After eight years of very pedestrian play at first base on the South Side, Tommy McCraw is dealt to Washington for outfielder Ed Stroud. McCraw and Stroud were both early-1960s amateur free agents signed by the White Sox, only Stroud had been dealt four years earlier to the Senators and was now making his way back to the South Side.
McCraw’s White Sox peak came in the storied/infamous 1967 season, with a 2.5 WAR year that featured power (11 homers), speed (24 steals) and solid defense.
Stroud’s second go-around with the White Sox proved positively horrible, with a .177 average and .485 OPS in 1971 that channeled a -1.3 WAR over 53 games. At age 31, he would then be out of baseball for good.
The earliest Opening Day in history, at that time, turned out to be a record-setting day for the White Sox, who blasted Kansas City, 14-7. The Sox tied the record for most Opening Day home runs by hitting six at Kauffman Stadium.
That tied the 1988 Mets, who did it against the Montreal Expos.
Matt Davidson became the fourth player in history to hammer three home runs on Opening Day, as he went 3-for-4 with four runs scored and five RBIs. Davidson also set a record with the exit velocity of his home runs, and became the first player in at least 110 years to score four runs on Opening Day. Tim Anderson had two home runs and drove in three, with José Abreu hitting the other home run.
Abreu had two RBIs, and Yolmer Sánchez drove in three for the White Sox.
Incidentally, Davidson’s first at-bat of the game was a long fly that was caught 10 feet in front of the fence.
The game also marked the first White Sox regular season game coverage by the current staff of South Side Sox.