1961 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

"Baseball is the sport that cackles back at can't-miss kids. Baseball humbles every player sooner or later. Baseball confers greatness stingily, in its own sweet time. At least that's what the bow-tied essayists and sandlot scouts solemnly tell us." - Johnette Howard in Sports Illustrated

1961 National League Debuts

1961 N.L. Rookies | 1961 A.L. Rookies | Baseball Firsts (All Years)

9
09-01-1961
29
24
09-10-1961
22
42
04-22-1961
24
33
09-10-1961
19
25
09-07-1961
24
6
06-27-1961
23
41
04-16-1961
22
8
04-14-1961
26
15
09-12-1961
23
16
04-14-1961
25
54
04-11-1961
24
40
06-15-1961
20
36
06-23-1961
22
30
07-13-1961
22
40
06-05-1961
33
40
04-29-1961
20
27
04-28-1961
24
34
07-23-1961
20
12
04-16-1961
23
10
08-14-1961
24
5
07-16-1961
21
35
09-22-1961
26
37
09-18-1961
25
2
06-18-1961
29
34
07-02-1961
23
42
04-18-1961
22
21
04-12-1961
25
45
04-12-1961
25
18
04-15-1961
23
51
04-11-1961
23
26
04-11-1961
26
39
06-13-1961
22
34
07-14-1961
23
47
06-23-1961
22
17
06-30-1961
19
4
05-20-1961
25
44
09-20-1961
23
1961 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 1961 season as this group of players made their Major League debut!

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?

Rich Amaral spent nine seasons in the Minor Leagues and upon his callup he commented, "I've been to every baseball park in America, except those in the American and National League."

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