With spring training set to begin in a few short weeks and Opening Day less than two months away, fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers can't help but feel a tingle of anxiety knowing that baseball season is only just around the corner.
The struggles of 2010 are now in the past.
Headed by skipper Don Mattingly, the 2011 coaching staff is almost entirely brand new, while multiple moves made by general manager Ned Colletti have filled several gaps in the roster. Although a number of fans remain pessimistic as Frank McCourt barely holds on to his regime as owner, the majority see 2011 as a fresh opportunity for the Boys in Blue to become contenders once again.
The home opener in 2009 was truly something special. Second baseman Orlando Hudson impressed the entire baseball world by hitting for the cycle in his first home game as a Dodger. Chad Billingsley was brilliant on the mound, surrendering only five hits and one earned run while striking out 11. The remainder of the Dodgers lineup had an offensive field day against future Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson, as Los Angeles routed the San Francisco Giants, 11-1.
Despite all the glory, Dodgers fans were forced to wait an entire week from the beginning of the season to see their beloved club take the field at Chavez Ravine.
Moving into the 2011 campaign, Dodger Stadium will play host to Opening Day for the first time in three years. And what's more fitting is that Los Angeles will battle long-time rival and 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants. The sellout crowd on-hand will promise to be nothing short of electrifying.
As a prelude to the clash with the Giants on March 31, the following slides highlight the 10 best individual Opening Day performances by Dodgers players over the past 25 years. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy a quick ride through a quarter-century of Dodgers history.