1981 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

1981 National League Debuts

1981 N.L. Rookies | 1981 A.L. Rookies | Baseball Firsts (All Years)

50
10-01-1981
25
32
08-14-1981
23
22
08-20-1981
24
31
09-12-1981
23
47
09-13-1981
21
25
04-10-1981
30
12
08-14-1981
26
22
05-13-1981
21
15
09-25-1981
23
14
09-22-1981
21
11
09-22-1981
23
7
04-21-1981
24
20
04-25-1981
22
32
09-03-1981
20
47
04-29-1981
26
19
08-21-1981
23
53
08-11-1981
24
1
09-14-1981
22
9
04-25-1981
27
27
06-09-1981
26
38
09-09-1981
25
22
09-03-1981
24
47
09-07-1981
21
5
09-07-1981
21
49
08-15-1981
22
26
08-13-1981
22
25
09-09-1981
26
50
09-02-1981
25
52
08-18-1981
21
51
09-02-1981
24
16
08-19-1981
22
19
05-06-1981
24
32
09-02-1981
23
55
09-15-1981
25
42
09-27-1981
25
62
09-08-1981
24
56
09-09-1981
23
66
09-08-1981
26
6
05-14-1981
23
50
10-04-1981
24
19
09-01-1981
23
15, 17
09-12-1981
21
20
05-20-1981
25
15, 5
09-12-1981
23
43
08-12-1981
27
38
04-12-1981
22
25
09-16-1981
26
44
06-11-1981
26
24
09-03-1981
26
35
09-11-1981
25
37
09-02-1981
21
34
09-02-1981
26
3
09-02-1981
24
3
04-09-1981
26
30
04-11-1981
27
62
09-06-1981
24
10
08-17-1981
21
44
09-02-1981
25
26
04-12-1981
25
2
09-04-1981
23
15
08-14-1981
27
30
04-10-1981
21
3
09-05-1981
20
17
08-10-1981
25
11
05-25-1981
26
49
09-06-1981
23
44
04-18-1981
25
51
09-03-1981
25
27
09-04-1981
20
29
09-03-1981
23
23
05-06-1981
24
1981 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 1981 season as this group of players made their Major League debut!

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.

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.

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