The best baseball players born on April 23

April 23rd, 2024

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 23.

1)  (1921)
One of the greatest pitchers of all time, Spahn dominated batters as the ace of the Boston and Milwaukee Braves’ rotation for the better part of his 21-year career. The Hall of Fame southpaw won the 1957 National League Cy Young Award and was a 17-time All-Star (including three seasons where he made the squad twice, in ‘59, ‘61 and ‘62). He regularly led his league in ERA (three times), complete games (nine), strikeouts (four) and wins (eight). He won a ring with Milwaukee in ‘57, helping the cause by firing a 10-inning complete game against the Yankees in Game 4 to even the series. It was far from the only time Spahn threw a complete game that stretched into extras; he did so six other times in his career, including a 15-inning, 18-strikeout effort against the Cubs on June 14, 1952. He became a member of the 300-win club on Aug. 11, 1961, and his 363 career victories remains a record among left-handers. He is also the namesake of the award given to the best left-handed pitcher in baseball each season. For good measure, Spahn could swing the bat a little, too -- he remains the NL career leader for for home runs by a pitcher, with 35.

2) (1977)
Arguably the greatest defensive outfielder of all time, Jones won 10 Gold Gloves while manning center field for Atlanta. According to Baseball Reference, he led the NL in defensive WAR four times, nine times finishing in the top 10 in that category. But Jones also did not lack for pop, leading MLB with 51 home runs in 2005 while also topping the NL with 128 RBIs and placing second in MVP balloting. It marked one of seven times Jones crossed the 30-homer threshold.

3) Jim Bottomley (1900)
The power-hitting first baseman won the 1928 NL MVP Award, when he led his league in home runs (31), RBIs (136) and triples (20), batting .325 with a 1.030 OPS. He was also a two-time World Series winner with the Cardinals, batting .345 with five RBIs to help St. Louis secure its first championship in ‘26. Bottomley posthumously became a member of the Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee in ‘74 (though not without controversy related to accusations of cronyism).

4) (1907)
Something of a late bloomer, Camilli didn’t debut in the Majors until age 26. But he had a fine career, highlighted by his MVP campaign as the Brooklyn Dodgers’ first baseman in 1941, when he led the NL in homers (34) and RBIs (120). A two-time All-Star, Camilli regularly ranked in the top 10 of his league in home runs, RBIs, slugging, on-base percentage and walks; however, he also had a reputation as a free swinger, four times topping the NL in strikeouts.

5) Jim Scott (1888)
Scott, a big right-hander, pitched nine seasons in the Majors -- all with the White Sox -- before enlisting in the military midseason in 1917, joining the first World War effort. He led the American League with seven shutouts in ‘15, and his 2.30 career ERA ranks 19th among qualified pitchers. Following his time in the military, Scott became an umpire, and later found work in the film industry.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for April 23? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.