On Easter Sunday, I took a quick look at the pitchers born on April 8th and wrote that, not knowing any better, a rotation created from players born on that day might be as good a rotation as any.
I have a database – let’s see how true that might be.
In terms of wins, the birthday that produced the most wins is April 2nd, with 1383 wins – nearly 200 more than the second best date. Here’s the top ten – all clearing 1000 total wins.
1383 – April 2
1198 – November 3
1188 – August 4
1119 – April 9
1098 – October 25
1083 – March 29
1058 – August 31
1046 – January 5
1018 – September 15
1006 – May 16.
Christmas Day just misses the list at 997. (Pud Galvin, 364, and Ned Garver, 129, top that list…)
April 2nd has a pretty solid list of starters. Don Sutton is at the top at 324, followed by Tommy Bond (234), Billy Pierce (211), and Jon Lieber (131).
November 3 has Bob Feller (266), Jim McCormick (265), Bob Welch (211), and Kenny Holtzman (174) – one great and a few good ones. I might take this team over the April 2 team…
August 4 starts with Roger Clemens (354), then fades quickly – Dolph Luque (194), and Bill Hallahan (102).
It was kind of odd that the fourth best day was actually one day later than my off the cuff boast, huh? Doc White (189), Hippo Vaughn (178), Claude Passeau (162) and Kirk McCaskill (106) top the list for that date.
March 9th has Cy Young, which helped that date immensely.
As you might guess, February 29th is last, the leap year providing us with just 62 wins. Only five pitchers born on that day have wins, starting with Bill Long (27), and followed by Steve Mingori (18), Paul Giel (11), Ed Appleton (5), and Al Autry (1). However, it’s not far behind another day – June 3rd has just 66 wins. (Bryan Rekar leads with 25, followed by Wild Bill Widner at 22, Ed Glynn had 12, and a few others. Lucas Harrell has a chance to help out this group.)
Anyway, April 8th finished 44th with 853 wins. (Catfish Hunter, Kirby Higby, John Hiller, etc.) What makes this date impressive is the newer additions who have a shot at putting this number into the top ten – Felix Hernandez, Jeremy Guthrie, and Jeremy Hellickson could all add at least another 100 wins each.
Having given the entire calender a quick view now, I don’t think that I am wrong in picking April 8th as the rotation I’d want to have. It doesn’t yet have the accomplishments of either of the top two – I think that November 2nd team is the most accomplished rotation – but if Hernandez and Hellickson pan out, it’s going to be tough to beat.