Detroit Tigers History

Akil Baddoo and the Best Debuts in Detroit Tigers History

Mar 29, 2021; Detroit Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo hits a home run. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2021; Detroit Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo hits a home run. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Best Detroit Tigers Debut Number 4 – Bill Bean

Detroit Tigers
NEW YORK, NY – Former MLB player, and current VP of Social Responsibility and Inclusion, Billy Bean speaks to the media. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Bill Bean’s work off the field has been far more important than his results on the diamond, but 35 years ago he was known simply as the Detroit Tigers’ 4th-round pick inn 1986. He spent the rest of that year in the minor leagues, batting .276 with 8 home runs in 80 games for Double-A Glens Falls. Bean made his big-league debut the next season, batting leadoff and playing left field against the Kansas City Royals on April 25, 1987.

After Jack Morris worked a 1-2-3 top of the first, Bean led off the bottom of the frame by lacing a double to right field off future All-Star Mark Gubicza. He scored on the next play, and then in the 3rd inning he lined a single to right field. Up again in the 4th, Bean smacked a single to center to begin his career 3-for-3, and end Gubicza’s day.

Relievers Steve Farr and Rick Anderson (yes, that Rick Anderson) managed to catch Bean looking twice, but not before he added an RBI double. Bean’s final line for the day was: 4-for-6, 2 doubles, 2R, RBI. Bean never quite duplicated those results, and he finished his big-league career with a total of 108 hits in 272 games. He remains the only Detroit Tigers hitter ever to record four hits in his MLB debut.

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