May 25, 1951
Less than three weeks after his 20th birthday, Willie Mays makes his major league debut for the Giants, going 0-for-5 in New York’s 8-5 win over the Phillies.
Mays was called up after hitting an incredible .477/.524/.799 with eight homers and 30 RBI in 35 games for Minneapolis of the American Association.
The success didn’t immediately carry over, though. Mays went hitless in each game of the series in Philadelphia, opening his career 0-for-12. He homered off Warren Spahn in his fourth game, which was also his debut at the Polo Grounds. However, that was his only hit through seven games and he was hitting .038 (1-for-26) as of June 2.
Mays got a whole lot better from there, of course. He went on to win NL Rookie of the Year honors afer hitting .274/.356/.472 with 20 homers and 68 RBI in 121 games.
Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.
Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).
Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.
Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.