1976 American 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

1976 American League Debuts

1976 A.L. Rookies | 1976 N.L. Rookies | Baseball Firsts (All Years)

44
09-11-1976
24
40
09-11-1976
22
61
09-14-1976
21
39
09-19-1976
22
27, 52
04-13-1976
20
41
09-11-1976
26
46
04-18-1976
21
22
09-12-1976
24
45
04-10-1976
22
15, 32
09-17-1976
27
44
08-14-1976
25
48
07-06-1976
23
52
09-17-1976
24
8
06-16-1976
20
29
08-08-1976
22
41
08-23-1976
20
15
07-16-1976
28
12
06-07-1976
24
16
09-04-1976
18
20
04-20-1976
21
46
05-04-1976
24
29
06-14-1976
21
2
08-30-1976
23
30
04-23-1976
21
5
08-20-1976
22
35
08-01-1976
23
30
08-01-1976
21
12
05-26-1976
26
19
09-04-1976
21
27
09-07-1976
24
17
09-07-1976
24
11
09-03-1976
23
30
09-08-1976
20
39
09-02-1976
25
32
04-13-1976
27
17
05-15-1976
21
16
04-09-1976
20
26
07-10-1976
22
20
07-07-1976
21
32
09-19-1976
22
10
08-21-1976
24
5
06-30-1976
27
33
09-14-1976
23
22
09-09-1976
26
39
09-14-1976
21
38
07-19-1976
20
5
05-17-1976
24
15
06-04-1976
26
1976 American League Debuts
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baseball almanac fast facts

Find out which players bid farewell to their field's of dreams in the American League during the 1976 season as this group of players made their Major League debut!

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."

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.

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