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How young is Peter Lambert? A history lesson provides the answer

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The Rockies are calling up Peter Lambert from triple-A Albuquerque and the young pitcher will make his big-league debut on Thursday afternoon in Chicago. It’ll be a big stage for the hurler, as Wrigley Field is a far cry from the stadiums Lambert has pitched in during his time with the Isotopes.

Experience won’t be on the pitcher’s side, as he’ll become the third youngest starter to make his big-league debut in Rockies history.

Just how young is Lambert? To put it in perspective, the Rockies hosted the Braves on the day he was born (April 18, 1997) in a game that featured plenty of familiar names.

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Here’s the Rockies lineup from that day:

1. Eric Young – 2B
2. Quinton McCracken – CF
3. Ellis Burks – LF
4. Larry Walker – 1B
5. Dante Bichette – RF
6. Vinny Castilla – 3B
7. Kirt Manwaring – C
8. Walt Weiss – SS
9. Jamey Wright – P

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In front of 48,706 that night at Coors Field, the Rockies got shelled 14-0. Here are a few other fun facts from that night:

• Starting pitcher Jamey Wright (21 years, 192 days) is one of only two pitchers in Colorado history to be younger than Lambert (22 years, 49 days) when making their big-league debut; Franklin Morales (21 years, 206 days) is the other.

• Larry Walker got the rare start at first base, one of only three times during that MVP season that he played the infield.

• The Braves were loaded that season, as they went 101-61 that year, won the NL East for the third time in a row and advanced to the National League Championship Series (where they lost to the Marlins in six games).

• Atlanta’s lineup against the Rockies included Kenny Lofton, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Fred McGriff and Ryan Klesko.

• Tom Glavine scattered eight hits en route to a complete-game shutout, showing why he’d go on to win the NL Cy Young Award that season.

• That’s right, the eventual MVP and Cy Young winner were both on the field that night night.

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What else was going on in the world that night? Here are some notable facts about April 18, 1997:

• “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” by Puff Daddy was atop the Billboard charts

• “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” was the No. 1 movie at the box office

• “The Vanishing Man” was the top-rated TV show

• “McNally’s Gamble” by Lawrence Sanders was the best-selling book

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Here’s hoping Lambert fares better in his debut, as well as every other start in a Rockies uniform, than the Rockies did on the night he was born.