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Sunday, June 13, 2010

First 'pitch' grand slam by a rookie

Much has been written about Daniel Nava hitting a grand slam in his first at bat in the big leagues. Not only did he hit that home run in his first at bat, but he hit it on the first pitch he ever saw. According to Baseball-Almanac, 106 rookies have hit a home run in their first at bat in the big leagues. Jeremy Hermida is on that auspicious list. That's all well and good, but I wanted to know how many rookies have hit a home run on their first pitch. (Someone told him, swing on that first pitch, as you'll never have a chance like that again.) It took a little bit of digging, but I finally found this on MLB.com:

Just like that, Nava became the second player in Red Sox history to hit a grand slam in his first plate appearance with the team and first since Rip Repulski on May 10, 1960, against the White Sox. Nava is only the fourth player to hit a grand slam in his first Major League at-bat, and first since Kevin Kouzmanoff did it for the Indians on Sept. 2, 2006.

In fact, Nava joined Kouzmanoff as the only two players in history to rip a grand slam on the first pitch of their careers.

I am reminded of Bobby Kielty hitting a first pitch for a home run in the 2007 World Series, which turned out to be the winning run in the Series clinching win over the Colorado Rockies. We also got to see Darnell McDonald hit a home run in his first at bat with Red Sox this year.

Fenway West 06.13.10

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