On this day in béisbol, Aug. 10, 2019, two rookies in different leagues had big games that got them into the MLB records book.
Playing against the Orioles in Baltimore, Houston Astros phenom Yordan Alvarez went deep three times in a 23-2 rout. The three homers, including a grand slam and a two-run shot, were good for 7 RBI, giving Alvarez 51 runs batted in just 45 games. It beat Ted Williams’ rookie record of 47 set in 1939.
Alvarez, of Las Tunas, Cuba, would only play 87 games for the pennant-winning Astros, but his 27 HR, 78 RBI, .313 average and 1.067 OPS were more than enough to earn him Rookie of the Year honors.
Meanwhile, on the same day in Cincinnati, Reds rookie right fielder Aristides Aquino also bashed three homers in a 10-1 victory over the Cubs.
Aquino, who hit home runs number 5, 6, and 7, was playing in only his tenth game and became the second player with 7 dingers in his first 10 games. Catcher Bobby Estella did it in 1997 for the Phillies.
The 25-year-old Aquino, from the Dominican Republic, finished the season with a solid 19 HR and 47 RBI in 56 games.
— Robert Dominguez
Robert Dominguez is the author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”
Photo: thatlostdog– Under Creative Commons License