Posted by Andy on July 21, 2007
Here's the list of players since 2000 who hit a homer in their first major league game.
Elijah Dukes 4/2/2007 TBD @NYY Kevin Kouzmanoff 9/2/2006 CLE @TEX Delmon Young 8/29/2006 TBD @CHW Carlos Quentin 7/20/2006 ARI LAD Eliezer Alfonzo 6/3/2006 SFG @NYM Kendry Morales 5/23/2006 LAA @TEX Mike Napoli 5/4/2006 LAA @DET Kenji Johjima 4/3/2006 SEA LAA Jeremy Hermida 8/31/2005 FLA STL Mike Jacobs 8/21/2005 NYM WSN Brandon Watson 8/9/2005 WSN @HOU Jeff Francoeur 7/7/2005 ATL CHC Jeff Baker 4/4/2005 COL SDP Greg Dobbs 9/8/2004 SEA CLE Kevin Youkilis 5/15/2004 BOS @TOR Hector Luna 4/8/2004 STL MIL Luis A. Gonzalez 4/6/2004 COL @ARI Kazuo Matsui 4/6/2004 NYM @ATL Dave Matranga 6/27/2003 HOU TEX Miguel Cabrera 6/20/2003 FLA TBD Jason Bay 5/23/2003 SDP @ARI Miguel Olivo 9/15/2002 CHW @NYY Joe Borchard 9/2/2002 CHW @TOR Josh Bard 8/23/2002 CLE SEA Marcus Thames 6/10/2002 NYY ARI Jason Jennings 8/23/2001 COL @NYM Brent Abernathy 6/25/2001 TBD @BOS Tom Wilson 5/19/2001 OAK CHW Chris Richard 7/17/2000 STL @MIN Keith McDonald 7/4/2000 STL CIN Alex Cabrera 6/26/2000 ARI HOU
Some of these were quite memorable:
- Kouzmanoff hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues. He got traded to San Diego in the off-season and has had a fairly weak rookie season so far, hitting just .235/.293/.412
- Delmon Young, bat-thrower extraordinaire, did it. So far, he's put up pretty good numbers in the bigs. He's got a ways to go to match his brother's best seasons, though.
- Kenji Johjima did it, although of course he played a whole mess of games in Japan before his first game in American MLB.
- Another Japanese player, Kazuo Matsui, made the back pages of the papers in NYC when he did it. Many thought it signaled a great pick-up by the Mets. Turns out, it was not. Sometimes I confuse Kazuo Matsui and Tsuyoshi Shinjo, who both didn't meet expectations with the Mets.
- Marcus Thames hit his off Randy Johnson. Interestingly, Thames hit another homer off Johnson last year, when RJ was with NYY and Thames was with DET.
- And how about Jason Jennings? He's the most recent pitcher to pull it off since Paul Moskau in 1977. Did you know Denny McLain did it too? Here's the full list since 1951.