Players Who Homered in 1st MLB At Bat

Clyde Vollmer: My only surviving baseball card subject was among those who homered in his first MLB time at bat.

For me, the memory start with former outfielder Clyde Vollmer. For some reason of random chance, his baseball card was the only one that survived from my once vast childhood baseball card collection. The others were all lost to the usual reasons – and I had two parents who discarded any toy or possession that didn’t move in a week’s time. It wasn’t that we had a lot, because we didn’t, but both my parents were anti-clutter, especially my dad.

Old Clyde somehow found refuge in a box of my old school books and essays. I only found his card image, the same as the one shown here, when I was going through some old stored things of my own about 1970. Now Clyde Vollmer sits proudly, if crowdedly, in my “baseball room” in a nice plastic display holder.

That being said, Clyde also was famous for something far bigger than his survivorship of my father’s constant pursuit of order as an undeclared minimalist, Clyde Vollmer also was one of those rare players who homered in his first major league time at bat.

Clyde Vollmer’s major league debut homer came on May 31, 1942 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. If you look over the list of all who have done the same trick through as recently as September 2, 2012, you will will find the names of four fairly anonymous former Houston Astros on the roll:  Jose Sosa, Dave Matranga, Charlton Jimerson, and Mark Saccomanno. Carlos Lee also performed the same trick in his May 7, 1999 MLB debut, but he did his first HR as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

At any rate, just going over the list is an entertaining exercise to me. I was little surprised to learn that we even had a couple of these first time up homers occur prior to 1900. They most probably were a couple of those fast-hopping grounders that got past the outfielders in one of those 500 feet deep ballpark venues of earlier times.

PLAYERS WHO HOMERED IN THEIR FIRST MLB TIME AT BAT (Wikipedia):

