1884 American Association 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

"You never forget your first hit in the Major Leagues. It was in my third at bat. That was kind of a relief. You could start off 0-for-34." - Ralph Kiner

1884 American Association Debuts

1884 A.A. Rookies | 1884 U.A. Rookies | 1884 N.L. Rookies | Baseball Firsts (All Years)

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05-12-1884
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09-27-1884
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08-23-1884
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1884 American Association Debuts
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Find out which players bid farewell to their field's of dreams in the American Association during the 1884 season as this group of players made their Major League debut!

Ray Jansen (four for five in his first game), Aubrey Epps (three for four in his first game) and Ed Irwin (two for three in his first game) all finished their career with lifetime batting averages which were greater than their career fielding percentages.

When Christy Mathewson made his Major League debut the newspaper wrote, "The untried semi-professional possessed great speed and plenty of confidence in himself, but could not control his curves."

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