The best baseball players born on Oct. 15

October 15th, 2023

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 Oct. 15:

1) (1945)
The Hall of Fame right-hander was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1970s, winning the American League Cy Young Award in ‘73, ‘75 and ‘76 with a total of eight career top 5 finishes. Palmer spent all 19 seasons of his career with the Orioles, whom he helped to win three championships. At just 20 years old, he fired a shutout in Game 2 of the ‘66 World Series, defeating Sandy Koufax in his final Major League appearance. Palmer’s complete-game, 12-strikeout effort in Game 3 of the ‘70 AL Championship Series (at the time a best-of-five set) sent Baltimore to the Fall Classic, which they won in five games over the Big Red Machine. He also got the win in Game 3 of the ‘83 World Series, making him the only pitcher with World Series victories in three different decades. A six-time All-Star, Palmer threw a no-hitter on Aug. 13, 1969, against the A’s. He made it into Cooperstown on his first ballot in 1990 and has had his No. 22 retired by the Orioles. Other accolades include two AL ERA titles and four Gold Glove Awards.

2) Mel Harder (1876)
Harder spent all 20 seasons of his Major League career with Cleveland, starting with his debut at the tender age of 18 in 1928, and is considered one of the best pitchers in franchise history. The right-hander won the AL ERA title in 1933 (2.95) and made four consecutive All-Star appearances from 1934-37 with a perfect 0.00 ERA. Though he retired one year before Cleveland’s World Series title in ‘48, he still got a ring as the club’s pitching coach, overseeing a staff that included greats like Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and a 41-year-old Satchel Paige (who worked from the bullpen). Harder was inducted into Cleveland’s Hall of Fame in 1990 and had his No. 18 retired as well.

3)  (1995)
Through four full Major League seasons, Flaherty has quickly established his ace abilities with the Cardinals. His best season so far was 2019, when he led the National League with a 0.968 WHIP and placed fourth in Cy Young Award voting. Injuries hindered him in ‘21, but a healthy Flaherty has the potential to be perennially among the game’s top starters. He’s also become one of the game’s most important voices on issues of social justice.

4) Sam Gray (1897)
Gray was a solid starter for the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns for the bulk of his 10-year career. In 1929 with St. Louis, the right-hander led the AL in shutouts (four) and innings pitched (305).

5) (1992)
After excelling in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Hernández had a breakout campaign in ‘21, when he slashed .346/.524/.870 with 32 homers while making his first All-Star appearance. The right fielder won the Silver Slugger Award with Toronto each of those two years. Hernández was traded to the Mariners after the 2022 season, and he hit 26 homers in his first season with Seattle.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for Oct. 15? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.