Player Team Date Career HR
Joe Harrington Boston Beaneaters Sep 10, 1895 3
Bill Duggleby& Philadelphia Phillies Apr 21, 1898 6
Johnny Bates Boston Beaneaters Apr 12, 1906 25
Luke Stuart St. Louis Browns Aug 8, 1921 1
Walter Mueller# Pittsburgh Pirates May 7, 1922 2
Earl Averill Cleveland Indians Apr 16, 1929 238
Clise Dudley# Brooklyn Dodgers Apr 27, 1929 3
Gordon Slade Brooklyn Dodgers May 24, 1930 8
Eddie Morgan# St. Louis Cardinals Apr 14, 1936 1
Ace Parker Philadelphia Phillies Apr 30, 1937 2
Gene Hasson Philadelphia Athletics Sep 9, 1937 4
Ernie Koy Brooklyn Dodgers Apr 19, 1938 36
Heinie Mueller Philadelphia Phillies Apr 19, 1938 17
Bill LeFebvre# Boston Red Sox June 10, 1938 1
Clyde Vollmer# Cincinnati Reds May 31, 1942 69
Paul Gillespie Chicago Cubs Sep 11, 1942 6
Buddy Kerr New York Giants Sep 8, 1943 31
Hack Miller Detroit Tigers Apr 23, 1944 1
Whitey Lockman New York Giants Jul 5, 1945 114
Eddie Pellagrini Boston Red Sox Apr 22, 1946 20
Dan Bankhead Brooklyn Dodgers Aug 26, 1947 1
George Vico# Detroit Tigers Apr 20, 1948 12
Les Layton New York Giants May 21, 1948 2
Ed Sanicki Philadelphia Phillies Sep 14, 1949 3
Ted Tappe Cincinnati Reds Sep 14, 1950 5
Bob Nieman St. Louis Browns Sep 14, 1951 125
Hoyt Wilhelm New York Giants Apr 23, 1952 1
Wally Moon St. Louis Cardinals April 13, 1954 142
Chuck Tanner# Milwaukee Braves Apr 12, 1955 21
Bill White New York Giants May 7, 1956 202
Frank Ernaga Chicago Cubs May 24, 1957 2
Don Leppert Pittsburgh Pirates June 18, 1961 15
Cuno Barragan Chicago Cubs Sep 1, 1961 1
Bob Tillman Boston Red Sox May 19, 1962 79
John Kennedy Washington Senators Sep 5, 1962 32
Buster Narum Baltimore Orioles May 5, 1963 3
Gates Brown Detroit Tigers June 19, 1963 84
Bert Campaneris# Kansas City Athletics Jul 23, 1964 79
Bill Roman Detroit Tigers Sep 30, 1964 1
Brant Alyea# Washington Senators Sep 12, 1965 38
John Miller New York Yankees Sep 11, 1966 2
Rick Renick Minnesota Twins Jul 11, 1968 20
Joe Keough Oakland Athletics Aug 7, 1968 9
Gene Lamont Detroit Tigers Sep 2, 1970 4
Don Rose# California Angels May 24, 1972 1
Benny Ayala New York Mets Aug 27, 1974 38
Reggie Sanders Detroit Tigers Sep 1, 1974 3
John Montefusco San Francisco Giants Sep 3, 1974 4
José Sosa Houston Astros Jul 30, 1975 1
Dave McKay Minnesota Twins Aug 22, 1975 21
Alvis Woods# Toronto Blue Jays Apr 7, 1977 35
Dave Machemer California Angels Jun 21, 1978 1
Johnnie LeMaster San Francisco Giants Sep 2, 1975 22
Tim Wallach Montreal Expos Sep 6, 1980 260
Gary Gaetti Minnesota Twins Sep 20, 1981 360
Carmelo Martínez Chicago Cubs Aug 22, 1983 108
Mike Fitzgerald New York Mets Sep 13, 1983 48
Andre David Minnesota Twins Jun 29, 1984 1
Will Clark San Francisco Giants Apr 8, 1986 284
Terry Steinbach Oakland Athletics Sep 12, 1986 162
Jay Bell# Cleveland Indians Sep 29, 1986 195
Ricky Jordan Philadelphia Phillies Jul 17, 1988 55
Junior Félix# Toronto Blue Jays May 4, 1989 55
José Offerman Los Angeles Dodgers Aug 19, 1990 57
Dave Eiland San Diego Padres Apr 10, 1992 1
Jim Bullinger# Chicago Cubs Jun 8, 1992 4
Jay Gainer# Colorado Rockies May 14, 1993 3
Mitch Lyden Florida Marlins Jun 16, 1993 1
Garey Ingram Los Angeles Dodgers May 19, 1994 3
Jon Nunnally Kansas City Royals Apr 29, 1995 42
Jermaine Dye Atlanta Braves May 17, 1996 325
Dustin Hermanson Montreal Expos Apr 16, 1997 2
Brad Fullmer Montreal Expos Sep 2, 1997 114
Marlon Anderson Philadelphia Phillies Sep 8, 1998 63
Carlos Lee* Chicago White Sox May 7, 1999 353
Guillermo Mota* Montreal Expos Jun 9, 1999 2
Esteban Yan*# Tampa Bay Devil Rays June 4, 2000 1
Alex Cabrera Arizona Diamondbacks Jun 26, 2000 5
Keith McDonald St. Louis Cardinals July 4, 2000 3
Chris Richard# St. Louis Cardinals Jul 17, 2000 34
Gene Stechschulte# St. Louis Cardinals Apr 17, 2001 1
Marcus Thames*# New York Yankees Jun 10, 2002 115
Miguel Olivo* Chicago White Sox Sep 15, 2002 134
Dave Matranga Houston Astros Jun 27, 2003 1
Kazuo Matsui New York Mets Apr 6, 2004 32
Héctor Luna* St. Louis Cardinals Apr 8, 2004 13
Greg Dobbs* Seattle Mariners Sep 8, 2004 39
Andy Phillips# New York Yankees Sep 26, 2004 14
Mike Jacobs* New York Mets Aug 21, 2005 100
Jeremy Hermida*& Florida Marlins Aug 31, 2005 64
Mike Napoli* Los Angeles Angels  May 4, 2006 134
Adam Wainwright*# St. Louis Cardinals May 24, 2006 5
Kevin Kouzmanoff*#& Cleveland Indians Sep 2, 2006 82
Charlton Jimerson*# Houston Astros Sep 4, 2006 2
Josh Fields* Chicago White Sox Sep 18, 2006 34
Elijah Dukes* Tampa Bay Devil Rays Apr 2, 2007 31
Mark Worrell* St. Louis Cardinals Jun 5, 2008 1
Lou Montañez* Baltimore Orioles Aug 6, 2008 5
Mark Saccomanno*# Houston Astros Sep 8, 2008 1
Jordan Schafer* Atlanta Braves Apr 5, 2009 7
Gerardo Parra* Arizona D’backs May 13, 2009 22
John Hester* Arizona D’backs Aug 28, 2009 3
Jason Heyward* Atlanta Braves Apr 5, 2010 46
Luke Hughes* Minnesota Twins Apr 28, 2010 8
Starlin Castro* Chicago Cubs May 7, 2010 25
Daniel Nava&#* Boston Red Sox Jun 12, 2010 4
J. P. Arencibia*# Toronto Blue Jays Aug 7, 2010 41
Brandon Guyer* Tampa Bay Rays May 6, 2011 3
Tommy Milone*# Washington Nationals Sep 3, 2011 1
Brett Pill* San Francisco Giants Sep 6, 2011 5
Starling Marte*# Pittsburgh Pirates Jul 26, 2012 3
Eddy Rodriguez* San Diego Padres Aug 2, 2012 1
Jurickson Profar* Texas Rangers Sep 2, 2012 1

***********************************************************************************

The WIkipedia source for this report is viewable at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Baseball_players_

with_a_home_run_in_their_first_major_league_at_bat

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6 Responses to “Players Who Homered in 1st MLB At Bat”

  1. Tom Kleinworth Says:

    Might be four Astros. Check out Jose Sosa in 1975. Of course, for Houston fans, Will Clark’s smash off Nolan Ryan in 1986 was certainly memorable.

  2. Doug S. Says:

    I know Keith McDonald homered in his first two MLB AB’s and would think that list is very long.

  3. mike Says:

    Yes, I was at the Will Clark game. Memorable indeed. And what a great trivia question- what HoFers homered in their first at bat? Averill and Wilhelm.

    Interestingly, to me at least, there are a couple of guys who also had football careers on the list. I got to play a round of golf with Ace Parker back in the late 80s. Of course, he was only 80 something years old then. Today he is 100 and the oldest living pro football player, I think. Certainly the oldest PFHOF member.

  4. Cliff Blau Says:

    They’ve left out the first two players to do it, Mike Griffin and George Tebeau, who both did it on April 16, 1887.

  5. Tail Lights Cars Blog Says:

    Mlb Chicago White Sox Layon…

    [...] rounders that got past the outfielders in one of those 500 feet deep ballpark ve [...]…

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