The last day of January is an epic day, in terms of baseball birthdays.
Jackie Robinson was born Jan. 31. So was Ernie Banks. So was Nolan Ryan. Pretty impressive top of the list. That got us wondering what other days looked like, so here’s a list of the best players born on each day in February.
Some days are top-heavy — look at Feb. 5 — and others are, well, lighter.
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Let’s take a look at the best players born every day in February, shall we? We’ll do this again in March.
Feb. 1: Paul Blair, 1944. The center-field anchor for Baltimore’s outfield for more than a decade, Blair helped the Orioles reach the World Series four times and win twice. In the 1976 Fall Classic for the Yankees, he hit .474 in five games against the Reds.
Notables: Austin Jackson, Tim Naehring, Kent Mercker, Carl Reynolds, Brian Anderson
Feb. 2: Red Schoendienst, 1923. A baseball man lifer if ever there has been a baseball lifer, Schoendienst died last summer at 95 years old; he spent 76 years of his life as a player, manager, coach or front office type, and 67 of those were with the Cardinals.
Notables: Wes Ferrell, John Tudor, Melvin Mora, Scott Erickson, Jason Vargas, Orval Overall
Feb. 3: Fred Lynn, 1952. Random stat: Lynn hit exactly 21, 22 or 23 home runs in EIGHT different seasons of his career.
Notables: Bake McBride, Slim Sallee, Joe Coleman, Roughned Odor, Skip Schumaker
Feb. 4: Dan Plesac, 1962. The lefty’s days as a full-time closer might have been done by his Age 28 season (124 saves in five years), but he pitched another 13 years as a reliable bullpen piece.
Notables: Doug Fister, Possum Whitted, Germany Schaefer, Chris Bando, Pat Perry
Feb. 5: Hank Aaron, 1934. Hammerin’ Hank led the league in doubles four times, homers four times (zero overlap) and total bases eight times.
Notables: Roberto Alomar, Roger Peckinpaugh, Mike Heath, Eric O’Flaherty, Don Hoak
Feb. 6: Babe Ruth, 1895. The Sultan of Swat only won one MVP award in his career. How is that possible? Well, he won his in 1923 and until 1931 (his Age 36 season), previous winners were ineligible.
Notables: Smoky Burgess, Richie Zisk, Glenn Wright, Bob Wickman, Pedro Alvarez
Feb. 7: Carney Lansford, 1957. Lansford hit exactly .336 in two seasons (1981 and 1989); in his other 13 years in the bigs, his average was .283.
Notables: Dan Quisenberry, Burt Hooten, Earl Whitehill, Scott Feldman, Tom Daly
Feb. 8: Fritz Peterson, 1942. Yep, the wife-swapping Yankee. On the field, the lefty led the AL in fewest walks per nine innings five years in a row (1968-72)
Notables: Aaron Cook, Bug Holliday, Willard Marshall, Hoot Evers, Matt Bush
Feb. 9: Vladimir Guerrero, 1975. Vlad was elected to the Hall of Fame as part as the class of 2018, and his son is the top prospect in all of baseball in 2019. Solid.
Notables: Clete Boyer, Heinie Zimmerman, Vic Wertz, John Kruk, Mookie Wilson
Feb. 10: Lance Berkman, 1976. In 50 career World Series plate appearances, Berkman hit .410 with a .520 on-base percentage and 11 RBIs in 11 games.
Notables: Herb Pennock, Lenny Dykstra, Alex Gordon, Allie Reynolds, Hiroki Kuroda
Feb. 11: Jimmy Ryan, 1863. A great player in the late 1800s, Ryan topped 2,500 hits, 400 stolen bases and a .300 average.
Notables: Ben Oglivie, Ray Collins, Brian Daubach, Dansby Swanson, Todd Benzinger
Feb. 12: Chet Lemon, 1955. Lemon was a model of consistent excellence, posting a bWAR of at least 4.0 eight different seasons in his career (though, of course, bWAR didn’t exist during his time on the field).
Notables: Dom DiMaggio, Chick Hafey, Todd Frazier, Don Wilson, Joe Garagiola
Feb. 13: Sal Bando, 1944. Bando was the starting catcher for the A’s in the 1970s, and he was behind the plate for every World Series game of Oakland’s titles in 1972, 1973 and 1974.
Notables: Hal Chase, Nathan Eovaldi, Eddie Foster, Donnie Moore, Luke Voit, Bill Bradley
Feb. 14: Dave Dravecky, 1956. For some Giants fans, the sight of Dravecky’s arm breaking during a pitch to Tim Raines in 1989 is one they can’t forget, even if they want to.
Notables: Pretzels Getzien, Tyler Clippard, Candy LaChance, Arthur Irwin, Takaski Saito
this guy was always thirsty, probably pic.twitter.com/6ut6U7f0K4
— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) January 31, 2019
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Feb. 15: Billy Hamilton, 1866. No, not the speedster who stole a bunch of bases for Cincinnati the past few years. This Billy Hamilton was the original speedster, topping 100 stolen bases four times in his career and holding the career record of 914 from his retirement in 1901 until Lou Brock passed him in 1978.
