Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New-Look Season Shifts into High Gear Today

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New-Look Season Shifts into High Gear Today

Article excerpt

Barry Bonds and Greg Maddux begin their bids for more awards, the Cleveland Indians open their new park and the Colorado Rockies start to close out their old one today - the first full day of the 1994 baseball season.

The World Series-champion Blue Jays and the Chicago White Sox, who will not get to defend their American League Western Division title because they now are in the new AL Central, meet at SkyDome in Toronto.

The Blue Jays will try to become the first team since the 1972-74 Oakland Athletics to win three successive World Series. To reach the postseason, all they'll need is the league's top second-place finish to win the wild-card berth in the expanded playoffs.

Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan will throw out the first ball in Boston, when Roger Clemens and the Red Sox face the Detroit Tigers and their major-league-high 15 millionaires. Joe DiMaggio is to make the ceremonial pitch at Yankee Stadium when New York takes on the Texas Rangers, minus retired Nolan Ryan.

Bonds, trying to win an unprecedented third successive MVP award - and fourth overall - will lead the San Francisco Giants against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates and Zane Smith, a three-game winner last season. Maddux, hoping to win a record third consecutive National League Cy Young Award, will pitch for the Atlanta Braves in San Diego, where a half-full stadium of 30,000 is expected to watch the depleted Padres.

Pitching in Cleveland will be President Bill Clinton, who spent opening day last year in Baltimore. He'll be on hand when the Indians, now with Dennis Martinez, Jack Morris and Eddie Murray, play their first game at Jacobs Field, facing Randy Johnson and the Seattle Mariners.

"It's an honor to be the opening-day pitcher for any club. I'm happy it's me," Martinez said. "It's great to be the first pitcher in a new park. You get to make history."

Hillary Rodham Clinton will be at Wrigley Field to throw out the first ball when her favorites, the Chicago Cubs, open against the New York Mets.

The NL-champion Philadelphia Phillies will be in Colorado, where the Rockies start their second and last season at Mile High Stadium. …

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