NEW YORK -- Fans packed Yankee Stadium and red, white and blue bunting was out on a sun-splashed afternoon, just like opening days before the pandemic.
Shadows had crawled across the infield by the time Josh Donaldson capped his New York debut with a performance reminiscent of the Yankees of old - their first walk-off win on opening day since Yogi Berra charged across the plate on Andy Carey's single to beat the Washington Senators in 1957.
"The energy in the stadium, the atmosphere was pretty electric," Donaldson said Friday after his 11th-inning single lifted the Yankees over the Boston Red Sox 6-5. "It doesn't get any bigger than this right here."
Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP with Toronto, was acquired from Minnesota on March 13. He completed a comeback from a 3-0, first-inning deficit, becoming just the third Yankee with a walk-off RBI in his first game after Roy Weatherly in the 1943 opener and Chase Headley in July 2014, according the Elias Sports Bureau.
"It's amazing for him to come and to get on the good side of this place right away," teammate Giancarlo Stanton said.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, also obtained in the Donaldson trade, started the inning as the automatic runner at second base in the first extra-inning game of the strange rule's third season.
Donaldson hit a three-hopper up the middle against rookie Kutter Crawford leading off the 11th, just past the dives of new Boston second baseman Trevor Story and shortstop Jonathan Araúz, who took over in the 10th after Xander Bogaerts strained his right hamstring.
Kiner-Falefa slid across the plate well ahead of center fielder Kiké Hernández's one-hop throw. Donaldson ran all the way to second and flipped his helmet, then was mobbed by teammates.
"Some people handle it really well, some people not as much," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "There's a level of wanting to ingratiate yourself to the new town, new people, new fans, teammates."
It was the Yankees' sixth walk-off win in an opener, the team's first over Boston since 1906.
The Red Sox led 3-0 on Rafael Devers' two-run homer and J.D. Martinez's RBI double before Gerrit Cole got a single out, the Yankees ace out of sorts after a lengthy pregame ceremony disrupted his routine.
Seats were filled with a sellout crowd of 46,097, COVID-19 protocols were dropped and opening-day festivities returned after two seasons altered by the pandemic.
Ukraine's flag was raised and its national anthem played before "The Star-Spangled Banner" during ceremonies that included a moment of silence for war victims.
"Festivities got a little away from the schedule," Cole said.
Anthony Rizzo had a two-run drive in the bottom half and Stanton tied it at 3 with a leadoff homer in the fourth. Both were off Nathan Eovaldi, who beat Cole in last year's AL wild-card game.
Alex Verdugo put Boston back ahead 4-3 with an RBI single in the sixth off Clay Holmes through a drawn-in infield, but DJ LeMahieu homered off Garrett Whitlock in the eighth.
Bogaerts's third hit put the Red Sox ahead in the 10th, an RBI single against winner Michael King, the Yankees eighth pitcher.
Pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres, out of the starting lineup in favor of LeMahieu at second base, tied it in the bottom half with a sacrifice fly off Ryan Brasier.
"I'm sure today was a really tough day for him," Boone said. "That's a tough spot where you're down 0-2, shadows, late, first at-bat of the season, everything on the line."
New York star Aaron Judge let his deadline for a long-term contract pass. Judge, who said he will not negotiate during the season, went 2 for 5, including a two-out double in the ninth off Hansel Robles. He was stranded when Stanton struck out for the fourth time.
Stanton has five opening-day homers, including four with the Yankees. He struck out in his four other at-bats. Eovaldi, who allowed three runs and five hits in five innings, didn't give up his second home run last year until June 4.
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Story played his first big league game at second base after 733 at shortstop and went 0 for 5 at the plate in his Red Sox debut.
"It's intense and that's fun," Story sad. "That's the kind of atmosphere you want to play in. Every pitch counts and that's the way we're taking it."
New New York City Mayor Eric Adams played catch with Yankees right-hander Luis Severino before the game.
Boston is wearing black patches on its right sleeves with a white No. 2 in memory of Jerry Remy, whose last name is in red. The former player and broadcaster died Oct. 30 at age 68.
Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka moved the new Pitch Com signaling device from a wrist to a shinguard.
Red Sox: Bogaerts on his hamstring: "Hopefully I come back tomorrow and I feel good and get ready to go." ... RHP Matt Barnes was not available because of back tightness.
Yankees: Rizzo was hit on the right hand by a fastball from Eovaldi in the fifth inning that tailed in. He stayed in the game.
Severino and Boston RHP Nick Pivetta are to start Saturday.
Yankees vs. Red Sox photo gallery
Donaldson walks it off
Josh Donaldson knocked in the game-winning run with a walk-off single in the 11th.
LeMahieu sends one out
DJ LeMahieu socked the Yankees' third home run of the day, a solo shot to tie the game in the 8th.
Stanton goes yard
Giancarlo Stanton made it a 3-3 game with a solo home run in the 4th.
