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Sunday, August 10, 2014

The "Firsts" of the Boston Red Sox

There is a youth movement afoot with the Boston Red Sox. Deals that sent a number of veteran players packing at the trade deadline have turned the 2014 season into giving opportunities to the young players to see who will be important building blocks of a successful future.

Already, Mookie Betts, Christian Vazquez, Anthony Ranaudo, Garin Cecchini and Alex Hassan have all made their major league debuts this year. Additionally, youngsters like Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Rubby De La Rosa, Brandon Workman, Allen Webster and Heath Hembree have all received varying degrees of playing time after graduating from their former statuses as top prospects.

The future success of a young player is built piece by piece from a good game here and first moment there. It’s something every player goes through. Looking back, here are some important firsts from members of the Red Sox.

First Major League Home Runs:

Mookie Betts: July 2, 2014- two-run home run off Carlos Villanueva and the Chicago Cubs.

Xander Bogaerts: September 7, 2013- two-run home run off Jim Miller and the New York Yankees.

Jackie Bradley, Jr.: June 4, 2013- two-run home run off Justin Grimm and the Texas Rangers.

Yoenis Cespedes: March 29, 2012- two-run home run off Shawn Kelley and the Seattle Mariners.

Allen Craig: July 19, 2010- solo home run off Kyle Kendrick and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Brock Holt: May 31, 2014- two-run home run off Jake Odorizzi and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Mike Napoli: May 4, 2006- solo home run off Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers.

Daniel Nava: June 12, 2010- grand slam off Joe Blanton and the Philadelphia Phillies.

David Ortiz: September 14, 1997- two-run home run off Julio Santana and the Texas Rangers.

Dustin Pedroia: September 9, 2006- solo home run off Luke Hudson and the Kansas City Royals.

David Ross: September 2, 2002- solo home run off Mark Grace (yes, that Mark Grace) and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Shane Victorino: September 22, 2005- three-run home run off Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves.

Will Middlebrooks: May 6, 2012- grand slam off Tommy Hunter and the Baltimore Orioles.

First Major League Wins:

Burke Badenhop: May 7, 2008- Beat Dave Bush and the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2.

Craig Breslow: May 14, 2009- Beat Bobby Seay and the Detroit Tigers 6-5.

Clay Buchholz: August 17, 2007- Beat John Lackey and the Los Angeles Angels 8-4.

Rubby De La Rosa: May 27, 2011- Beat Clay Hensley and the Florida Marlins 3-2.

Joe Kelly: June 22, 2012- Beat Vin Mazzaro and the Kansas City Royals 11-4.

Tommy Layne: September 4, 2012- Beat John Ely and the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3.

Edward Mujica: August 11, 2008- Beat Rocky Cherry and the Baltimore Orioles 13-8.

Anthony Ranaudo: August 1, 2014- Beat Chris Capuano and the New York Yankees 4-3.

Junichi Tazawa: August 11, 2009- Beat Chris Lambert and the Detroit Tigers 7-5.

Koji Uehara: April 8, 2009- Beat Chien-Ming Wang and the New York Yankees 7-5.

Allen Webster: July 4, 2013- Beat Eric Stults and the San Diego Padres 8-2.

Alex Wilson: May 17, 2013- Beat Josh Roenicke and the Minnesota Twins 3-2.

Brandon Workman: July 30, 2013- Beat Joe Saunders and the Seattle Mariners 8-2.

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