Oakland A’s Opening Day history: Erubiel Durazo says hello

Erubiel Durazo wasted no time in introducing himself to Oakland A’s fans, as he provided a memorable Opening Day in 2003.

When Erubiel Durazo was acquired by the Oakland A’s, it was a new beginning. He had been a part time player in Arizona, a solid hitter, but one whose defense at first was not considered good enough for him to start. With the designated hitter in the American League, Durazo would be able to do what he did well – hit.

Understandably, there was some skepticism regarding whether or not Durazo would perform playing every day. Part of that skepticism was shared by Ken Macha, who slotted his new DH in the sixth spot of the lineup on Opening Day.

Durazo did not waste any time in introducing himself to the A’s fanbase, or in proving Billy Beane right in bringing him on board. In the bottom of the second inning, in his first regular season plate appearance for the A’s, Durazo belted a two run homer to give Oakland the lead over the Mariners.

He stepped to the plate again with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fifth. This time, he took Freddy Garcia‘s 1-1 offering to deep left center for a bases clearing double. The A’s would go on to take a 5-0 victory that day, with Durazo driving in every run for Oakland.

It was a harbinger of what would be a solid run with the A’s. In his first two seasons in Oakland, Durazo posted a .289/.384/.475 batting line, hitting 43 homers and 64 doubles over his 1223 plate appearances. He was even respectable in the field, saving the A’s two runs in his 37 games at first base.

Unfortunately, just as he appeared to have earned an every day role, injuries interfered. Durazo played in just 41 games in 2005 as back issues curtailed his career. He bounced around the minors and Mexican League into 2012, even signing with the A’s once again, but was unable to return to the majors.

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In his short time with the Oakland A’s, Erubiel Durazo made quite an impact. That impact was felt from his very first regular season plate appearances.