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Archive for September 1st, 2011

Over at Bronx Banter, I took a look back at the history of Yankees’ September call-ups, but because Jesus Montero’s arrival has been so widely anticipated, it’s probably more apt to consider his first game along side every pinstripe debut, not just the ones that have occurred during the season’s last month.

Is a new era dawning with the promotion of Jesus Montero (Photo: Getty Images)?

When Montero sees his first pitch in the major leagues, he will become the 275th position player since 1919 to debut as a Yankee. Included on that list are all of the Yankees’ home grown standouts, ranging from past legends like Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle to modern stars like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Robinson Cano. However, names like Joe Lucey, Chicken Hawks, Tom Shopay, and Mike Figga are just as prevalent. Obviously, the Yankees hope Montero will fall more in line with the former group.

Although all eyes will be on Montero in his debut, it’s worth noting that first impressions mean little when it comes to projecting long-term contributions. For every Joe DiMaggio who breaks in with three hits, there is a Charlie Silvera who does the same. Similarly, just because a rookie takes a collar in his first game doesn’t mean he will be overmatched. Although that may have been the case for a player like Benny Bengough, it certainly didn’t apply to Derek Jeter.

In honor of Montero’s much heralded arrival, listed below are the most triumphant and deflating first games played by a Yankee making his major league debut.

Best/Worst Debuts Ranked by Hits, Since 1919

Player Date Opp PA R H TB RBI BB
Mike Pagliarulo 7/7/1984 MIN 5 2 3 5 1 0
Charlie Silvera 9/29/1948 PHA 4 0 3 5 0 0
Hank Bauer 9/6/1948 PHA 5 1 3 3 1 0
Ralph Houk 4/26/1947 WSH 4 0 3 4 0 1
Joe DiMaggio 5/3/1936 SLB 6 3 3 5 1 0
Dixie Walker 4/28/1931 WSH 7 1 3 5 1 0
                 
Player Date Opp AB R H TB RBI BB
Derek Jeter 5/29/1995 SEA 5 0 0 0 0 0
J.T. Snow 9/20/1992 KCR 5 0 0 0 0 0
Randy Velarde 8/20/1987 SEA 5 0 0 0 0 0
Frankie Crosetti 4/12/1932 PHA 5 0 0 0 0 0
Benny Bengough 5/18/1923 SLB 5 0 0 0 0 0

Source: baseball-reference.com

Top-/Bottom-Five Debuts Ranked by WPA, Since 1919

Player Date Opp PA WPA
Derek Jeter 5/29/1995 SEA 5 -0.231
Jay Buhner 9/11/1987 TOR 4 -0.224
Mickey Klutts 7/7/1976 KCR 3 -0.185
Roger Holt 10/4/1980 DET 5 -0.166
J.T. Snow 9/20/1992 KCR 5 -0.148
         
Player Date Opp PA WPA
Jim Leyritz 6/8/1990 BAL 1 0.322
Steve Balboni 4/22/1981 DET 3 0.237
Billy Martin 4/18/1950 BOS 2 0.206
Dell Alston 5/17/1977 OAK 1 0.172
Thurman Munson 8/8/1969 OAK 4 0.162

Source: baseball-reference.com

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