July 19: a good day for pitcher debuts

Today, July 19, marks the anniversary of some rather impressive MLB pitching debuts.

It was on July 19, 1936 that teenager Bob Feller first stepped on a MLB mound. 74 years later, he’s still with us. How many people can say they’re still around 74 years after they stepped on a MLB diamond? There can’t be too many.

On July 19, 1960, Juan Marichal made his MLB debut, pitching a complete game one-hitter with 12 Ks. His Game Score of 96 is the highest known one for a MLB debut.

If you look at that list of highest Game Scores just linked to, you’ll see another July 19 game in the top ten. On July 19, 1964, Luis Tiant made his MLB debut, throwing a complete game shutuout.

Still, the best player to debut on July 19 wasn’t a pitcher. It was Honus Wagner.

newest oldest most voted
Cyril Morong
Cyril Morong

In Rob Neyer’s “Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Legends” it says

” 1936—remember, he was seventeen years old—Feller struck out eleven batters per nine innings when the league average was roughly three per nine innings. Nobody in the American League—except perhaps a few veterans who had faced Dazzy Vance in his prime-had ever see anything remotely like Feller.”