ANAHEIM -- With 22-year-old rookie Trevor Bell set to make his Major League debut against the Rays on Wednesday, Angels manager Mike Scioscia talked before the game about his ability to relate to that experience. Similar to Bell age-wise, Scioscia made his debut at 21 years old with the Dodgers on April 20, 1980, against the Astros at Dodger Stadium. So Scioscia can certainly relate to Bell's big day, though Scioscia made his debut as a catcher while Bell will take the mound for the Angels.
"I did it as a catcher, which is more intense than say left field," Scioscia said, "but as a pitcher, it's probably magnified even more. "And I don't think there's any way around the butterflies, but they're good. I think once he throws his first pitch and gets his first strike called, it's just a baseball game." Scioscia said he'll never forget his first game in the big leagues and remembered many of the details, even though it came almost 30 years ago. "I remember Joe Niekro pitched against us for the Astros, so I had a knuckleball pitcher in my first game," Scioscia said. Scioscia went 1-for-3 in the game and had a double in his first Major League at-bat. "I remember I scored my first run on a wild pitch, which set the tone for my career -- that I was going to be a baserunner," Scioscia said with a laugh. But Scioscia's joking aside, he knows that Bell will never forget his Major League debut because it's a realization of a dream that came with plenty of hard work. "It's tough to put into words whats it's like when you get that chance to play in the Major Leagues," Scioscia said. "The first one only comes around once."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.