Major League Baseball history is full of notoriously bad pitching debuts. It’s got ridiculous stories of mishap and desperation that include a 24-run complete game from a random guy off the street and a pro career that ended during warmups, before a pitch was even thrown.
But only one pitcher’s debut was broadcast on national television, took place with his whole family in the crowd, and included nine earned runs in just over one inning. Mike Mayers became a member of the St. Louis Cardinals because of sheer, random chance; circumstances convened to earn him a surprise call-up in the middle of the season. Years later, Mayer is a regular reliever for the Cardinals with plenty of success to his name ... but that first outing did not go well. This is the story of that fateful night, and why it stands out from the pack of dismal debuts.
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