Your Turn (Beckett Baseball No. 90): Which MLB rookie arrivals were most memorable?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Their names are often atop the minds of many when they arrive but how their careers shape up changes over time.

Jackie Robinson, Stephen Strasburg, Fred Lynn, Kerry Wood, Albert Pujols, Mark Fidrych, Mike Trout, Joe Charboneau, Mark McGwire, Ichiro Suzuki, Fernando Valenzuela and now Yasiel Puig … the arrivals of phenoms in major league baseball often seem to captivate but they don’t always end up in Cooperstown like their first few weeks on the job might suggest.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them.

And how about Ron Kittle? Go look up his Double-A and Triple-A stats before his debut in 1983. Some of you may already know that he impressed, but others may just know him as 1980s common-bin fodder with funny glasses.


For the next issue of Beckett Baseball, we’ll be taking a look at some of the biggest arrivals in MLB’s past and we want to know what you think.

Does Puig make the all-time biggest arrivals list?

Tell us who you think made the biggest impact upon arrival in the comments below (include your name and location) and pick your top 10 in our poll. We’ll publish the results — and some of your comments — in the next issue.

Big Rookie Arrivals: Who delivered the best? (Pick your top 10.)

View Results

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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  1. Ed G. 26 June, 2013 at 11:02

    Off the top of my head I thought… Puig, Valenzuela, Nomo, Piazza, Fidrych, Strawberry, Gooden, Harvey, McGwire, Pujols. I was only going off players I saw (no Ruth, Williams, Mantle, etc).

    Forgetting about Kevin Maas & David Justice in 1990, Ichiro in 2001 & Trout last season. I’d have to say that all things considered, Puig probably falls otuside the top 10 now.

  2. Thomas Turner 26 June, 2013 at 11:16

    Jose Canseco. This is a no-brainer. This guy was the face of baseball, dating superstars and driving Lamborghini’s. Everyone wanted a piece of Canseco & his rookies were no different. I remember his ’86 Donruss going for $200! Heck, his ’87’s would bring in over $20! The ’86 Donruss was the card to have back in the ’80’s & early ’90’s. I think it is still an iconic card today, along with his ’86 Topps Traded.

  3. David Johnson 26 June, 2013 at 11:23

    In terms of the biggest impact to the game of baseball that would be Jackie Robinson, hands down. However the biggest individual impact has got to be Dwight Gooden. While Kerry Wood and Stephen Strasburg had a higher K/9 rates their rookie years, what Gooden did was just pure domination. While he had a great rookie year and won the ROY, his sophmore season was even more impressive.

  4. @BallCard_Blog 28 June, 2013 at 14:20

    I think people may be forgetting that Fred Lynn won the MVP in his rookie year.

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