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."
"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)
Find out which players bid farewell to their field's of dreams in the American League during the 1974 season as this group of players made their Major League debut!
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.