Happy Opening Day!
The Los Angeles Dodgers begin their elusive quest for their first World Series title since 1988 when they open up the 2019 season against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers have won a franchise record six consecutive National League West Division titles and are the reigning back-to-back NL pennant winners.
After finishing third in the NL West last season, the Diamondbacks made some drastic changes to their roster, trading away superstar Paul Goldschmidt, and losing outfielder A.J. Pollock and pitcher Patrick Corbin to free agency.
Pollock joined the Dodgers, and Corbin signed with the Nationals in the offseason, so Arizona is expecting some of their young prospects to take major steps in their maturation this season.
The Dodgers will be greeted in Game 1 of 162, by old friend and former teammate, Zack Greinke, who makes his second Opening Day start for the Diamondbacks, and first since 2017.
For the first time in eight seasons, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers' ace Clayton Kershaw will not start on Opening Day as he begins the year on the injured list. In his place, is Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Korean left-hander who is the longest tenured starting pitcher on the team outside of Kershaw.
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The stadium gates will open to fans at 10:00 a.m. PT and pregame entertainment will begin at the same time. If you're heading to the ballpark, you'll want to find your seats by 12:30 p.m. PT when an Opening Day pregame ceremony will begin in earnest.
The ceremony will celebrate the life and legacy of former Rookie of the Year, four-time All-Star, and 1956 National League Cy Young and MVP Award winner Don "Newk" Newcombe, who passed away at the age of 92 on February 19. The players and coaches will all wear a No. 36 memorial patch in Newcombe's honor. All proceeds of the team's 50-50 raffle will be donated to help support the baseball programs at Morningside, Inglewood, Dominguez, and Centennial High Schools.
The ceremony will be followed by the national anthem at 12:57 p.m. PT, which will be performed by Chief Warrant Office 2 (CW2) Jeff Smith, a commander and conductor of the 300th Army Band in Los Angeles.
During the anthem, the U.S. Army's Golden Knights Parachute Team will parachute into the stadium for a must-see moment, as a giant American flag is unfurled in center field. Additionally, there will be a flyover by the 452nd Air Mobility Wing from March Air Reserve Base and the end of the anthem.
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown at 1:00 p.m. PT by a surprise guest, and the game is expected to start immediately after at 1:10 p.m. PT.
The game will air nationally on ESPN, and locally on Spectrum SportsNet LA. If you do not have Spectrum SportsNetLA, and the game is blacked out in your area, you can live stream the game here.
If you'd like to try and get out of work or school and attend Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers have you covered with this courtesy note: