CLEVELAND — Thursday was supposed to mark the Cleveland Indians' home opener, with the Tribe slated to host the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field.
But due to concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the start of the MLB season -- and thus, Cleveland's home opener -- have been delayed never indefinitely.
Nevertheless, it's hard to think of what could have been on Thursday without still wanting to celebrate baseball. With that in mind, let's take a look at the Indians' five most memorable home openers since Progressive Field first opened in 1994.
5. 1999 Indians 5, Royals 2
In what marked the Indians' second home opener walk-off in as many years, it was third baseman Travis Fryman's 3-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning that broke a 2-2 tie with the Kansas City Royals.
The game -- which extended Cleveland's record to 6-1 in what would be its fifth consecutive American League Central championship-winning season -- proved to be a preview of what was to come for the Indians, as it was Fryman who hit a walk-off single to beat the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS.
One of Cleveland's most memorable home openers didn't actually take place in Cleveland -- it happened in Milwaukee.
With a snowstorm limiting their home stadium's availability, the Indians were forced to host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 450 miles away at Milwaukee's Miller Park. With C.C. Sabathia striking out seven and Andy Marte providing three RBIs, Cleveland made the most of the unusual circumstances, earning a 7-6 win over the Angels and starter Ervin Santana.
After missing nearly all of the 2016 campaign -- including the Indians' run to the World Series -- Michael Brantley made his return to Cleveland in a big way.
Entering extra innings tied with the Chicago White Sox 1-1, it was Brantley's double down the left-field line that scored Francisco Lindor from first base, kickstarting what would prove to be a historic season for the 2017 Indians, who later won an MLB record 22 straight games.
Coming off the heartbreak of the 1997 World Series, the Indians reopened Jacobs Field in dramatic fashion. After striking out in three of his first four at-bats, Jim Thome hit a 3-run home run off of Troy Percival in the top of the 10th inning to give Cleveland a 5-2 walk-off win over the Anaheim Angels.
The long-awaited opening of Jacobs Field didn't disappoint.
After President Bill Clinton threw out the ceremonial first pitch, Seattle Mariners ace Randy Johnson threw seven hitless innings -- threatening to join Indians great Bob Feller as the only pitcher in Major League history to throw a no-hitter on Opening Day.
But with Feller in attendance, it was Indians catcher Sany Alomar Jr. who kept Johnson from joining him in the record books with a leadoff single in the top of the eighth inning.
The fun, as it turned out, was just getting started, with Wayne Kirby's single in the top of the 11th knocking in Eddie Murray to give Cleveland a 4-3 walk-off win in its new home.