April 1 – Opening Day: All 30 teams will play on a traditional Opening Day that features 10 divisional matchups. Some highlights include Yankees-Blue Jays, Phillies-Braves, Nationals-Mets and Athletics-Astros.
April 2– 20 years since Albert Pujols debuted: The future Hall of Famer played his first big-league game at the age of 21 and went on to win the Rookie of the Year award, batting .329 with 37 homers and 130 RBI for the Cardinals. Pujols is heading into his final season of a 10-year deal he signed with the Angels after the 2011 season.
April 9 – Dodgers home opener: It won’t be quite the same without a full house at Dodger Stadium but the organization will raise its 2020 World Series banner before the game against the Nationals.
April 12– A.J. Hinch returns to Houston: Only out of work for a year following his suspension for his role in the Astros’ cheating scandal, the Tigers’ new skipper goes back to Minute Maid Park less than two weeks into the new season.
April 15 – Jackie Robinson Day: Everyone around the majors wears the No. 42 to honor the Dodgers legend who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Robinson’s number was retired league-wide in 1997.
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May 4 – Astros head to Yankee Stadium: The Yankees host the Astros for a three-game set in the Bronx in the first regular-season meetings between the teams since the 2019 American League Championship Series – before Houston’s cheating scandal came to light. Considering the rhetoric from Yankees players last year, tensions should be high.
May 6 – Willie Mays turns 90: One of baseball’s GOATs, the Hall of Famer was a 22-time All-Star who hit 660 home runs in 22 seasons for the Giants and Mets.
May 7 – Five-year anniversary of Bartolo Colon’s home run: On this day in 2016, the then 42-year-old pitcher hit a two-run homer off James Shields in San Diego, his first career longball. As Mets announcer Gary Cohen said that night: “The impossible has happened!"
June 2 – Lou Gehrig Day: MLB honors the Yankees legend and raises awareness for ALS, a disease that informally bears Gehrig's name. Players and coaches will wear a special uniform patch.
July 1 – Nolan Arenado returns to Colorado: Arenado and the Cardinals start a four-game set against the Rockies for what will be the third baseman’s first time playing as a visitor at Coors Field. Before being traded to St. Louis, Arenado won eight Gold Gloves in eight seasons with the Rockies, batting .322 with a .985 OPS at home.
July 11 – MLB draft begins: Taking place in Atlanta in conjunction with All-Star week, the 2021 draft is expected to be between 20 and 30 rounds after the 2020 edition was just five. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first overall pick for the first time since 2011.
July 12 – Home Run Derby: Baseball’s top sluggers take their cuts under the lights at Truist Park on the eve of the All-Star Game. Mets first baseman Pete Alonso won the derby in 2019, the sixth right-handed hitter in seven years to take the crown.
Pete Alonso won the 2019 Home Run Derby. (Photo: Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports)
July 13 – 91st MLB All-Star Game: The Braves’ home ballpark hosts the midsummer classic after the 2020 game at Dodger Stadium was called off. The American League is on a seven-game winning streak and holds a 45-43-2 advantage all-time in the series
July 25 – Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony: While nobody was voted in this year, the 2020 class – Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons – will be honored after the pandemic forced the cancelation of last summer’s event. The Hall of Fame says the ceremony won't be held in its traditional highly-attended form, but rather as a television event.
July 31 – Trade deadline: With a number of big names becoming free agents after the 2021 season, there could be more stars on the move than usual.
Aug. 7 – Mike Trout turns 30: Entering his 11th(!) season, the Angels’ three-time MVP is already in the conversation as one of the greatest players of all time. Signed through 2030, Trout was only the 16th player to reach 300 home runs before his 30th birthday. We can’t wait to see what his next decade brings.
Aug. 12 – Field of Dreams game: The Yankees and White Sox meet in Dyersville, Iowa, at a temporary ballpark adjacent to the site of the 1989 film. The affair was called off last year, and the ballpark had a potential capacity of 8,000 fans.
Aug. 22 – Little League Classic: The Indians and Angels face off at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa. during the Little League World Series, an annual tradition that began in 2017. In the past, the stands have been filled with Little League players and their parents.
Aug. 30 – Adam Wainwright turns 40: After enjoying a renaissance the past two seasons, Wainwright came back on a one-year deal to pursue another World Series title with St. Louis. He was the Cardinals’ closer as a rookie for the team’s 2006 run, but missed their 2011 triumph after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Sept. 11 – Mets host Yankees on 20th anniversary of 9/11: It’s the first time the two New York teams will meet on September 11 and you can expect some fitting tributes at Citi Field.
Oct. 3 – Final day of the regular season: The 2021 season concludes on a Sunday and it wouldn't be surprising to see several postseason spots up for grabs.
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