List of Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics Opening Day starting pitchers

List of Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics Opening Day starting pitchers

For the Opening Day starting pitchers since 1968, see List of Oakland Athletics Opening Day starting pitchers.


The Athletics are a Major League Baseball team that was originally based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1956 before moving to their current home, Oakland, California in 1968. They have always played in the American League. During the 20th century until their move to Kansas City, they played their home games primarily at two home ball parks - Columbia Park until 1908, and Shibe Park (renamed Connie Mack Stadium in 1953) from 1909 through 1967. Their home ball park in Kansas City was Municipal Stadium. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season.[1]

The Athletics played their first game on April 26, 1901 at Columbia Park.[2] Chick Fraser was the Opening Day starter for that game, which the Athletics lost to the Washington Senators by a score of 5–1.[2] The Athletics used 45 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 67 seasons to moving to Oakland. The Athletics won 32 of those games against 35 losses in those Opening Day starts.[3]

Lefty Grove and Alex Kellner had the most Opening Day starts for the Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics with four. Grove made four Opening Day starts for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1925, 1927, 1928 and 1930. Kellner made two Opening Day starts for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1952 and 1953, and two Opening Day starts for the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and 1956. Eddie Plank (1904, 1909, 1910), Chief Bender (1905, 1906, 1911), Jack Coombs (1907, 1912, 1913), Scott Perry (1919–1921) and Phil Marchildon (1942, 1947, 1948) each made three Opening Day starts for the Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics. The other pitchers who made multiple Opening Day starts for the Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics are Bullet Joe Bush, Sugar Cain, Chubby Dean, Lum Harris, Slim Harriss and Bobby Shantz. Catfish Hunter made one Opening Day start for the Kansas City Athletics, but later made three Opening Day starts for the Oakland Athletics, giving him a total of four for the franchise.[3]

In the ten years from 1904 through 1913 the Athletics used four different Opening Day starting pitchers. Plank, Bender and Coombs each made three Opening Day starts during that span. The other Opening Day start during that span was made by Nick Carter in 1908.[4] Carter made that start despite never having pitched in Major League Baseball prior to 1908 and, as it turned out, 1908 was Carter's only year in the Major Leagues.[5]

When the Athletics moved to Kansas City in 1955, Alex Kellner was the Opening Day starting pitcher.[3][6] The Athletics won the game by a score of 6–2 over the Detroit Tigers.[3][6] Kellner was the Opening Day starter for the Athletics again in 1956. However, in the 12 seasons from 1956 through their last season in Kansas City, 1967, the Athletics used a different Opening Day starting pitcher every season.

The Philadelphia Athletics were the American League champions nine times—1902, 1905, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914 and 1929 through 1931. They won the World Series five times, in 1910, 1911, 1913, 1929 and 1930 (no World Series was played in 1902). In the seasons in which the Athletics won the World Series, their Opening Day starting pitchers were Plank (1910), Bender (1911), Coombs (1913), Carroll Yerkes (1929) and Grove (1930). The Athletics lost their Opening Day game in 1910 and 1911, but won in 1913, 1929 and 1930.[3] The Kansas City Athletics never won and American League or World Series championship.[7]

Key

Year Each year is linked to an article about that particular Athletics season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No Decision by starting pitcher; Athletics won game
ND (L) No Decision by starting pitcher; Athletics lost game
(W) Athletics won game; no information on starting pitcher's decision
(L) Athletics lost game; no information on starting pitcher's decision
Location Stadium in italics for home game
(#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter
** AL Champions
World Series Champions

