03/31/08 3:59 PM ET
D-backs enjoy Opening Day in Cincy
Several experience pageantry of season's start for first time
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
The D-backs had either five or six players going through their initial Opening Day, depending on whether or not you count pitcher Micah Owings, who wasn't on the roster for last year's opener but was with the team in Colorado because he was set to be activated after the first week.
Others who are on the roster for the first time include third baseman Mark Reynolds, pitcher Yusmeiro Petit and outfielders Jeff Salazar, Alex Romero and Justin Upton.
All except for Romero saw significant time with the D-backs last year, which, according to Reynolds, helps.
"I think it'd feel a lot different if I didn't play up here last year," said Reynolds, who was called up in May 2007. "I'm excited, though. I can't really explain it, other than to say I can't wait to get out and play."
It's another milestone for Salazar, who earlier this month survived the initial round of spring cuts for the first time in his career.
"I've always heard great things about Cincinnati on Opening Day," Salazar said. "They really make a big deal out of it here. I'd love for my first opener to be at home, but if it's not there, to have it here is pretty special."
Cincinnati has hosted the first game of each season for many years, and it is almost a holiday of sorts with a parade through downtown and a sold-out stadium.
D-backs manager Bob Melvin and Reds counterpart Dusty Baker are good friends, and when they spoke by phone Sunday night, they shared the fact they were both excited about taking part in their first Opening Day in Cincinnati.
"Growing up as a baseball fan, it always started here for me," Melvin said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.