If you are like me, then you are a child of the 90’s and you rooted for America’s Team, the Atlanta Braves. And you probably know that today, April 14th, is Greg Maddux, David Justice, and Steve Avery’s birthday.
Alright, you don’t need to be a child of the 90’s OR have rooted for the Braves to know this. But my point is that when I was younger, I thought it was very cool that three teammates shared the same birthday, with Maddux and Justice being born in the same year. So for the past 20 or so years, I am reminded of this whenever I see 4/14 on the calendar. This year I decided to see if there are any other groups of teammates sharing the same date of birth and with similar success as the 90’s Braves trio.
It turns out there are only six different foursomes to have played together. Note that the 1924 Cardinals played together again in 1925, and the 1952 Dodgers also played together in 1950.
|1924||Cardinals||4/27||11.6||Rogers Hornsby (1896), Allen Sothoron (1893), Hy Myers (1889), Johnny Stuart (1901)|
|1952||Dodgers||12/13||9.4||Carl Erskine (1926), Billy Loes (1929), George Shuba (1924), Joe Landrum (1928)|
|1995||Rangers||10/4||5.3||Roger Pavlik (1967), Mark McLemore (1964), Dennis Cook (1962), Billy Hatcher (1960)|
|2007||Indians||8/30||5.3||Robeto Hernandez (1980), Mike Koplove (1976), Luis Rivas (1979), Cliff Lee (1978)|
|1990||Indians||10/4||2.3||Chris James (1962), Steve Olin (1965), Mark McLemore (1964), Mike Walker (1966)|
|1982||Pirates||10/24||-1.4||Rafael Belliard (1961), Junior Ortiz (1959), Reggie Walton (1952), Omer Moreno (1952)|
Two things jump out at me about this list. First, Roberto Hernandez was known as Fausto Carmona in 2007, and his birth date was 12/7/1983. This means that we didn’t know this team was a foursome until Hernandez’s real date of birth was discovered in January of 2012. Second, October 4th appears twice on the list. Even more incredible, Mark McLemore was a part of both foursomes. Not only was he versatile enough to play multiple positions, he was also able to make this list twice.
Maddux, Justice, and Avery didn’t make the previous list because they were unable to find a fourth player to join the team. Let’s take a look at players born on the same exact day (year included).
|1969||Yankees||6/28/1941||-0.1||Al Downing, Fred Talbot, Len Boehmer|
It turns out there has only been one team in history with three different players born on the same exact day. Since Talbot was traded to the Seattle Pilots in May, I even checked to see if the trio actually played together. Sure enough, they each played in the same game five different times.
As for pairs of teammates on the same team, there are 375 different instances in Baseball history. Instead of listing all of them, I’ll list those with combined WAR over 7.
|1995||Braves||4/14/1966||13.4||Greg Maddux, David Justice|
|1997||Yankees||6/15/1972||10.8||Andy Pettitte, Ramiro Mendoza|
|1977||Dodgers||4/2/1945||10.6||Reggie Smith, Don Sutton|
|1977||Angels||7/3/1953||8.2||Frank Tanana, John Verhoeven|
|1959||Cardinals||6/2/1931||8.1||Larry Jackson, Marshall Bridges|
|1979||Royals||1/17/1952||8.0||Darrell Porter, Pete LaCock|
|1894||Phillies||2/16/1866||7.8||Billy Hamilton, Jack Scheible|
|1975||Cardinals||1/13/1950||7.7||Bob Forsch, Mike Tyson|
|1997||Braves||4/14/1966||7.6||Greg Maddux, Greg Myers|
|2011||Blue Jays||10/19/1980||7.3||Jose Bautista, Rajai Davis|
|1996||Brewers||11/24/1967||7.3||Ben McDonald, Cal Eldred|
Maddux and Justice were teammates from 1993-1996. In 1997, Justice was traded to the Indians, but that didn’t’ stop Maddux from finding another teammate. Catcher Greg Myers (also born on 4/14/66) would be a teammate of Maddux’s in 1997 and 1999, meaning the Braves were one year away from inclusion on the previous list.