Philadelphia hoping for happy start

The Phillies begin a new era today, playing their first regular season game ever at Citizens Bank Park.

Updated: April 12, 2004, 8:50 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
If you want any further proof that baseball is not a game where emotion can generate success, how about the fact that the pomp and circumstance that goes along with opening a new stadium does not necessarily inspire players to win their first game there? The Phillies begin a new era today, playing their first regular season game ever in The Latest Stadium to Be Named For A Bank Park (you'll probably see it referred to more often as Citizens Bank Park). If past openers at new stadiums are any indication, they have about a 50-50 chance of winning the ribbon cutter. I looked at the current teams that had moved to new stadiums and found openers have been pretty much a break-even proposition. American League teams are 6-6 and National League clubs are 7-7 on the first day of their new digs. The parameters of this study included only the most recent stadium switches by teams and excluded expansion teams who opened their existences in the parks they're still in and Oakland, who moved to a new park from a different city. It also includes Philadelphia's move into Veterans Stadium back in 1971, a game that will be thrown off the list by the end of the day.

Here are some of the high and lowlights of the inaugurals of current ballparks:

Best inaugural: Royals Stadium (now Kauffman), April 10, 1973. Kansas City beat Texas 12-1 behind the pitching of current Royals broadcaster Paul Splittorf.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at