Baseball’s Christmas Gift
A quick rundown of a few former baseball players who were born on Christmas Day.
December 25th has been kind to baseball fans as Christmas has been the day of birth of some of our past stars. Below is a rundown of the best players who were born on the 25th of December.
Pud Galvin (born in 1856 in St. Louis MO) â€“ Jolly St. Nick gave the baseball world â€˜The Little Steam Engineâ€™ on Christmas Day, 1856. In return, Galvin gave baseball fans one of the best pitchers of the 19th century. His 6,003 innings pitched and 646 complete games are second all-time, only behind the great Cy Young. Galvin also won 364 games in his career while tossing two no-hitters and the Veteranâ€™s Committee inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 1965.
Joe Quinn (born in 1864 in Sydney, Australia) â€“ Quinn was the first Australian to play in the Major Leagues, debuting in 1884 (there wouldnâ€™t be another Aussie in the majors until Craig Shipley in 1986). In his 17 seasons in the majors, Quinn was known for his defensive prowess; he led the National League in fielding percentage three times.
Walter Holke (born in 1892 in St. Louis, MO) â€“ Holke played first base for four different teams over nine major league seasons. Holke was a good fielding first baseman and he finished his career with a .287 career batting average. His best season was 1923 with the Phillies, when he put up a line of .311-7-70, all career bests, over 147 games. Also, Holke was the batter who hit into the first triple play in NL history.
Jo-Jo Moore (born in 1908 in Gause, TX) â€“ Moore was a fixture in and at the top of the New York Giantsâ€™ batting order during the 1930sâ€™. A lifetime .297 hitter, Moore had 200 hits twice in his career and was a National League all-star six times. A notorious first ball hitter, opposing managers would sometimes fine their pitchers if they threw Moore a first pitch strike. Moore won a World Series with the Giants in 1933.
Ben Chapman (born in 1908 in Nashville, TN) â€“ As a player, Chapman was a four-time American League all-star. In fifteen big league seasons, Chapman led the AL in stolen bases four times and triples once. He also won a World Series with the New York Yankees in 1932. As a manager, he managed the Phillies for parts of four seasons but is remember for his infamous racially-motivated actions he took towards Jackie Robinson during his rookie season in 1947.
Ned Garver (born in 1925 in Ney, OH) â€“ Garver spent 14 seasons in the major leagues as a pitcher, with his best season coming in 1951 as a member of the St. Louis Browns. An all-star that season, Garver won 20 games for the last place Browns and he also led the team in batting average (.305). As one of the teamsâ€™ best hitters, Garver often batted sixth on days he pitched. Garver would pitch at least 200 innings in seven of his big league seasons and would go on to win 129 games.
Nellie Fox (born in 1927 in St. Thomas, PA) â€“ During Foxâ€™s nineteen years in the major leagues, the most times he struck out in a season was eighteen. While that stat stands out, the 1997 Hall of Fame inductee had many other great accomplishments. He was a 14-time all star, 3-time Gold Glover, led the AL in hits four times and was the 1959 AL MVP. That year, Fox hit .306 with 70 RBIs and helped lead the White Sox to the American League pennant. His former manager, Marty Marion, summed up Fox the best, â€œIâ€™d hate to play a single game without himâ€¦heâ€™s the heart of the team.
Manny Trillo (born in 1950 in Caripito, Venezuela) â€“ While a light hitter at the plate for most of his career; Trillo was an absolute craftsmen in the field, winning three Gold Gloves. Playing second base almost his entire career, Trillo had amazing ability in the field but none better then his throwing arm, being able to throw anyone out from anywhere it seemed. Trilloâ€™s best season was in 1980 as a Philadelphia Phillie, where his clutch hitting helped the Phillies win their first ever World Series and got Trillo the 1980 NLCS MVP award.
Rickey Henderson (born in 1958 in Chicago, IL) â€“ What better way to wrap up this short article then with baseballâ€™s all time stolen base and runs record holder. During his 25 year career, Henderson was a 10-time all-star, two-time World Series champion and was the 1990 AL MVP. Hendersonâ€™s speed and base running ability netted him 14 seasons of 50 stolen bases or more and Rickey stole 100 plus bags in 1980, 1982, and 1983. In all, Henderson stole 1406 bases in his career. Famed statistician Bill James said when asked if Henderson was a Hall of Famer:
â€œIf you split him in two, youâ€™d have two Hall of Famers.â€
Hope everyone had a great Christmas and have a wonderful New Year!