1978 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

"You never forget your first hit in the Major Leagues. It was in my third at bat. That was kind of a relief. You could start off 0-for-34." - Ralph Kiner

1978 National League Debuts

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

20
08-18-1978
23
5
06-16-1978
20
17
07-14-1978
20
12
06-03-1978
24
27
07-17-1978
24
16
07-29-1978
26
12
09-27-1978
25
46
06-13-1978
23
45
09-21-1978
23
25
09-03-1978
22
58
09-07-1978
25
17
04-18-1978
21
51
07-18-1978
22
16
09-10-1978
22
56
09-11-1978
24
6
05-25-1978
23
13
07-19-1978
23
15
09-01-1978
23
19
09-12-1978
28
34
06-12-1978
25
57
09-22-1978
22
40
09-22-1978
22
3
09-12-1978
21
48
09-22-1978
21
35
06-20-1978
21
52
09-04-1978
21
39
09-04-1978
22
20
09-07-1978
20
46
09-09-1978
20
18
07-02-1978
30
44
09-26-1978
22
9
04-22-1978
27
21
08-06-1978
22
15, 19
09-14-1978
21
43, 48
08-17-1978
23
28
06-29-1978
26
26
04-09-1978
26
47
04-08-1978
26
29
09-11-1978
21
46
10-01-1978
25
48, 16
09-04-1978
22
34
10-01-1978
24
33
10-01-1978
22
27
09-02-1978
22
15
09-04-1978
23
37
09-08-1978
22
16
07-08-1978
22
43
04-10-1978
20
21
04-07-1978
25
14
08-09-1978
20
27
09-22-1978
21
33
09-07-1978
24
8
09-04-1978
21
42
04-23-1978
24
59
09-05-1978
23
15
07-07-1978
23
26
04-07-1978
24
1
04-07-1978
23
2
04-08-1978
25
25
09-04-1978
25
35, 47
07-09-1978
23
25
09-15-1978
23
37
09-06-1978
26
43, 49
05-25-1978
23
16
09-04-1978
22
21
09-03-1978
24
34
09-04-1978
24
33
09-04-1978
24
1978 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 1978 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."

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.

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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…
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