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You say it’s your birthday? Well, it’s my birthday too!

Posted by Andy on January 28, 2011

A while back Sean added the new "Is birthday?" feature on Game Finder searches to find games where it's a given player's birthday. For example, here are the 55 guys since 1920 to get 4 hits in a game on their birthday. Actually, it's 52 guys since Yastrzemski, Vina, and Colavito did it twice.

Anyway, since the Game Finder searches also allow us to group for most such players in the same game, we can find games with the most different players having a birthday on the same day.

In 2010, there were 4 games where two different players had the same birthday:

Rk Tm Opp Date #Matching
1 NYM PIT 2010-09-16 2
2 CIN PIT 2010-09-10 2
3 PHI HOU 2010-08-26 2
4 WSN NYM 2010-07-02 2
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/28/2011.

It's kind of annoying...the results don't make it easy to see which players had that birthday. But if we go to the birthday page for the given date--for example the September 16th page--we can figure it out pretty easily. In that game it was Brandon Moss and Chris Carter.

This is an intensive search and we can't do many years at once, so here are a few games of interest I found from recent years.

On May 20th of 2009, the Reds and Phillies had a 3-birthday game: Jayson Werth, Ramon Hernandez, and Adam Rosales.

In 2003, there was a 3-birthday game: Rays/Jays on August 5th (Carl Crawford, Eric Hinske, and Bobby Kielty).

In 2001, the Braves and Marlins had 3 birthdays on September 24th (Jesse Garcia, Kevin Millar, and Bernard Gilkey).

And here are some more 3-birthday games:

Giants/Astros on 9/13/2000

Indians/Jays on 10/3/1999

Braves/Pirates on 5/10/1944

Giants/Braves on 9/6/1938

I couldn't find any 4-birthday games going back to 1920.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 12:59 pm and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

25 Responses to “You say it’s your birthday? Well, it’s my birthday too!”

  1. There was an earlier post (several months back) about finding games where there was a batter vs. pitcher matchup occuring on a shared birthday. Can the query you ran be refined to look for games where at least one of the shared birthdays is a pitcher, and the shared birhdays are among players from both teams? That would be a start to finding the answer to the earlier musing.

  2. Doug, there's no way to do either refined search you suggest, sorry. There are a lot of games with 2 players having the same birthday, so that would be a lot of manual searching.

  3. Did I read this right? Vina is the only player to ever have five hits on their birthday and he did it twice?

  4. Looks like Brant Brown did it too..I remember that game. And it's possible some guys did it before 1920.

  5. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    A good thing about my birthday -- nobody ever got four hits on Boxing Day, at least in this part of the Northern Hemisphere.

  6. Burleigh Grimes is the only pitcher on your list at #52. I wonder how many pitchers have gone 4 for 4 in any game?

    Rocky Colavito victimized the KC As in both his birthday 4-hit games. And homered each time too.

  7. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Nice 31st birthday for Burleigh Grimes — four hits and a complete-game victory.

  8. @3, 4

    Yeah, and in the first of Vina's games and Brown's game, each got caught stealing TWICE. How odd.

  9. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I wonder how many pitchers have gone 4 for 4 in any game?

    It's not that uncommon a feat. It has been accomplished 65 times by starting pitchers, although only nine times since 1970. Seven old-time starters went 4 for 4 in two separate games: Ned Garver, Mel Parnell, Dutch Ruether, Red Ruffing, Jack Scott, George Uhle, and Tom Zachary. One starting pitcher went 4 for 4 last season: Dan Haren, 4/20/10.

  10. Three player in the PI-era were hit twice on their birthday. That wasn't very nice.

    Pat Kelly:
    Travis Hafner:
    Joey Votto

  11. @9. Thanks for checking that out. To me, 65 times does seem pretty uncommon - less than once a year. Less since 1970 because of the DH and also many, many fewer complete games. Most pitchers nowadays would have to be on the right side of a big blowout game to get 4 AB before getting yanked round about the 7th or 8th inning as most often happens now.

