1984: Kirby’s Debut

May 8, 1984

A 23 year old Kirby Puckett made his major league debut against the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium. Puckett led off for the Twins and played centerfield that day. Puckett grounded out to short in his first at bat, but the day picked up from there.

In the top of the third inning, Puckett singled off of California starter Jim Slaton with one out, stole second base, and was eventually stranded at third when Tom Brunansky grounded into a double play. He singled again in the fifth only to be forced out at second by the next batter.

With one out and a man on first in the seventh, Kirby hit his third single of the day off of reliever Luis Sanchez. He would score his first major league run later in the inning on a Brunansky single. Puckett capped off his successful debut in the ninth with his fourth base hit of the game.

The Twins defeated the Angels 5-0 behind a four hit shutout by Frank Viola.

Puckett would add 2,300 more hits to his base hit total throughout his 12 year career.

Kirby wasn’t the only player making his debut that day. Mike Hart batted seventh and played left field for the Twins. Hart would finish 0-4 for his major league debut. He would play 13 more games for the Twins in 1984, batting .172. Hart would get another crack at the big leagues in 1987 when he played 34 games for the Orioles.

26 years later, another Twins’ rookie debuted with four hits in his first game. This time it was catcher Wilson Ramos.


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