After months of anticipation, Giancarlo Stanton’s Yankees debut was as exciting as any fan could have imagined. He hit a home run during his very first at-bat, knocked in another run with a double, and finished his day with a solo shot off of Tyler Clippard. Yankees fans will fondly remember Stanton’s first game for years to come. He isn’t the first Yankee to have a memorable debut, though. Here’s a look at some others that stand out over the past few years.
Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin
On August 12, 2016, Alex Rodriguez played his last game in a Yankees uniform. The following day, he was released and the Yankees called up Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge. Both players made it into the lineup against the Rays that day, and the Baby Bombers delivered in a big way. In his first career at-bat, Austin took Matt Andriese deep to right field. Not to be outdone, Judge followed by launching his first home run into Monument Park. Austin and Judge became the first teammates to homer in their first at-bats in the same game.
Frazier finally earned a call up last July after Dustin Fowler crashed into the wall and ruptured his patellar tendon during the very first inning of his MLB debut. That one was memorable in the worst way possible, but Frazier fared better a few days later when he joined the Yankees in Texas. Although the Bombers didn’t end up winning the game, Frazier doubled and homered in his first big league game. It’s always fun to see a hyped up prospect deliver. He has been sidelined with a concussion, but hopefully we’ll see him in the majors again soon.
The prospects really didn’t disappoint last year. Just a few days before Frazier’s debut, the team called up Miguel Andujar. The Yankees were dealing with Starlin Castro’s hamstring injury and Matt Holliday’s illness at the time. Andujar joined the club for just one game in Chicago, but he made the most of it, hitting three singles, driving in four runs, and stealing a base. He was sent back to Scranton until the roster expanded in September, but he left Yankees fans wanting to see more. Although he didn’t make the team out of spring training like some had hoped would happen, we sure didn’t have to wait long to see him called up. He should have plenty of chances to impress this year.
The Yankees acquired Headley from the Padres on July 22, 2014. He didn’t join the team until later that night, about thirty minutes into their game against the Rangers. Eventually, he pinch hit for Zelous Wheeler in the eighth inning. Neither the Yankees nor the Rangers could get anything going at the plate. The game went into extra innings tied 0-0, but Texas got on the board first when J.P. Arencibia homered off of David Huff in the 13th. Brett Gardner followed with a leadoff double, and Jacoby Ellsbury drove in the run to keep the game alive. With one out and two on in the bottom of the 14th, Headley’s first hit as a Yankee came in dramatic fashion. He had his highs and lows with the Yankees, but watching Headley meet his new teammates as the hero of this game was a top moment.
Which of these Yankees debuts is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.