Who are the best players born on each day of the year? We have a list for every day on the calendar.
Here’s a subjective ranking of the top five for April 18:
1. Miguel Cabrera (1983)
Over 19 years in the Majors, Miggy has racked up quite the list of accolades. Cabrera is a two-time MVP, 11-time All Star, seven-time Silver Slugger and two-time Major League Player of the Year. The slugger has four batting titles and a Triple Crown (2012) under his belt, reaching the 500-home run milestone on Aug. 22, 2021. Cabrera was signed by the Florida Marlins as an amateur free agent in 1999, making his debut with the big league club four years later and helping lead them to their second World Series title as a 20-year-old rookie. After five seasons with the Marlins, Cabrera was traded to the Tigers with Dontrelle Willis for top prospects.
2. Sam Crawford (1880)
Another Tigers great was born on April 18, 103 years before Cabrera. Crawford consistently found himself ranking among the best sluggers of his time, falling in the top 10 for slugging percentage every year but one from 1901-15. But he's best known for his record of 309 triples, which hasn't been sniffed by any player since his teammate Ty Cobb (295). The closest active player is Dexter Fowler who has 82 three-baggers. Throughout his 19-year career, the Hall of Famer Crawford often led the league in various batting categories, including triples (surprise), total bases, runs, at-bats and RBIs.
3. Jim Eisenreich (1959)
Eisenreich was drafted in 1980 by the Twins, who he played for from '82-84 before undergoing treatment for Tourette syndrome and missing the next two seasons. Eisenreich -- who played first, outfield and designated hitter -- was a key member of the 1997 Florida Marlins' World Series-winning team, and he was on base for Edgar Renteria's walk-off single in the 11th inning of Game 7. After spending parts of 14 seasons with Minnesota, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Florida, Eisenreich was part of a blockbuster trade in '98 which sent him, Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson and Manuel Berrios to the Dodgers for Todd Zeile and Mike Piazza.
4. Duffy Lewis (1888)
Lewis was part of one of the Red Sox's greatest outfield trios, playing alongside Tris Speaker and Harry Hooper for six years during the dead-ball era. Though he found results at the plate, Lewis was better known for his defense, becoming the master of navigating left field at Fenway Park. So much so that the slight incline at the base of the left-field wall was referred to as "Duffy's Cliff." When Babe Ruth made his Major League debut on July 11, 1914, Lewis pinch-hit for The Bambino in the seventh and singled, helping Ruth to his first win. Lewis was part of three World Series championship teams while with Boston, playing eight of his 11 years in the Majors with the Red Sox -- he also played with the Yankees and the Senators.
5. Billy Butler (1986)
Butler was drafted by the Royals in 2004 and spent the first eight years of his career with Kansas City. In '12, the designated hitter and first baseman earned his first and only All-Star nomination and his sole Silver Slugger Award. During the Royals' 2014 postseason run, Butler went 2-for-4 with two RBIs vs. the A's in the AL Wild Card Game. He was held hitless throughout the AL Division Series, but broke out with a .286 average in the AL Championship Series and a .333 clip in the World Series. Butler played two years with Oakland before finishing out his career with 12 games as a member of the Yankees in '16.
Others of note:
Alvarez made his Major League debut on Aug. 10, 2011, with the Blue Jays, making stops in Miami and Philadelphia over a six-year career. On the final day of the 2013 regular season, Alvarez tossed the fifth no-hitter in Marlins history. He made his first and only All-Star appearance in 2014, leading the Majors with three shutouts that season.
Steve Blass (1942)
Blass spent his entire career with the Pirates, with the biggest moment of his career coming in Game 7 on the 1971 World Series. The right-hander went nine innings, giving up one run on four hits en route to beating the Orioles to give Pittsburgh its fourth World Series title. After his playing career, Blass worked as a color commentator for Pirates games for 34 years before retiring in 2019.
Want to see more baseball birthdays for April 18? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.