Game-winning RBI in MLB debut

Ezequiel Carrera‘s bunt was not only one of the most exciting game-winning hits I’ve ever seen, but also one of the rarest of rare feats in baseball history: a game-winning bunt on the first pitch of his career to give his team a last at-bat victory. It’s so obscure, I don’t even know how to begin to search for other instances of such a play.

So I’ll start with this: last at-bat game-winning RBI in a major league debut, of which there were only two others in the past 90 seasons.

The most recent such hit was Josh Bard‘s walk-off home run off Seattle’s James Baldwin in his debut on Aug. 23, 2002. He joined Billy Parker as the only players in baseball history with a walk-off homer in his major league debut.

Prior to Bard, you have to go all the way back to May 9, 1943 when Eddie Turchin made his major league debut for the Tribe. While play-by-play is unavailable for the game, the box score and newspaper articles indicate that Turchin entered the game late after a series of changes at shortshop (Boudreau started, but lifted himself for a pinch-hitter in the 7th). Turchin then went 2-2 in his debut, and drove in the game-winning RBI in the top of the 13th at Sportsman’s Park to give the Tribe a 6-5 victory over the Browns. It would be the only RBI of Turchin’s very brief 11-game career. Here’s a link to a newspaper article from The Portsmouth Times the following day.


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