Notables: Russell Martin, Ron Cey, Johnny Cueto, Ugeth Urbina, George Earnshaw
Feb. 16: Ben Sanders, 1865. His was a short but productive career. Sanders pitched 1,385 innings and had 1,001 plate appearances
Notables: Eric Byrnes, Carl Lundgren, Bill Pecota, Jerry Hairston, Creepy Crespi
Feb. 17: Wally Pipp, 1893. Famously lost his job as the starting first baseman to Lou Gehrig, of course. He led the AL in homers in 1916 and 1917, and then Babe Ruth took over that category in 1918.
Notables: Ed Brandt, Josh Willingham, Stump Weidman, Alan Wiggins, Roger Craig
Feb. 18: Joe Gordon, 1915. The Yankees legend had the type of power not often seen from second basemen in his era (six years with 24 or more) and was part of five World Series-winning teams (four with New York, one with Cleveland).
Notables: Didi Gregorius, John Valentin, Kevin Tapani, Alex Rios, Dal Maxvill, Marc Hill
Feb. 19: Dave Stewart, 1957. An intense competitor, Stewart was named a postseason series MVP three times (1989 World Series, 1990 ALCS, 1993 ALCS).
Notables: Josh Reddick, Miguel Batista, Daniel Mengden, Tim Burke, John Morrill
Feb. 20: Justin Verlander, 1983. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame one day, if he ever retires.
Notables: Sam Rice, Brian McCann, Tommy Henrich, Livan Hernandez, Luis Severino
Feb. 21: Alan Trammell, 1958. Trammell made it to just one World Series, but he made the most of it. The longtime Detroit shortstop hit .450 with two homers and six RBIs in five games and was named the series MVP.
Notables: Dummy Taylor, Franklin Gutierrez, John Titus, Devin Travis, Jouett Meekin
Feb. 22: Sparky Anderson, 1934. He wasn’t much of a player (one year, minus-1.2 bWAR), but he was one hell of a manager. Anderson won two World Series titles with the Reds (1975-76) and one with the Tigers (1984).
Notables: Clarence Mitchell, Kelly Johnson, J.J. Putz, Jumbo McGinnis, Daniel Nava
Feb. 23: Bobby Bonilla, 1963. His birthday is Feb. 23, but Bobby Bonilla Day is July 1, as every baseball fan knows.
Notables: Ron Hunt, Rondell White, Elston Howard, John Shelby, Roy Johnson
Feb. 24: Honus Wagner, 1874. The Flying Dutchman — what an awesome nickname — was an easy choice for the inaugural Hall of Fame class (1936).
Notables: Eddie Murray, Wilbur Cooper, Mike Lowell, Bronson Arroyo, Stubby Clapp
Feb. 25: Ron Santo, 1940. Fun fact: Santo is one of only six players ever to play in at least 164 games in a season. The 1965 Cubs had two ties, and Santo (and his teammate Billy Williams) played every single game that year.
Notables: Monte Irvin, Cesar Cedeno, Paul O’Neill, Andy Pafko, Bob Brenly, Ed Lynch
Feb. 26: Grover Cleveland Alexander, 1887. Ol’ Pete didn’t reach the bigs until he was 24 years old, but still played 20 seasons and threw more than 5,000 innings in his Hall of Fame career. His most famous moment came in the 1926 World Series, when the 39-year-old right-hander ambled out of the bullpen in Game 7 and struck out Tony Lazzeri with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, then shut out the Yankees in the eighth and ninth to preserve the 3-2 win and give the Cardinals the championship.
Notables: Preacher Roe, Kelly Gruber, J.T. Snow, Marc DeRosa, Rip Collins, Scott Service
Feb. 27: Johnny Pesky, 1919. Yep, the guy with a Fenway Park foul pole named after him. He led the AL in hits as a 23-year-old rookie in 1942, then spent three years in the service, then led the AL in hits in 1946 and 1947.
Notables: Denard Span, Anibal Sanchez, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Stairs, Ron Hassey
Feb. 28: Terry Turner, 1881. Turner was a star infielder for more than a decade for the Cleveland Naps, the team named after star player Nap Lajoie. Imagine that happening these days, eh?
Notables: Aroldis Chapman Frank Malzone, Moose McCormick, Lil Stoner, Niko Goodrum
Feb. 29: Al Rosen, 1924. From 1950 to 1954, Rosen averaged 31 homers, 114 RBIs and a 151 OPS+, but injuries and insults — he was asked to take pay cuts two years in a row — led to him retiring after the 1956 season, at only 32 years old.
Notables: Pepper Martin, Terrence Long, Sadie Houck, Steven Mingori, Dickey Pearce