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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

How rare is Steven Hill’s debut homer?

In his first major league contest, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Steven Hill hit a home run, the 11th time it has occurred in team history.

Steven Hill (AP/Jeff Roberson)Just a few days ago, Steven Hill was preparing to take on the San Antonio Missions this weekend in Springfield, Missouri. Instead, the 25-year-old catcher found himself 200 miles to the northeast as he was called upon to leap over Triple-A and join the St. Louis Cardinals.

On Sunday, Hill made his first appearance in a major league game. After striking out in the sixth inning, the right-handed hitter launched his first career home run just inside the right field foul pole at Busch Stadium when leading off the ninth inning.

In doing so, Hill became the 11th Cardinals player to homer in his MLB debut and the 35th player to go deep in his first game played as a member of the Cardinals since 1920.

The last player to have done it prior to Sunday was Julio Lugo on July 24, 2009 and the last Cardinal to hit a home run in his first game as a major leaguer was Hector Luna on April 8, 2004.

Here is something to look forward to. With a home run in his second game as well, Hill could join three others – Keith McDonald (2000), Leon Wagner (1960) and Joe Cunningham (1954). Cunningham leads the way with three long balls over his first two games.

No player in team history has homered in his first three games with the club.

St. Louis Cardinals, home run, first game with team, 1920 to present

Home Run in 1st StL Game Streak Start End G HR MLB debut
Keith McDonald 7/4/2000 7/6/2000 2 2 yes
Leon Wagner 4/12/1960 4/13/1960 2 2
Joe Cunningham 6/30/1954 7/1/1954 2 3 yes
Steven Hill 8/15/2010 1 1 yes
Julio Lugo 7/24/2009 1 1
Mark Worrell 6/5/2008 1 1
Jose Vizcaino 8/23/2006 1 1
Preston Wilson 8/18/2006 1 1
Adam Wainwright 5/24/2006 1 1
Hector Luna 4/8/2004 1 1 yes
Gene Stechschulte 4/17/2001 1 1
Chris Richard 7/17/2000 1 1 yes
Craig Paquette 8/3/1999 1 1
Phil Plantier 7/13/1997 1 1
Danny Sheaffer 4/30/1995 1 1
Hector Villanueva 4/9/1993 1 1
Ray Stephens 9/20/1990 1 1 yes
Skeeter Barnes 5/7/1987 1 1
Fred Manrique 9/5/1986 1 1
Cesar Cedeno 8/30/1985 1 1
Jack Clark 4/9/1985 1 1
Bill Stein 9/6/1972 1 1 yes
Dick Allen 4/8/1970 1 1
Vic Davalillo 6/1/1969 1 1
Joe Hague 9/20/1968 1 1
Orlando Cepeda 5/10/1966 1 1
Glen Hobbie 6/5/1964 1 1
Don Ferrarese 6/22/1962 1 1
Don Taussig 4/17/1961 1 1
Bobby Smith 4/16/1957 1 1 yes
Ken Boyer 4/12/1955 1 1 yes
Wally Moon 4/13/1954 1 1 yes
Wally Westlake 6/16/1951 1 1
Ken O’Dea 4/14/1942 1 1
Eddie Morgan 4/14/1936 1 1 yes

Hill is the sixth major leaguer this season and 48th since 2000 to hit a home run in his first game in the bigs. He joined Toronto’s J.P. Arencibia, Boston’s Daniel Nava, Starlin Castro of the Cubs, Luke Hughes of Minnesota and Atlanta’s Jason Heyward to do it in 2010.

Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for the data in the table above.

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