The best baseball players born on June 16

January 13th, 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 June 16:

1) (1977)
The author of one of the great pitching performances in baseball history, Wood is easily atop the list for his birthday. On May 6, 1998, Wood tied an MLB record with a historic 20-strikeout showing against the Astros. An infield hit and hit batsman were the only blemishes on a nine-inning outing for the Cubs that had a remarkable 105 Game Score. Injuries marred Wood’s 14-year career (12 with Chicago), but he was the ’98 National League Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Star (as a starter in 2003 and closer in ’08). He topped 200 strikeouts four times for the Cubs and his 12.6 strikeouts per nine in ’98 set a single-season club record. Wood was the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 1,000 career strikeouts both in terms of appearances (134) and innings (853). Fittingly, Wood’s final act in his career was a strikeout on May 18, 2012. He ranks third in Cubs history in career strikeouts (1,470) behind only Fergie Jenkins and Carlos Zambrano.

2) (1962)
A third-round pick by the Angels in 1983, Joyner went on to pile up more than 2,000 hits over a 16-year Major League career with four clubs. He broke into the big leagues in 1986 and finished as the American League Rookie of the Year runner-up. That year, he ended two no-hit bids in the ninth inning, was the co-winner of the Home Run Derby with Darryl Strawberry and garnered MVP votes. He played in four postseasons, including the 1998 World Series with San Diego.

3) Ken Johnson (1933)
Johnson enjoyed a 13-year career spent between seven clubs, but is arguably most famous for being the answer to a no-hitter trivia question. Johnson remains the lone pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter while taking the loss. Pitching for the Colt .45s on April 23, 1964, his error in the ninth on a Pete Rose bunt paved the way for an unearned run for the Reds. The right-handed pitcher led MLB in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.87) in 1962, won 16 games in ’65 and topped 200 innings five times. He spent the bulk of his career with the Braves (five seasons) and made one scoreless appearance for Cincinnati in the 1961 World Series against the Yankees.

4) (1948)
LeFlore spent parts of nine seasons in the Majors (1974-82) between stints with the Tigers, White Sox and Expos. He topped 100 runs three times (career-high 126 in ’78) and 50 stolen bases four times (led by 97 in ’80) and amassed a career-high 212 hits in 1977. LeFlore was an All-Star in ’76, earned MVP votes in four seasons and ended his career with 455 steals in 1,099 games. Actor LeVar Burton played LeFlore in a made-for-TV movie ("One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story") in ’78 about the outfielder’s path from prison to the Majors.

5) (1984)
Broxton spent seven of his 13 MLB seasons with the Dodgers, ending his career with 118 saves to go with a 3.41 ERA in 694 appearances. He was an All-Star in the 2009 and ’10 campaigns. The reliever was particularly good from 2006-09, when he had a 2.79 ERA, 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings and an average of 74 outings per year. Broxton appeared in 19 career playoff games with three saves on the October stage.

Others of note:

Joe Saunders (1981)
The left-hander was an All-Star in 2008 for the Angels. Saunders posted a 4.37 ERA and won 89 games over 10 seasons (five clubs).

Chris Gomez (1971)
The middle infielder appeared in over 1,500 games between stops with eight teams over 16 seasons in the Majors.

Bob Miller (1926)
The right-hander spent his entire 10-year career with the Phillies, ending with a 3.96 ERA. He was the NL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 1950.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for June 16? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.