1978 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

1978 American League Debuts

1978 A.L. Rookies | 1978 N.L. Rookies | Baseball Firsts (All Years)

37
05-06-1978
23
59
09-02-1978
21
53
09-01-1978
23
38
07-16-1978
24
26
09-20-1978
26
28
04-10-1978
25
47
09-05-1978
22
45
04-15-1978
27
14
07-02-1978
21
12
04-08-1978
21
35
06-21-1978
27
41
08-16-1978
23
40
08-05-1978
19
1
09-07-1978
20
30
07-18-1978
23
42
09-11-1978
25
31
09-12-1978
23
25
07-17-1978
27
33
07-01-1978
20
52
05-03-1978
24
31
04-22-1978
26
9
04-23-1978
25
51
04-09-1978
26
31
05-25-1978
21
42
09-04-1978
23
22
09-04-1978
24
38
08-26-1978
25
37
07-21-1978
23
31
09-10-1978
27
38
04-30-1978
24
37
09-10-1978
23
43
09-20-1978
24
17
09-09-1978
21
36
09-12-1978
25
4
04-07-1978
21
40
08-12-1978
21
27
04-11-1978
24
43
04-17-1978
25
11
09-15-1978
24
33
09-11-1978
24
19
04-06-1978
21
31
06-16-1978
22
10
04-05-1978
22
18
04-07-1978
28
45
04-25-1978
23
53
07-29-1978
22
25
04-30-1978
23
23
06-24-1978
23
46
06-03-1978
23
40
07-03-1978
27
52
07-02-1978
26
26
09-08-1978
20
18
09-04-1978
22
17
06-06-1978
25
37
06-23-1978
18
38
04-10-1978
21
26
09-10-1978
21
23, 49
07-04-1978
24
15
06-11-1978
18
36
04-08-1978
23
24
04-08-1978
25
25, 48
08-19-1978
24
38
04-09-1978
21
25, 44
08-06-1978
21
11
09-11-1978
24
42
09-14-1978
29
41
04-06-1978
22
28
04-15-1978
24
44
09-08-1978
22
43
09-24-1978
26
16
07-28-1978
24
4
05-20-1978
19
7
09-02-1978
23
20
04-16-1978
24
15
09-07-1978
25
14
09-07-1978
28
47
06-24-1978
20
29
04-09-1978
23
3
06-23-1978
18
26
04-09-1978
20
1978 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 1978 season as this group of players made their Major League debut!

Did you know that on September 27, 1963 the Houston Colt .45s fielded an all-rookie lineup that included future stars Joe Morgan , Jerry Grote , and Rusty Staub ?

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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Jim Kaat [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…] NOT in #HOF (🤔), but DYK Kitty has more wins than Feller or Gibson? ERA better t… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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OTD1963, a rookie named Peter Edward Rose made his #MLB debut. There were 28,896 fans there in Crosley Field who sa… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Derek Dietrich (@derekrdietrich) said, "I guess I made history tonight, a little Crash Davis type, Bull Durham ther… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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MANNY SANGUILLEN (@TheRealSangy35) updated. Added verified twitter, high school, and a great trivia question about… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Cy Seymour [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…] won more than 50 games AND hit more than 50 home runs in his career. One other… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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#OTD On this date, April 7, 1970, Hoyt Wilhelm pitched in earliest appearance of MLB career. Playing for @Braves he… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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These five pitchers each tied #MLB record [baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/rb_ba…] for Most Balks in an Inning (3). See who they a… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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RIP Al Kaline (😢). The youngest batting champion in baseball history has passed away. Go beyond his stats on… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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@Dylan_716 During that exact moment, I was literally getting an "attack" to a script. My host shut down my servers,… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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@tgpschmenk 🤓 - the update took me a little more than an hour, and after I literally confirmed every single one of… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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@paddy0_bronx We do sir. Scroll down a bit. We go pitching stats, hitting stats, fielding stats, then have base run… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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JayGlenda Glenn asked on FB, "were are all these picthers or were any of these position players coming in to finish… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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1️⃣6️⃣ innings - most played during an #OpeningDay game! A Plain Dealer photographer took this photo OTD2012, at Pr… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Updated: Adrián Zabala. #LHP with #NewYork #Giants in 1945 & 1949. Born in #Cuba. Suspended for playing the Mexican… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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UPDATED: Masahiro Tanaka, OTD2014, surrendered HR to 1st batter [baseball-almanac.com/feats/feats23.…], during debut. Today, I a… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac03 Apr
UPDATED: We discovered 38 players who STOLE HOME TEN-OR-MORE TIMES in their CAREER [baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/rb_st…]. We re… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Was it cork? (🤨) Was it a Wham-O-Ball? (🤣) Here at #BaseballAlmanac, we simply miss watching #baseball games. Image… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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RIP 😢: Bob Lee [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…]. RHP (1964-1968) with #Angels, #Dodgers, #Reds. Updated: Added died on dat… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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