Its Your Birthday . . . Go Directly to the Big Leagues

So you are thinking of having a child, and hoping that if its a boy, he’ll grow up to be a major leaguer.  Is there any more likelihood of that happening based on his birthday?

The indispensable Lahman Baseball Database has demographic information on the nearly 18,000 players in major league history, with birthdates for 16,702 of those.  So, if the players were evenly distributed amongst the 365(366) days in the year, we should find roughly 46 players born on each day.  But what does the actual data show?

Here are the most popular birthdays for all major leaguers:

Date Count
11/18 71
12/25 69
8/15 68
8/4 67
8/30 66
4/8, 8/17, 9/22 64
8/31, 10/4 63

It appears that conceiving a child between mid-November and early-December enhances one’s chances of the kid making it to The Show (assuming 38 weeks of pregnancy).  Are MLB-playing dads, having finished their seasons, finally able to have some private time with their wives?

What about the worst birthdays for potential big leaguers?:

Date Count
2/6, 5/3, 5/8, 6/18 31
3/28, 6/21, 11/14 30
7/28 28
4/30, 5/31 27

Hmmm . . . if  you once again back out 38 weeks for gestation, you get conception just after Mother’s Day, and August and September.  (Hmmm . . . MLB-playing dads in the heat of the pennant race, and not in heat in general?).

Note: 12 major leaguers have been born on February 29, which is a Leap Day, so one could say you should multiply the 12 by 4 to get a true result of 48, which would be right around the expected average.

How about the most popular birthdays of an even more select group . . . the 235 players who have made the Hall of Fame?:

Date TOTAL PLAYERS HOFers
4/6 39 4
1/31 50 3
4/2 43 3
5/8 31 3
5/14 38 3
7/1 42 3
8/31 62 3
9/9 47 3
10/3 53 3
10/12 60 3

So it appears if you want to raise a future Hall of Famer, you might want to spend the All-Star break and Mother’s Day week trying to improve your average with (wo)men in scoring position.

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5 Responses to Its Your Birthday . . . Go Directly to the Big Leagues

  1. Señor Spielbergo says:

    Overlaying this info with zodiac signs, the ranking goes something like this:

    1. Virgo
    2. Leo

    Leo is the only sign with three of the best birthdays (August 4, 15 and 17); Virgo has August 30, August 31 and September 22, although it shares that last one with Libra. However, Leo has one of the worst birthdays (July 28), while Virgo has none. Virgo also gets bonus points for having two of the best birthdays for Hall of Famers (August 31 and September 9; Leo has none).

    3. Libra

    Aside from sharing September 22 with Virgo, Libra has another one of the best birthdays in October 4, and two of the best birthdays for Hall of Famers in October 3 and 12.

    4. Capricorn

    Capricorn has one of the best birthdays (December 25) and none of the worst.

    5. Aries

    A sign that encompasses both one of the best birthdays (April 8) and one of the worst (March 28), Aries gets bonus points for having the only birthday with four Hall of Famers in April 6, and another with three in April 2.

    T6. Pisces
    T6. Sagittarius
    T6. Scorpio

    Once adjusting for February 29, Pisces has no birthdays in any of the three categories, nor does Sagittarius. Like Aries, Scorpio has one of the best (November 18) and one of the worst (November 14), but unlike Aries, it doesn’t have any of the best birthdays for Hall of Famers.

    9. Cancer

    One of the worst birthdays (June 21) is shared between this sign and Gemini, and it has none of the best. On the other hand, July 1 is one of the best birthdays for Hall of Famers.

    10. Aquarius

    Ranks below Cancer in that both have one of the best birthdays for Hall of Famers – January 31 falls under Aquarius – but so does one of the worst birthdays, February 6, and unlike Cancer’s, it isn’t shared with any other sign.

    T11. Gemini
    T11. Taurus

    As well as sharing June 21 with Cancer, Gemini has another two of the worst birthdays in May 31 and June 18; Taurus has three, in April 30, May 3 and May 8. However, Taurus gets bonus points for having two of the best birthdays for Hall of Famers (Gemini has none); three of the 31 players born on May 8 are in the Hall of Fame, and May 14 also has three.

  2. rslitman says:

    Wow, my mother’s birthday (12/25, shared with Rickey Henderson and Nellie Fox, off the top of my head) and my father’s birthday (8/15, no one off the top of my head) rank first and second! One of the most interesting recent November 18′s is Jamie Moyer. Will he make a comeback and pitch in the majors at age 50? With Feb. 29 coming up again in 2012, my suggested name for any baby boy born on that day, if you want him to have a shot at the majors: First, change your last name to Long, and the first and middle name combination should be Albert Leonard. Albert “Al” Autry did not have a significant major league career, but Albert Leonard Rosen and Johnny Leonard Roosevelt “Pepper” Martin did, and the two Longs, Bill and Terrence, lasted a few years.

  3. Chad says:

    I’m amazed that Christmas Day is all the way up at #2.

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