Harry Stevens, who happened to be walking with Mr. Ebbets for some reason, offered to help look for the change. Mr. Ebbets refused, worried that the wiener pioneer would keep the change for himself if he found it first.
Eventually the ceremony proceeded, at least until they got to the flag pole. When Mr. Ebbets asked his aide for the flag, the aide responded, “Sorry, Charlie, we forgot the flag.”