From The Vault: How bad weather has affected Reds Opening Days

Snow, sleet, hail, rain - during same game
Posted at 9:41 AM, Mar 28, 2018

WATCH how bad weather affected Opening Days in 1966, 1977, 1985 and 2000 in the video player above.

With the threat of rain moving Opening Day to Friday, it might surprise you to know that there have been only three other Opening Day postponements due to weather in the last 105 years - and they happened on three consecutive days.

There has been snow on Opening Day (4 inches in 1977). There has been hail, sleet, snow and rain during a single Opening Day game (1985). But the only year the Reds didn't play the home opener as scheduled due to weather was 1966.

That was the year three days of rain turned Crosley Field into a swamp and washed out the entire three-game opening home series with the New York Mets.

That also was the only year the Reds had to open on the road due to weather since 1887.

The 1966 Reds had to play their first seven games in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and lost six of them before they had their home opener on April 22. Only 10,266 showed up for the opening night game against the Phillies. Fans were angry over the offseason trade of the great Frank Robinson to the Orioles. And the Reds lost, 9-7.

It was the last time Opening Day was postponed by weather going back to 1913.

Not even 4 inches of snow overnight could postpone Opening Day in 1977. The grounds crew cleared the AstroTurf field without much problem and the game started on time. The Reds beat the Padres, 5-3.

The wackiest weather for an Opening Day game happened in 1985 at Riverfront Stadium. It featured two snow delays and one delay for rain, sleet and hail, in between periods of sunshine. 

Game time temperature was 39 degrees, and by the fifth inning, most of the sellout crowd of 52,971 had fled for the warmth of their cars. But the hearty fans who hung it out got to see Pete Rose, in his first Reds Opening Day since 1978, hit a two-run double that beat the Expos, 3-1.

In 2000, a record Opening Day crowd of 55,996 turned out for the Reds debut of Ken Griffey Jr., at Cinergy Field.  They gave Griffey a rousing ovation, but after the Reds took a 3-0 lead, the Brewers tied the game and the rains came. And came. And came.

There was a three-hour rain delay before umpires called the game in the middle of the sixth inning. Because 5 1/2 innings had been completed, the game officially ended in a 3-3 tie, and all statistics counted. But the tie didn't. So the next day's game was the first official Reds game of 2000. The Expos won that one, 5-1.

You have to go back to 1913, 1901 and 1884 to find when Reds home openers were postponed by weather, but they still got in Opening Day at home, according to the excellent book, "Opening Day: Celebrating Cincinnati's Baseball Holiday," by John Erardi and Greg Rhodes. 

The Reds also had to open on the road due to weather in 1885.