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:
|4/8, 8/17, 9/22||64|
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?:
|2/6, 5/3, 5/8, 6/18||31|
|3/28, 6/21, 11/14||30|
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?:
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.