  12. @9. Dan Haren's 4 hit game in 2010 (vs. Cards on Apr 20) is a case in point of the kind of game needed nowadays for a pitcher to get 4 hits. Haren pitched only six innings by got his 4 AB by dint of getting 9 support runs in those 6 innings. Actually, that run support was probably the only reason Dan lasted that long, since he had given up 7 runs through his first 4 innings of work.

    In earlier days, if any picther was on his game, he had a decent shot of staying in the game long enough to get 4 AB even with only moderate run support. Not anymore.

  13. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Most pitchers nowadays would have to be on the right side of a big blowout game to get 4 AB before getting yanked round about the 7th or 8th inning as most often happens now. . . . Haren pitched only six innings but got his 4 AB by dint of getting 9 support runs in those 6 innings.

    Doug, pretty much the same thing happened with Micah Owings on 9/2707. Owings got four hits while pitching 6.1 shutout innings, departing with an 8-0 lead after throwing 83 pitches. Three relievers for the playoff-bound Diamondbacks finished the 8-0 shutout.

  14. The funny thing with the Haren game is that they let him bat in the bottom of the sixth and they pulled him for the top of the 7th anyways. I guess he had had three singles by that point so why not let him hit.

  15. For pitchers hitting in a game, I'll take this game By Tony Cloninger on Sunday July 3, 1966, pitching for the Atlanta Braves vs the San Francisco Giants, in San Francisco.

    Tony only went 3 for 5 but had 2 homers (BOTH GRAND SLAMS), 9 RBI
    He also pitched a complete game, winning 17-3, giving up 7 hits, Struck out 5..

    It wasn't his birthday however which came a little later on Aug. 13...

  16. Oops Picked the wrong game for Tony Cloninger
    Here is the correct game where he had 2 Grand Slams!!!

    The other game was from June 16 about 2 weeks prior when he also hit 2 homers against the Mets and had 5 RBI's.

    He also won on a complete game giving up only 1 run, 5 hits, struck out 4.

    A nice couple of games in a 2 week period.

  17. Looking again at Tony Cloninger's Game pitching Logs for 1966.
    In the 2+ week (18 day) period between Jun 16 and July 3, 1966 Tony had 5 starts.

    He won 4 times Lost none, and had a No decision in a game against the Cubs when he had a 4-2 lead after 8 full innings, but left in the 9th with 2 on, no outs, and the Braves Bull Pen promptly blew his lead and the Cubs got 7 runs in the top of the 9th. so he had a No Decision.

    He pitched 42 innings gave up 33 hits in the 5 games.
    Pitched 3 complete games, Two games were won by 17-1, score and and a 17-3 score. He hit 2 homers in each of those games including 2 grand slams in the 17-3 game.

    In the non complete games he pitched 7 innings and 8+ innings.

    Again a pretty good 18 days during the time when pitchers pitched every 4 day.

    He gave up 5 homers in the 5 games but hit 4 of his own.

    Tony hit another homer on July 29 (to make it 5 homers on the season), when he went 2-3 with 2 RBI against the Giants this time at home in Atlanta.

    In that game he went 7 innings and left with a 6-5 lead but had a No Decision as the Bull Pen again Blew it in the top of the 9th, but the Braves came back to win it in the bottom of the 9th. by a score of 7-6.

  18. rico petrocelli Says:

    Carter and Moss b oth exSox right?

  19. The mention of Cloninger made me wonder if any pitcher ever had a 3-HR game. I don't recall ever hearing about it, but I'm sure somebody out there has....

    Among the treats in this box score:

    -- It was May 13, the 29th game of the year for the Braves -- and our slugging pitcher's trifecta gave him 5 taters for the young season. He finished with 6 HRs that year and 17 in his career, in less than 800 AB.

    -- His nickname is Abba Dabba.

