The best baseball players born on June 5

June 5th, 2024

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 5.

1) (1874)
Chesbro gets the nod because he's the only Hall of Famer born on June 5 and he also was the leader in bWAR with 42.7 over an 11-year career that spanned from 1899-1909. In 1904, while pitching for the New York Highlanders of the American League, Chesbro went 41-12 with a 1.82 ERA in 55 games (51 starts). The right-hander tossed 48 complete games that year as the Highlanders finished second in the AL with 92 wins. Chesbro was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1946 by the Old Timers' Committee.

Jack Chesbro, 1904.(Bain Collection/Library of Congress)

2) (1967)
Lankford was a center fielder on some really good Cardinals teams in the 1990s and spent 13 seasons in St. Louis and two in San Diego. He had his best offensive season in 1997 when he slashed .295/.411/.585 and made his only All-Star Game appearance starting in center field for the NL. One year later, he had nearly as good of a season while primarily hitting behind Mark McGwire, who set the single-season home run record of 70 that season. Lankford was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2018.

3) Eddie Joost (1916)
Joost put together a 17-year big league career with the Reds, Boston Braves, Philadelphia Athletics and the Red Sox from 1936-55. The shortstop was named to two All-Star teams (1949 and '52) while finishing in the top 15 in the AL Most Valuable Player Award voting five times. Joost served as player-manager for the A's in '54, hitting .362 in just 47 at-bats while the A's finished 51-103. Joost was fired by the A's and finished his career in '55 with the Red Sox.

4) Duke Sims (1941)
Primarily a catcher, Sims also played some outfield during an 11-year career from 1964-74 with the Indians, Dodgers, Yankees, Tigers and Rangers. Sims was the Indians' catcher from 1964-70, working with some outstanding Cleveland pitching staffs including Sam McDowell. Sims' best season came in 1968 when he slashed .249/.366/.399 for an OPS+ of 133.

5) (1974)
Ortiz pitched 12 years in the big leagues, six of which came with the Giants, the team that drafted him out of the University of Oklahoma in 1995. Ortiz is probably most remembered for being removed after 6 1/3 innings of Game 6 of the 2002 World Series with the Giants leading 5-0. The Angels would rally off San Francisco's bullpen to win Game 6 and then won Game 7 one night later. Ortiz finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting in 2003 when he went 21-7 with a 3.81 ERA.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for June 5? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.