Hope springs eternal. It’s the long-uttered mantra of baseball fans everywhere, providing a level of optimism for the season to come. On Opening Day, teams traditionally field their best lineups, punctuated by their best pitcher, in the hopes the nine on the field will lead them to October glory. That sounds great and all, but sometimes the roster is a little thin and sometimes the guy on the mound is not the second coming of Cy Young.

Sure, greats like Kershaw, Scherzer and Bumgarner are no-brainers to start, but there are other players whose resumes are not nearly as decorated who’ve taken the ball on Opening Day. Take a look at these surprising starters who’ve been on the hill for game number one. Their plaques are not exactly waiting to be made in Cooperstown and they were never the star of a team that made a serious playoff run (perhaps not coincidentally, none made a World Series). We’ve limited this list of hurlers since 2000 to keep it a little more recent. Get ready to be shocked, stunned, amused, awed and prepared to have your memory jogged.

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