Originally Posted by westofyou
1994 was the last year of the Reds "Kicking" off the the season on the same day as others...
However, the Reds aren't the 1st MLB team, they were the first fully openly paid professional team and it had nothing to do with MLB at the time. So the honor was always a tenuous honor that was not always adhered to.
That said there were plenty of years in the past that the Senators opened the season before the Reds even took the field.
There were plenty of teams who paid their players back then but the amateur status was so coveted back then it was done pretty much under the table. The Reds were the first team to do it openly.
The Reds opening at home had more to do with geography than tradition. In the days when the NL had 8 teams, Cincinnati was the southernmost city in the league - besides St. Louis - so they opened at home. They just got so used to it it became a tradition and one year - I want to say it was in the '20s - they tried to get them to open on the road but the Reds pitched a fit and the NL backed down.