1878 National League Debuts

Willie Mays played his first Major League game on May 25, 1951, and went 0-for-5 at the plate. He started his career 1-for-25 and told his manager, "I can't do it, Mr. Leo. You better bench me."

Casey Stengel played his first Major League game on July 27, 1912, and went 4-for-4 at the plate. He commented later in his life, "I broke in with four hits and the writers promptly decided they had seen the new Ty Cobb. It took me only a few days to correct that impression."

Both Mays and Stengel would continue their Major League careers down separate paths of greatness, but each still had to appear in that memorable first Major League game. Baseball Almanac is pleased to present what Cubs broadcaster Steve Stone once described as, "His first Major League debut."

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"There is no Major League record held by a rookie. It's revealing to see just how far the rookie marks are below the single season marks. This is a testament to how difficult the game is to learn and play." - Luke Salisbury in The Answer is Baseball (1989)

1878 National League Debuts

1878 N.L. Rookies | Baseball Firsts (All Years)

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05-01-1878
22
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05-20-1878
22
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08-31-1878
24
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08-09-1878
25
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07-27-1878
18
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07-15-1878
19
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06-11-1878
19
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05-01-1878
20
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05-20-1878
21
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05-01-1878
23
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06-11-1878
29
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05-01-1878
22
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08-30-1878
25
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05-01-1878
20
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05-01-1878
23
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06-20-1878
25
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05-01-1878
0
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05-01-1878
20
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05-13-1878
24
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05-02-1878
26
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05-02-1878
24
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08-15-1878
27
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06-20-1878
22
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05-04-1878
25
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05-01-1878
23
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06-13-1878
25
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07-15-1878
18
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06-19-1878
20
1878 National League Debuts
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baseball almanac fast facts

Find out which players bid farewell to their field's of dreams in the National League during the 1878 season as this group of players made their Major League debut!

Five-for-five debuts? Believe it or not it has happened twice: On June 30, 1894 Fred Clarke of the Louisville Colonels and on May 16, 1933, Cecil Travis of the Washington Senators made their Major League debuts and both went five-for-five at the plate.

Did you know that Future hall of famer Addie Joss made his Major League pitching debut on April 26, 1902 and tossed a one hitter?

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