John Tomase

Jackson Holliday is latest superstar prospect to debut vs. Red Sox

There's a long list of star players who made their MLB debut vs. Red Sox.

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Baseball's best prospect has been summoned to Boston, but unfortunately, he won't be playing for the Red Sox.

Former No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday joins the Orioles on Wednesday and could debut at Fenway Park this week. If he does, he'll join an impressive list of stars, superstars, and Hall of Famers to start their careers vs. the Red Sox.

The most recent prospect worthy of such fanfare was Tampa's Wander Franco, who got the call in June of 2021 against the Red Sox at Tropicana Field and immediately doubled and homered in a 9-5 loss.

He finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting and signed a $182 million extension, but his career has since taken a dark turn. He faces allegations of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl in the Dominican Republic. His career might already be over.

Before Franco, the last player with Holliday's buzz to debut vs. the Red Sox was 18-year-old Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez, who got the call to Fenway Park on July 8, 1994. He batted ninth and grounded weakly to third vs. Chris Nabholz in his first at-bat.

Rodriguez went 0 for 3 before recording his first two hits the next day. The rest of his career speaks for itself, from the multiple MVP awards, to the steroid controversies, to his polarizing Hall of Fame candidacy.

Working backwards, the second game of an otherwise meaningless Fenway Park doubleheader in September of 1977 marked a turning point in Tigers history.

That night, the double play combo of Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell debuted in an 8-6 loss. Whitaker batted second and went 3 for 5 with a double and a steal, while Trammell delivered two hits of his own. Both of them singled in their first at-bats against starter Reggie Cleveland.

Trammell went on to reach the Hall of Fame, and there's a compelling case that Whitaker belongs there beside him.

Two years prior, the Red Sox got the first taste of Louisiana Lightning, left-hander Ron Guidry, who threw two innings of scoreless relief in New York's 6-0 loss. Guidry retired future Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice in his first inning of work. Three years later, he'd go 25-3 and win the Cy Young Award while leading the Yankees to the World Series.

Finally, there's Hall of Famer Robin Yount. The Brewers summoned their hotshot shortstop for Opening Day of 1974 at 18 years old, not even a year after making him the No. 1 pick in the draft. He went hitless in the series, but spent the next 20 years in a Brewers uniform before retiring with more than 3,000 hits. He reached the Hall of Fame in 1999.

There's no telling what the future holds for Holliday, but his father, Matt, won a batting title and a World Series. The younger Holliday is the unanimous No. 1 prospect in baseball, a 20-year-old second baseman with a .321 average in the minors and five-tool potential.

If he debuts vs. the Red Sox, save your ticket stub, because it might be a piece of history.

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