On July 30, 1959, Willie McCovey became the fifth major league baseball player to get four hits in his debut as he assisted the San Francisco Giants in a 7-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
McCovey, 21, stepped up to the plate four times and helped the team by getting two RBIs. He played 52 games his rookie season and accumulated 68 hits and 13 home runs while hitting a .354 batting average.
McCovey played for the Giants for 19 of his 22 seasons in the majors. The other three seasons were divided between the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics. At the end of his career, he tallied 512 home runs and 2,211 base hits.
The left handed first baseman and left fielder was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame with the class of 1986.
Currently there are 12 batters who can claim they had four or more hits in the first game of their career.
The Giants were facing the New York Yankees at home for game seven of the 1962 World Series, and down 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth. McCovey was up to bat with two outs and two runners on base. It looked like the ball would get past second baseman Bobby Richardson but he stunned viewers by catching it. The hit was immortalized in the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles Schulz.