HOUSTON -- Opening Day is a special occasion for every player that stands at the chalk lines to be introduced in front of packed ballparks around baseball at the start of each season. The emotions are heightened, however, for those experiencing an opener for the first time.
"We all have our own emotions going," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You start thinking about the first pitch and winning the game. But, hopefully, you can take a second and realize the emotions that they're going through and the joy and the pride that they have."
Monday's contest against the Astros marked the first Opening Day for Cleveland players Austin Adams, Trevor Bauer, Kyle Crockett, Nick Hagadone, TJ House, Roberto Perez and Jose Ramirez. Here are some of their thoughts on the memorable occasion:
• Adams: "It's incredible. It's Opening Day. It's self-explanatory. Everybody is excited, ready to get on the field, anxious, nervous. It's a great day."
• Crockett: "A couple guys have already told me that you won't forget your first Opening Day. So, I'm really looking forward to it. Everyone seems really excited about it."
• Hagadone: "It's something that I've been looking forward to and working toward for a long time. I'm just really excited to kind of take in the experience and soak it all in, and just really to get this season started."
• House: "Right now, it's just exciting. Being drafted in 2008, this is my seventh Opening Day, but my first one in the big leagues. It's nice. It's one of those things you've been working so hard for, and you're kind of getting rewarded. You hope this is one of many going forward."
• Perez: "I'm looking forward to it. I woke up so early -- too early. I get goosebumps every time I talk about it. I got a couple messages from my family today, saying, 'Hey, it's your first Opening Day. Good luck this season.' I'm excited. I think we have a great team. Hopefully, we'll make the playoffs."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.