Jesus Montero collected his first major league hit today, on a liner just past the shortstop off a Ricky Romero breaking ball. Considering he was facing another tough starter in Romero (after making his debut against Jon Lester), it was impressive to see Montero handle look comfortable against Romero’s offspeed offerings. Montero’s milestone hit (hopefully the first of many) caused me to start wondering about the first hits of other current career Yankees, so I decided to take a look back to see how they occurred.
Derek Jeter: Jeter made is major league debut in 1995, though he was still rookie-eligible going into 1996. His first major league hit came off of a splitter from Seattle’s Tim Belcher on May 30, 1995, his second game. After collecting his first major league hit, the 20 year-old Jeter was congratulated by Seattle first baseman and future teammate Tino Martinez, who reportedly congratulated him, and told him “I hope you get many more.” Indeed Jeter has gotten many more, over 3,000 more as a matter of fact, en route to a hall of fame career in pinstripes. Jeter ended up with another hit on the day.
Jorge Posada: Posada made his major league debut at catcher in 1995, but did not record an at bat. He saw infrequent playing time in 1996, but it wasn’t until he was called up in September that he was able to record his first major league hit. On September 25, Jorge started off the game 0 for 2 against Scott Karl, collecting the first of many big league hits on a groundball single to left.
Robinson Cano: Cano came up in 2005 to take the second base job from the hapless Tony Womack, and saw his first action on May 3 against the Devil Rays, batting 9th. Cano went hitless in his first game, and was facing a tricky opponent in Hideo Nomo in his second game. Cano was not fazed by Nomo’s tricky delivery, and grounded a single through the hole into right field.
Brett Gardner: The Yankees decided to up their grit factor by promoting Gardner to the majors in the summer of 2008. He collected his first major league hit in an 18-7 laugher against the Texas Rangers. The pitcher was Warner Madrigal, who after hurling a wild pitch surrendered an RBI single to Gardner, driving in Robinson Cano. The hit was part of a 9-run inning for the Yankees, as they battled back from a 6-7 deficit.
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