The best baseball players born on Aug. 30

August 30th, 2022

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 Aug. 30:

1) Ted Williams (1918)
It's a definitive moment in the Splendid Splinter's career: Entering the last day of the 1941 season, Williams entered held a .3995 batting average, which would have rounded up to a .400 mark to end the year. Instead of backing into the milestone, the Red Sox slugger chose to play and went 6-for-8 in a doubleheader and finished 1941 with a .406 average, the last time the .400 plateau has been reached.

"All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street folks will say, 'There goes the greatest hitter that ever lived,'" Williams said, and it's a fair argument that he achieved that goal. With an iconic left-handed swing, an extraordinary eye at the plate -- he had extraordinary 20/10 vision -- and exceptional power, Williams' career numbers litter the big league record books. He owns the all-time mark in OBP (.482), is second in slugging (1.116) and is tied for sixth in offensive bWAR (125.3). Williams swatted 521 homers and hit .344 lifetime, driving in 1,839 runs. He literally wrote the book ("The Science of Hitting") on the subject.

While those numbers and his achievements tell part of the story -- two-time MVP, two-time Triple Crown winner, six-time batting champion, 19-time All-Star -- Williams was a true hero away from the field, too, missing nearly five seasons in his prime to military service with the Marines in World War II and the Korean War.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1966, and later spent four seasons managing the Senators/Rangers, from 1969-72.

2) Kiki Cuyler (1898)
Born Hazen Shirley Cuyler, "Kiki" hit .338 with a 136 OPS+ in his brief tenure as a Pirates full-timer, and he collected one of the biggest hits in franchise history -- a tiebreaking two-run double off Senators ace Walter Johnson in the eighth inning of Game 7 to complete a comeback in the 1925 World Series. After clashes with management, the speedy outfielder was dealt before the 1928 season to Chicago, where the five-tool outfielder continued to thrive. Cuyler won three stolen bases titles from 1928-30, and hit .325 while logging three 200-hit seasons across the eight years with the Cubs en route to an eventual Veterans Committee election into Cooperstown. He still ranks fifth in Cubs history in average (.325), seventh in OPS (.876) and eighth in on-base percentage (.391).

His fashion sense described by one sportswriter as an “exponent of diamond neatness," Cuyler performed as part of Hack Wilson's offseason vaudeville tour. "He had a beautiful voice," fellow Hall of Famer Johnny Pesky later said of Cuyler.

3) Adam Wainwright (1981)
After spending his rookie season out of the bullpen and closing out the 2006 World Series, Wainwright emerged as one of the greatest starting pitchers in Cardinals history over the subsequent decade and a half. Known for a knee-buckling curve -- his Twitter handle is "UncleCharlie50" -- Wainwright stands second all-time in strikeouts behind only Bob Gibson and third in wins on the Cardinals' all-time leaderboard. After a standout 2010 season (20 wins, 2.42 ERA) that saw him finish second in the NL Cy Young Award vote, Wainwright missed all of 2011 after Tommy John surgery. But since then, he's remained a workhorse, averaging 150 innings a season since going under the knife. A winner of both the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove, Wainwright has also been recognized with the Hutch and Roberto Clemente Awards.

4) Tug McGraw (1944)
One of the most beloved players in the sport, Frank Edwin McGraw Jr. -- dubbed "Tug" by his mother for how he aggressively breastfed -- wasn't just one of the game's great relievers over the course of a 19-year career split between the Mets and Phillies. McGraw defined the Mets' 1973 comeback, coining the phrase "Ya Gotta Believe!" Seven years later, his leap into the air after saving Game 6 of the 1980 World Series is the lasting image of the Phillies ending their 97-year championship drought. The charismatic lefty, a two-time All-Star who received MVP votes four times and finished fifth in the 1980 NL Cy Young Award vote, named his pitches ("Bo Derek," "Frank Sinatra," etc.) and helped collaborate on syndicated comic strip "Scroogie" in the mid-70s. Tug's first child is country music icon Tim McGraw.

5) Cliff Lee (1978)
Known for his command and poise on the mound, the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner emerged as a force in the Indians rotation before he was dealt the following season to the Phillies at the Trade Deadline. After spending 2010 split between the Mariners and AL champion Rangers, Lee rejoined the Phillies in 2011 as one of their "Four Aces." The southpaw enjoyed two All-Star appearances in his return to Philly, but his career was ultimately cut short due to elbow problems. Lee dominated in the postseason over his career, going 7-3 with a 2.52 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 11 starts.

Others of note

Bing Miller (1894)
Miller roamed the outfield for the 1929-1931 A's dynasty that won three straight AL pennants and back-to-back World Series titles. Miller hit .311 over his 16-year career and later spent another 17 seasons as a coach.

Cal McVey (1849)
The first professional baseball player born west of the Mississippi, the Iowa native played right field for the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first fully pro baseball team in history. McVey joined the nascent National Association in 1871 and played for the Boston Red Stockings all five years of its existence, logging 276 total RBIs to establish the league record. McVey manned first base for the 1876 White Stockings, the first National League champion. He later managed in Cincinnati for two seasons before leaving for the allure of California.

Roberto Hernandez (1980)
The athlete formerly known as Fausto Carmona, the right-hander was a revelation for the 2007 Indians, winning 19 games and finishing fourth in AL Cy Young voting for the AL Central champs. He never approached the same success again over an 11 year career that included disciplinary action for identity fraud.

Johnny Lindell (1916)
A three-time World Series champion with the Yankees (1943, '47, '49), Lindell's career year came in 1944, when he hit .300 with 18 homers and 103 RBIs filling in at center field for Joe DiMaggio, who was enlisted in the Air Force. After breaking in as a pitcher, Lindell bookended his career by reinventing himself as a knuckleballer in his age 36 year, split between the Pirates and Phillies.

Marlon Byrd (1977)
A steady journeyman outfielder, Byrd hit .275 with 159 homers over 15 seasons. He retired after receiving a second positive PED test and suspension for 162 games.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for Aug. 30? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.