The Los Angeles Dodgers were mired in last place and looking up at the rest of the NL West in early June. They had an outfielder down in the minors that was making noise, but the team was afraid of bringing him up before he was ready.
With Matt Kemp already on the disabled list with an injury and Carl Crawford going down the night before, the Dodgers had one place to turn: outfielder Yasiel Puig.
On June 3, Puig made his highly anticipated debut in right field at Chavez Ravine against the San Diego Padres. Wasting little time, Puig electrified the Dodger faithful in his first game with a bloop single and added another hit in the sixth inning.
The highlight of his night came in the top of the ninth inning with the Dodgers leading 2-1 and a runner on first and one out. Padres first baseman Kyle Blanks hit a fly ball to deep right field and Puig made a great catch at the warning track. Chris Denorfia, the runner at first, got too far off first base and Puig doubled him up to end the game.
This was just a glimpse of things to come with Puig as he brought an energy to Dodger Stadium that hadn’t been felt since the days of the 1988 World Series team and Fernandomania in 1981.
Puig went on to finish the year hitting .319 average, 19 home runs and 42 RBI in 104 games, while finishing second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. After his arrival, the Dodgers went on an incredible 42-8 run that saw them clinch the NL West before any other team clinched their division.
Watch Puig’s amazing debut below: