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 2.
1) Larry Jackson (1931)
The right-handed hurler spent his entire 14-year career in the NL, suiting up for the Cardinals, Cubs and Phillies. Jackson’s St. Louis tenure overlapped with the start of future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson’s career, but the Idaho native more than held his own. He posted a 3.67 ERA, notched 70 complete games (15 shutouts) and secured the first two of his five career All-Star selections as a Cardinal. Jackson also received MVP votes twice, pitched over 250 innings in a season eight times and finished second in the 1964 Cy Young voting to the Angels’ Dean Chance (back when only one award was given out). Despite his success in the mid ‘60s, he was dealt from the Cubs to the Phillies on April 21, 1966, in a package that netted Chicago future Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins.
2) Jim Maloney (1940)
Maloney tossed two no-hitters over his 12-year career, both with the Reds. The first came against the aforementioned Jackson on Aug. 19, 1965, in which both pitchers went 10 innings and Maloney, despite walking 10 batters, did not allow a hit in the Reds’ eventual 1-0 win. His second no-no occurred on April 30, 1969, against the Astros and featured a trimmer line, with five walks allowed. However, Maloney’s best start ever might have been a lengthy affair against the Mets on June 14, 1965, in which he began his outing with 10 no-hit innings and wound up fanning 18 over 11 frames, allowing one run in a tough-luck loss. Maloney is one of 35 pitchers in MLB history to throw at least two no-hitters.
3) Raul Ibanez (1972)
By most Major League standards, Ibanez was a bit of a late bloomer. He did not reach 100 games played in a season until his sixth season, but from there, his status began to rise. Ibanez’s highest-profile year came in 2009, when he received his only career All-Star selection and anchored the outfield for the Phillies en route to their second straight World Series appearance. He then delivered postseason heroics for the Yankees in 2012, hitting a game-tying and a walk-off home run in Game 3 of the ALDS vs. the Orioles and slugging another game-tying homer in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers.
4) Sloppy Thurston (1899)
What a great name, right? Though Thurston was primarily a pitcher, compiling an 89-86 record with a 4.24 ERA over nine seasons, he also handled the bat well, hitting a lifetime .270 with 79 RBIs. Thurston did have a rather sloppy day on Aug. 13, 1932, when he tied a modern MLB record by allowing six home runs in one game against the Giants. However, he was historically tidy on Aug. 22, 1923, when he tossed the fifth immaculate inning in Major League history. Thurston is still one of just four pitchers to record an immaculate inning as a rookie.
5) Mike Stanton (1967)
Not to be confused with slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who went by “Mike” until 2012, this Mike Stanton pitched in the big leagues for 19 years from 1989-2007. During that time, he appeared in 1,178 games, which is the second-most all-time for a pitcher behind Jesse Orosco. Stanton only made one career start, which came on May 9, 1999, against the Mariners. He finished eighth in the 1991 NL Rookie of the Year voting with the Braves, notched one All-Star appearance in 2001 and won three World Series titles with the Yankees (1998-2000). Stanton also made history on Aug. 3, 2004, by striking out four batters in one inning for the Mets.
Others of note:
Tamara Holmes (1974)
In 1996 and 1997, Holmes played baseball for the Colorado Silver Bullets, who were the first professional all-female baseball team since the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) played its final season in 1954. Holmes also played for the U.S. women’s national baseball team at the 2015 Pan American Games and has competed several times for the U.S. in the Women’s Baseball World Cup.
Chris Martin (1986)
Born nine years and three months after the lead singer of Coldplay with the same name, Martin won the World Series with the Braves in 2021 as part of their lockdown postseason bullpen, nicknamed “The Night Shift.”
Gene Michael (1938)
Michael manned the middle infield from 1966-1975, playing shortstop and second base for the Pirates, Dodgers, Yankees and Tigers. He is best known for his time as a front-office executive for the Yankees, serving as general manager from 1990-1995 and building the “Core Four” that led to their late ‘90s dynasty.
Horace Clarke (1939)
Clarke spent 10 years as a second baseman for the Yankees from 1965-1974, which was an unusually dry spell in Yankees history (they did not appear in a World Series during that time). He is also one of 15 players in MLB history to hail from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Jerry Lumpe (1933)
Lumpe was a World Series champion with the Yankees in 1958, and played basketball with his future Yankees and A’s teammate Norm Siebern at Missouri State University.
Want to see more baseball birthdays for June 2? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.