1939 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)

1939 National League Debuts

1939 N.L. Rookies | 1939 A.L. Rookies | Baseball Firsts (All Years)

29
06-11-1939
22
20
09-06-1939
22
34
09-13-1939
22
41
09-13-1939
22
28
04-19-1939
29
25
04-19-1939
24
2, 25
06-10-1939
25
2
05-17-1939
22
10
04-23-1939
23
38
09-15-1939
22
1
09-03-1939
23
5, 25
07-21-1939
18
27
09-21-1939
22
15
09-06-1939
20
24, 26
05-09-1939
31
22
09-13-1939
28
23
09-09-1939
24
23
09-08-1939
21
32
05-05-1939
24
14
06-18-1939
36
36
05-30-1939
28
14
10-01-1939
25
39
04-26-1939
21
2
09-23-1939
25
15
09-14-1939
20
19
07-21-1939
26
18
04-22-1939
25
1
07-21-1939
26
23
09-16-1939
27
16
09-16-1939
25
22
06-10-1939
22
33
09-14-1939
22
10
05-01-1939
26
34
04-21-1939
23
28
08-13-1939
21
11
06-21-1939
25
7
09-17-1939
25
10
09-16-1939
23
19
04-21-1939
28
5
06-06-1939
22
28
04-19-1939
28
26
09-13-1939
27
17
04-17-1939
26
40
05-22-1939
19
24
09-02-1939
22
42
09-17-1939
23
22
09-13-1939
19
22
05-30-1939
22
23
09-23-1939
23
38
09-27-1939
21
5
09-14-1939
24
18
09-07-1939
24
12
04-27-1939
23
18
10-01-1939
26
26
04-21-1939
28
32
09-30-1939
23
4
05-24-1939
22
12, 13, 15
04-27-1939
25
19
09-18-1939
23
1
09-26-1939
23
4
04-18-1939
24
23
04-25-1939
21
23
09-18-1939
21
1939 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 1939 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.

On the final day of the 1930 season, Dizzy Dean was called up and pitched a three-hitter. In Spring Training the following year, Dean had a fight with catcher Gabby Street and the franchise left him in the Minor Leagues all season long.

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