Rizzo homers in first at-bat
Anthony Rizzo launched the Yankees' first home run of the season, a 2-run shot in the first inning.
Shoshana Bean, from Broadway's "Mr. Saturday Night" performs the National Anthem:
Yulia Holiyat, from the Ukrainian Children's Choir "Moloda Dumka," also performed the Ukrainian National Anthem:
Billy Crystal "backstage"
"Mr. Saturday Night" is on the mound this Friday afternoon.
CBS2 at The Stadium
We have live team coverage of the Opening Day excitement from inside and outside the stadium.
CBS2's Otis Livingston is on his way...
Catch the latest on CBS2 News at 5 and 6.
Getting ready for the first pitch
In the midst of the lockout, it seemed like this season would never start. But the Yankees and Red Sox are renewing the sport's fiercest rivalry on Friday.
The game is a tone-setter. The Red Sox knocked the Yankees out of the postseason last year.
"Whether it was the anxious excitement of Opening Day as a player, and now as a manager, it's not something I take lightly. It's not something I take for granted. I appreciate it, I try to celebrate it and I try to embrace all the unique feelings you get on this day," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
The biggest news before the game came when Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced the team did not reach a contract agreement with outfielder Aaron Judge, who will now become a free agent when the season ends.
According to Cashman, the Yankees offered Judge an 8-year deal worth $30 million per year.
"It was really good, healthy dialogue that did not lead to a positive conclusion on this date, but it doesn't mean that a conclusion in a positive way for the Yankees and Aaron Judge together in the future can't happen. It's just not gonna happen right now," Cashman said.
Judge had set Opening Day as the deadline to reach an agreement before the end of the season.
Maximum capacity, maximum excitement at Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium is open at 100 percent capacity for Opening Day, which means excitement from fans is at a max. They arrived from all over the country to cheer on the Bronx Bombers.
"Get the fans back, get the crowds going. No better Yankee Stadium feeling than when the crowds are into the game," said Michael Cates, from Arkansas.
"I think it's better than the World Series or anything," said Paul Elwel, from Maryland.
"Today is my 63rd-straight home opener. I've been to every Opening Day since 1959," Marty Rosenblum said.
Opening Day is a new experience for 10-year-old Chance Lynn from Kentucky. His parents brought him to New York for his birthday.
"I've never been to an MLB game. So I'm really excited because this is my favorite team," Chance said.
The start of baseball season in the Bronx brings hope for brighter times ahead for businesses around the stadium. Some predict sales will return to pre-pandemic levels, maybe even better.
"People want to go outside. They want to come in and so we're expecting higher numbers than any year," said Joseph Abbei, manager of Ballpark Sports Shop.
Michael Rendino, co-owner of Stan's Sports Bar, said they've been eagerly waiting and preparing for today.
"It's like Christmas morning again, Opening Day. It feels like it did three, four years ago. People are ready to come back," Rendino said.
The Dugout sports bar is celebrating its grand opening. It wasn't able to fully open before due to the pandemic, and almost didn't make it through.
"When we did open, we had limited capacity," owner Tyrone Robinson said. "We're coming back with a vengeance."
Local leaders said 80 to 90 percent of revenue for businesses in the area around Yankee Stadium comes from home games and other events at the stadium.
No negative COVID tests or vaccine cards are required to enter.
Flashback: Opening Day '21
Relive the excitement from, when fans returned for the first time since the 2019 season.
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole will be on the mound with the following lineup:
All smiles for Opening Day
The Yankees own the all-time record against the Red Sox with 1,221 wins to their 1,007.
These games date back all the way to 1903.
The Red Sox have won nine World Series titles, most recently in 2018, to the Yankees record 27 championships.
Get your game plan
From entry to entertainment and, of course, food, Yankee Stadium is ready to welcome back fans. What you should know before you go...
CBS2's Steve Overmyer speaks with CBS Boston's Dan Roche about the age-old rivalry ahead of today's home opener.
The Yankees and Red Sox are one of the oldest rivalries in sports, and certainly one of the fiercest. For more than 120 years, a heated battle has been waged. Punches have been thrown, and trophies have been hoisted.
This year, some combatants are familiar, others are new. And as the veil is lifted on a new season, so too is a rivalry renewed.
Excitement builds in the Bronx
With rolled backrestrictions this season, many are in a while.
As of the beginning of March, proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination is no longer required at Yankee Stadium. No masks are needed, and it will be at full capacity.
Also this season, unvaccinated players are allowed to play ball, after Mayor Eric Adams loosened restrictions for professional athletes.
But with the pandemic still going on, Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said the home opener is a really big deal.
"Hopefully, we pause to appreciate, especially I think considering what we've been through the last couple of years, hopefully maybe there's that a bit more appreciation for what we get to go do for a living," he said Thursday. "Now add in the fact that it's Yankees-Red Sox, that lends itself to a really special day."
Gates will open at 11 a.m., with the game starting at 1:05 p.m. Actor and comedian.