Pitchers



Year Pitcher Decision Opponent Location Reference
1901 Fraser, ChickChick Fraser (L) Washington Senators Columbia Park [2]
1902** Bernhard, BillBill Bernhard (W) Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park [8]
1903 Waddell, RubeRube Waddell (L) Boston Red Sox Huntington Avenue Grounds [9]
1904 Plank, EddieEddie Plank (W) Washington Senators American League Park II [10]
1905** Bender, ChiefChief Bender (W) Boston Red Sox Columbia Park [11]
1906 Bender, ChiefChief Bender (2) (W) Washington Senators American League Park II [12]
1907 Coombs, JackJack Coombs (L) Boston Red Sox Columbia Park [13]
1908 Carter, NickNick Carter (L) New York Yankees Hilltop Park [4]
1909 Plank, EddieEddie Plank (2) (W) Boston Red Sox Shibe Park [14]
1910 Plank, EddieEddie Plank (3) (L) Washington Senators American League Park II [15]
1911 Bender, ChiefChief Bender (3) (L) New York Yankees Shibe Park [16]
1912 Coombs, JackJack Coombs (2) (W) Washington Senators Shibe Park [17]
1913 Coombs, JackJack Coombs (3) ND (W) Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [18]
1914** Bush, JoeJoe Bush (L) New York Yankees Polo Grounds [19]
1915 Pennock, HerbHerb Pennock (W) Boston Red Sox Shibe Park [20]
1916 Nabors, JackJack Nabors (L) Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [21]
1917 Bush, JoeJoe Bush (2) (L) Washington Senators Shibe Park [22]
1918 Myers, ElmerElmer Myers (L) Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [23]
1919 Perry, ScottScott Perry (L) Washington Senators Griffith Park [24]
1920 Perry, ScottScott Perry (2) (W) New York Yankees Shibe Park [25]
1921 Perry, ScottScott Perry (3) (L) New York Yankees Polo Grounds [26]
1922 Naylor, RollieRollie Naylor (W) Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [27]
1923 Harriss, SlimSlim Harriss (W) Washington Senators Shibe Park [28]
1924 Harriss, SlimSlim Harriss (2) (L) Washington Senators Griffith Park [29]
1925 Grove, LeftyLefty Grove (W) Boston Red Sox Shibe Park [30]
1926 Rommel, EddieEddie Rommel (L) Washington Senators Griffith Park [31]
1927 Grove, LeftyLefty Grove (2) (L) New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [32]
1928 Grove, LeftyLefty Grove (3) (L) New York Yankees Shibe Park [33]
1929 Yerkes, CarrollCarroll Yerkes (W) Washington Senators Griffith Park [34]
1930 Grove, LeftyLefty Grove (4) (W) New York Yankees Shibe Park [35]
1931** Walberg, RubeRube Walberg (W) Washington Senators Griffith Park [36]
1932 Earnshaw, GeorgeGeorge Earnshaw (L) New York Yankees Shibe Park [37]
1933 Freitas, TonyTony Freitas (L) Washington Senators Griffith Park [38]
1934 Cain, SugarSugar Cain (W) New York Yankees Shibe Park [39]
1935 Cain, SugarSugar Cain (2) (L) Washington Senators Griffith Park [40]
1936 Dietrich, BillBill Dietrich (L) Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [41]
1937 Smith, EddieEddie Smith (W) Washington Senators Griffith Park [42]
1938 Kelley, HarryHarry Kelley (L) Washington Senators Griffith Park [43]
1939 Caster, GeorgeGeorge Caster (W) Washington Senators Shibe Park [44]
1940 Dean, ChubbyChubby Dean (W) New York Yankees Shibe Park [45]
1941 Dean, ChubbyChubby Dean (2) (W) New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [46]
1942 Marchildon, PhilPhil Marchildon (L) Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [47]
1943 Harris, LumLum Harris (L) Washington Senators Griffith Stadium [48]
1944 Harris, LumLum Harris (2) (W) Washington Senators Griffith Stadium [49]
1945 Newsom, BoboBobo Newsom (L) Washington Senators Shibe Park [50]
1946 Christopher, RussRuss Christopher (L) New York Yankees Shibe Park [51]
1947 Marchildon, PhilPhil Marchildon (2) (W) New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [52]
1948 Marchildon, PhilPhil Marchildon (3) (W) Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [53]
1949 Fowler, DickDick Fowler (L) Washington Senators Griffith Stadium [54]
1950 Scheib, CarlCarl Scheib (L) Washington Senators Griffith Stadium [55]
1951 Shantz, BobbyBobby Shantz (L) Washington Senators Shibe Park [56]
1952 Kellner, AlexAlex Kellner (L) New York Yankees Shibe Park [57]
1953 Kellner, AlexAlex Kellner (2) (W) New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [58]
1954 Shantz, BobbyBobby Shantz (2) (W) Boston Red Sox Shibe Park [59]
1955 Kellner, AlexAlex Kellner (3) W Detroit Tigers Municipal Stadium [3][6]
1956 Kellner, AlexAlex Kellner (4) W Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium [60]
1957 Morgan, TomTom Morgan W Detroit Tigers Municipal Stadium [61]
1958 Garver, NedNed Garver W Cleveland Indians Cleveland Stadium [62]
1959 Grim, BobBob Grim L Cleveland Indians Municipal Stadium [63][64]
1960 Daley, BudBud Daley ND (L) Chicago White Sox Comiskey Park [65]
1961 Herbert, RayRay Herbert W Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [66]
1962 Rakow, EdEd Rakow W Minnesota Twins Municipal Stadium [67]
1963 Segui, DiegoDiego Segui L New York Yankees Municipal Stadium [68]
1964 Pena, OrlandoOrlando Pena L Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium [69]
1965 Drabowsky, MoeMoe Drabowsky L Detroit Tigers Municipal Stadium [70]
1966 Hunter, CatfishCatfish Hunter L Minnesota Twins Metropolitan Stadium [71]
1967 Nash, JimJim Nash W Cleveland Indians Municipal Stadium [72]

References