As the 2015 Major League Baseball regular season winds down towards the playoffs, the promise of another season was made with the release of the MLB 2016 schedule (tentative). This schedule will be a historic one for MLB as it represents the 20th anniversary of the league’s scheduling of inter-league games between the American and National Leagues. With some luck this historic schedule will prove to have as many if not more exciting moments as this season.
In the twenty years since interleague play began, each team in a particular division has been scheduled to play the same group of teams from one of the opposing league’s divisions on a rotational basis. In 2016, the rotation will be the AL East taking on the NL West, the AL Central taking on the NL East and the AL West taking on the vs. NL Central. Also and for the first time, there will one change in scheduling as the Toronto Blue Jays will host the San Diego Padres from July 25 through April 27. This will be the first time teams have been scheduled for inter-league play outside of the normal rotation.
The regular season is scheduled to begin on April 3, 2016 with the match-up to be determined at a later date. The “official” 2016 MLB season starts on Monday, April 4, 2016. As is tradition, the Cincinnati Reds will start things rolling with an early afternoon home game versus the Philadelphia Phillies. As a bit of trivia statistic fans, April 4, 2016 is also “Square Root Day.” What is Square Root Day? It’s an unofficial holiday when both the day of month and numeric value for the month of the year are both square roots of the last two digits of the year itself.
Here is a look at important and interesting dates and events on the new schedule.
- April 4 – Fierce NL Central rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, will both start the season and end the season against one another in three-game series.
- April 5 – The first time during the season when all 30 teams will be in action.
- April 15 – Jackie Robinson Day when all MLB players and managers will honor the Dodgers legend by wearing the number 42.
- May 8 – It’s Mother’s Day and MLB players will be thinking pink as they break out pink bats and gear honoring mothers across the world. Many times, these items are auctioned off online with the money going to various charities.
- June 9 – MLB Draft Day
- June 17 – This will mark the first time the Houston Astros will face a team (Cincinnati Reds) that plays in the NL Central, the same division the Astros played in prior to moving to the AL West.
- July 10 – All-Star break begins.
- July 11 – The All-Star activities get underway with the Home Run Derby.
- July 12 – The 87th annual All-Star Game at PETCO Park in San Diego, California with the National League playing host to the American League.
- July 15 – All-Star break ends as all teams get back into action.
- Oct 2 – The Atlanta Braves will play the team’s last home game at Turner Field.
- Oct 2 – The official end of the regular season.
The 2015 season will long be remembered as the “Year of the Rookie.” Never before in the history of MLB have rookies come into the league and made such an impact on the sport. As the 2016 season gets underway, it will be interesting to see what landmarks are reached and which players will leave their mark on the game for years to come.