Posted by: Larry Smith Jr. | March 5, 2010

Happy Birthday!

A bit of a fluff post today.  Today is my 29th birthday and I figured what better way to celebrate my birthday on a baseball blog but with a blog about other people born on March 5th who played in the league?    Before I get into that, I do have one non-March 5th related birthday statistic:   Hall of Famer Al Simmons was the all-time leader in home runs hit on his birthday, hitting five of his 307 career home runs on May 22nd.

With that said, here are some random career leaders among players born on March 5th, thanks to

* – Del Crandell (1930) played in 11 All-Star games, more than any other player born on March 5th.  In fact, that’s more than EVERY other player born on March 5th, combined.   Of course, Crandall played in an era where it was common for two all-star games to be played in a single season.

* – Elmer Valo (1921) played in 1,806 games, more than any other player born on March 5th.  I must admit that I’d never heard of him before doing this research.  Valo played from 1940 to 1961 with the Philadelphia and later Kansas City A’s for a majority of his career.   His last five seasons were spent as a journeyman with the Phillies, Brooklyn and then Los Angeles Dodgers, Indians, Yankees, Senators then Twins, and finally the Phillies again.  Amazingly, Valo played for three franchises (A’s, Dodgers, and Senators) that would relocate during his time with the organization.  He did not play in 1944 and 1945, presumably because of the war, and he was a solidly above average if non-descript player in his career.  He never made an All-Star game but had seven seasons with an OPS+ over 120.   He retired with a career triple slash line of 282/398/391 and 58 home runs to go with an OPS+ of 115.  He had 1,420 hits and 942 walks while only striking out 284 times.  In 1952 he walked 101 times while only striking out 16 in a season where he had 495 PAs.

* – Kent Tekulve (1947), a player I remember mostly for his cool sunglasses and the fact that he played so long that the back of his baseball card has exceptionally small font, pitched 1,050 games in his career, more than any other player born on March 5th.  At the time he retired he was #2 on the all-time list of games pitched, and he currently sits at #8.   He spent most of his career with the Pirates (where most people remember him) and Phillies (where I remember him), playing out his final season in Cincinnati in 1989 (where nobody but diehard Reds fans remember him).

* – John Richmond (1855) was the first player born on March 5th to play in the Majors.  His career began in 1875 and went to 1885.  He played in 440 games.

* – Five major leaguers born on March 5th played last season.  They were: Brad Mills (1985), Erik Bedard (1979), Mike MacDougal (1977), Ryan Franklin (1973), and Paul Konerko (1976).  Toledo Mud Hen third baseman Mike Hessman (1978) was also born on March 5th.

* – Sam Thompson (1860) is the only person born on March 5th to be in the Hall of Fame.

* – Konerko is the leader in at bats, with 6094, but Thompson’s 1988 hits are the best.  Konerko has 326 home runs.

* – Former Tiger Brian Hunter (1971) has stolen more bases than anyone else born on March 5th, with 260.

* – Thompson has the best batting average (.331) and slugging percentage (.505), while Lu Blue (1897) has the best on-base percentage (.402).

* – Jeff Tesreau (1888) has the most wins (115), and Tekulve the most losses (90).  Tesreau had the best ERA (2.43) and WHIP (1.15), while Tekulve had the most saves (184).  Tesreau pitched the most innings (1679) and had the most strikeouts (880).

* – There have only been 24 players in the history of the Major Leagues born on March 5th to throw a pitch.  Only 19 who have thrown as many as 10 big league innings, and only 13 who have thrown as many as 100 innings.

And so goes the story and collection of random facts about players born on March 5th, and a happy birthday to all the guys in camp who share the day with me!



  1. Thanks Bill!

  2. Happy Birthday! Hope it’s a good one. Bill

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