Making his MLB debut as a member of the Colorado Rockies on April 4, 2005, Jeff Baker had an afternoon to remember.
Hosting the San Diego Padres to open the 2005 season, the Rockies ultimately won the contest, 12-10, after scoring four runs against Trevor Hoffman in the bottom of the ninth. The final blow was delivered by Clint Barmes, who belted a two-run home run off the future Hall of Famer to seal the victory.
However, while the walk-off bomb offered a great storyline to begin the season, the real story surrounded rookie third baseman Jeff Baker, who turned in a memorable MLB debut.
Baker finished the game 2-for-5 with two runs scored, a double, a home run and a pair of RBI. In his second big-league at-bat in the third inning, Baker took Padres starter Woody Williams (forgot about him, didn’t you?) deep to right field to give the Rockies an early 6-3 lead.
Baker’s sensational debut resulted in an RE24 (runs the player added in a resulting play/game) of 1.3, which was remarkably the third-best mark for the Rockies in the game—Aaron Miles (3.1) and Barmes (2.9).
Playing in seven MLB seasons, Baker has batted .270/.322/.383 with 118 extra-base hits and 153 RBI in 1,171 at-bats.