The best baseball players born on June 21

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 21:

1) (1956)
The Red Baron leads this list, especially given the hardware picked up over his 18 years in the Majors. Sutcliffe was the National League's Rookie of the Year in 1979 for the Dodgers and later went on to capture the NL's Cy Young Award with the Cubs in 1984. In that '84 season, Sutcliffe went 20-6 overall, but it was his performance after a June 13 trade from Cleveland that swayed voters. Down the stretch with Chicago, the righty went 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 20 games, tossing seven complete games (three shutouts) with 155 strikeouts against 39 walks in 150 1/3 innings. The Cubs won their division, making the playoffs for the first time since 1945. Overall, Sutcliffe won 171 games with a 4.08 ERA and 72 complete games in his career spent with five teams. He topped 200 innings eight times, won at least 15 games six times, earned three All-Star nods and finished in the top-five in Cy Young balloting in three seasons.

2) Eddie Lopat (1918)
One of the Yankees' Big Three in the 1950s rotation, Lopat helped New York win five World Series rings (1949-53). The lefty went 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA in seven playoff starts, including taking the ball in Game 7 of the 1952 Fall Classic. Lopat was an All-Star in 1951 and spent eight of his 12 seasons with the Yankees. He also pitched for the White Sox and Orioles. The pitcher won 166 games with a 3.21 ERA and 164 complete games, topping 200 innings in seven seasons. He won an ERA title in 1953 (2.42) and won at least 15 games six times. After his playing days, Lopat coached and managed in the Majors and had later-career stints as a front-office executive and scout.

3) Matt Kilroy (1866)
Kilroy boasts one of those early-baseball records that may never be broken. As a rookie for the Baltimore Orioles in 1886, the southpaw is credited with 513 strikeouts, a single-season mark that stands to this day. One year later, Kilroy had another campaign that seems unfathomable by modern standards. In 1887, he won 46 games and racked up 66 complete games in 69 starts, ending with 589 1/3 innings pitched. Kilroy pitched 10 seasons between six clubs.

4) Charlie Moore (1953)
Moore spent 14 of his 15 season in the Majors with the Brewers, putting him sixth on the club's all-time list in games played (1,283). He hit .261 in his career, but had a .354 average in 16 playoff games with Milwaukee from 1981-82. That included hitting .346 (9-for-26) in seven games of the '82 World Series against the Cardinals. Moore, a catcher and right fielder, hit for the cycle with two stolen bases on Oct. 1, 1980. Moore also has the distinction of being the last player knocked in by Hank Aaron.

5) Garrett Jones (1981)
Jones boasts the most home runs (122) of any Major Leaguer born on June 21. He launched a career-high 27 homers and posted an .832 OPS in his 2012 season with the Pirates. Jones split his eight seasons in the big leagues with Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Miami and the Yankees.

Others of note:

Garrett Crochet (1999)
A first-round pick by the White Sox in 2020, Crochet could climb this list as his career continues. Two seasons into his MLB career, the lefty had a 2.54 ERA with 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

Valentín Dreke (1898)
In eight years in the Negro National League, Dreke hit at a .330 clip. That included a .389 showing in 1924 for the Cuban-born outfielder.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for June 21? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.