The best baseball players born on July 6

July 6th, 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 July 6:

1) Willie Randolph (1954)

The longtime Yankees great grew up a Mets fan in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, a neighborhood known more for developing boxing legends like Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Shannon Briggs and Zab Judah. Despite having a plaque in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park, the six-time All-Star second baseman -- who played in four World Series and won a ring in 1977 -- may have been vastly underrated. He became the first black manager in New York when he took the helm of the Mets in 2005.

2) Manny Machado (1992)

Debuting at age 20 after being the third overall pick in the 2010 Draft, Machado already had three top 10 MVP finishes, four All-Star nods and a pair of Gold Gloves with the Orioles by the time the Padres signed him for 10 years and $300 million in 2019. At the time it was the second-richest contract in MLB history behind only Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million deal.

3) Lance Johnson (1963)

Only Sam Crawford, the all-time leader in triples, led the league in three-baggers more often than Johnson. Crawford did it six times; Johnson did it five, from 1991-94 with the White Sox and in ’96 with the Mets. Stan Musial and Willie Wilson are the only other players to lead the league five times. Johnson also led the league in hits in 1995 and '96.

4) Steve O'Neill (1891)

O'Neill was one of four brothers to make the Majors. The Delahantys, with five, remain the only family with more. An inaugural member of the Guardians Hall of Fame in 1951, O’Neill caught all seven games when Cleveland won the 1920 World Series. Earlier that season, he homered and knocked in the winning run in the same game that his good friend Ray Chapman was hit in the head with a pitch and later died. In 14 seasons as a manager for four teams, including the World Series-winning Tigers in 1945, O’Neill never had a losing season. Only Joe McCarthy accomplished that for a longer stretch.

In 2015, Benintendi won the Golden Spikes Award – college baseball’s equivalent of the Heisman – as an outfielder at Arkansas, beating out Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman, the top two picks in that year’s Draft. Benintendi went seventh to Boston, where he finished second to Aaron Judge in Rooke of the Year voting in 2017, then hit .333 in the World Series to help the Red Sox win it all a year later. Prior to the 2021 season, he was part of a three-team trade that landed him in Kansas City.

Others of note:

Brandon Lowe (1994)

After starring at the University of Maryland, Lowe followed up a third-place finish in Rookie of the Year voting in 2019 with a pair of top 10 MVP finishes in 2020 and ’21 for the Rays.

Cy Blanton (1908)

Darrell Elijah Blanton picked up the nickname “Cy” while in the Minors in the 1930s. No pressure. Initially, he lived up to the hype: he was the first rookie to lead the NL in ERA, with a 2.58 mark in 1935. But his career yo-yoed from there, and he died at just 37 from the effects of alcoholism.

George W. Bush (1946)

The former president was part-owner of the Rangers from 1989-98, and threw out a historic first pitch before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for July 6? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.