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Grand Entrances
Joe Lemire
October 27, 2008
Who had the best first games in sports?
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October 27, 2008

Grand Entrances

Who had the best first games in sports?

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AFTER BEING a healthy scratch in Dallas's first two games, rookie left wing Fabian Brunnström (below) made his debut worth the wait by becoming the third NHL player to start his career with a hat trick in a 6--4 home win over Nashville. "It's going to be tough to live up to this every night," he said. True. While many brilliant debuts heralded great careers, a few came from one-hit wonders.


GOALS: 3 Alex Smart (Montreal, 1943), Real Cloutier (Quebec, 1979), Brunnström

SAVES: 49 Manny Legace (Los Angeles, 1998)

NOTEWORTHY: Cloutier scored 42 goals as an NHL rookie; the year before, when the Nordiques were in the WHA, he led the league with 75.... Smart played in only eight NHL games, scoring more than half of his five career goals in his debut.... Legace was called up from the IHL's Long Beach Ice Dogs when both Kings goaltenders suffered groin injuries. Legace stopped 49 of 50 shots in a 1--1 tie with Florida but was 2-9-2 that season.


HRs: 2 Four players, most recently Mark Quinn (Kansas City, 1999)

HITS: 5 Fred Clarke (Louisville, 1894), Cecil Travis (Washington, 1933)

RBIs: 5 Four players, most recently Ben Grieve (Oakland, 1997)

STRIKEOUTS: 15 Karl Spooner (Brooklyn, 1954), J.R. Richard (Houston, 1971)

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