    -- Other HRs in the game: Ernie Lombardi (BSN), Swish Nicholson (CHC). Batting in front of The Schnozz was 3B Nanny Fernandez. Hitting behind Swish was Lou "The Mad Russian" Novikoff.

    -- Batting 4th and playing 3B for the Braves was Nanny Fernandez.

    -- The losing pitcher was Hiram Bithorn.

    -- There was in that year only one MLB player with a birthday of May 13, and sure enough, he was in this game: Cubs 2B Lou Stringer celebrated his 25th birthday, but he went 0 for 3.

    -- Jim Tobin (that's our slugging pitcher) finished his career among the all-time top 20 in HR rate by a pitcher (min. 15 HRs), and his OPS+ of 83 ranks 11th (min. 500 PA), just ahead of Bob Lemon.

    P.S. May 13, 1942 was a Wednesday, alas -- not a Friday.


    On Sept. 26, 1964, Mel Stottlemyre tossed a 2-hitter as the Yanks won their 11th straight by a score of 7-0. Mel also went 5 for 5 at bat with a double, 2 RBI and a run. It was rookie's 11th career game, and he sported a 9-2 record and .257 batting average.

    (OK, I'll try to get back on the birthday track.)

  21. Anyone remember the only postseason birthday HR?
    Willie Mays Aikens, 1980 WS, game 1; his 2nd HR of the game pulled the Royals within a run with no outs in the 8th, but they got no closer, as Tug McGraw came on to get the last 6 outs.

    Aikens had a monster Series, 8 for 20 (plus 6 walks) with 4 HRs and a triple, 8 RBI, and a 1.638 OPS+. In game 3 (Royals down 2-0), he tripled and scored the go-ahead run in the 4th, then had a game-winning single off McGraw in with 2 outs in the 10th, after Brett was intentionally walked. He carried KC to a Series-tying 5-3 win in game 4 with his second 2-HR game. In the 9th inning of game 5, Aikens drew a walk off McGraw that pushed the tying to 2nd with 1 out, but McGraw escaped the jam. And in game 6, with the Royals trailing by 3 runs in the 9th, he drew a 1-out walk off McGraw and advanced to 3rd as KC loaded the bases with 1 out, but Frank White fouled out and Willie Wilson went down on strikes for the 12th time in 26 ABs, ending the Series.

  22. "The losing pitcher was Hiram Bithorn."

    Bithorn was the first native born Puerto Rican to play in the major leagues. 1942 was his rookie season, in 1943 he won 18 games and led the NL in shutouts.

    He spent two subsequent years in the military and when he came back he had gained some weight and had also developed a problem with alcohol.

    He played bits and pieces for another couple of years but was gone by the end of 1948.

    On December 28th, 1951, at the age of 35, he was shot and killed by a police officer in Mexico while playing Winter Ball.

    Initially, the officer had said he had stopped him for erratic driving and claimed a drunk Bithorn attacked him when he stepped out of his car.

    Eventually the truth came out, and, as is still common today, the officer took advantage of a lone person in vehicle and a deserted road and pulled him over with the intention of robbing him.

    When Bithorn fought back, he was killed.

    The officer was subsequently convicted of murder and served 8 years in prison.

    The stadium in Puerto Rico where the WBC is played, and where MLB has held regular season and exhibition games is named for him, Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

    Even today, sixty years after his death, he is still a major celebrity there, with parks, streets, recreation centers, schools all named for him.

  23. @15- My favorite "pitchers hitting in a game" was one i attended in 1971 June 23rd to be exact. One Rick Wise pitched a no hitter AND hit two home runs!!! I still have the ticket stub. My birthday is March 6, shared with Lefty Grove and Willie Stargell among others!!

  24. Those games where three guys had a birthday - were there some in which all three were on the same team? or were they all two on one team, one on the other?

  25. hmm, no one is mentioning Chipper doing this feat twice too?!?