The best baseball players born on Oct. 4

October 4th, 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 Oct. 4.

1) Tony La Russa (1944)
His player stats don't scream Hall of Famer, but it's as a manager where he made his mark. In 132 games with the A's, Cubs and Braves, La Russa batted .199 with seven RBIs. A year after playing his last professional game with Triple-A New Orleans, La Russa entered the managerial ranks in 1978, starting with Double-A Knoxville, a White Sox affiliate, and also was a coach on the big league staff that same season. He was named the White Sox Triple-A manager to open the '79 season, then was later appointed the ChiSox skipper midway through the season. He managed the club for eight seasons and won an AL West title before he was let go in '86.

He wasn't unemployed for long -- the A's hired him weeks later. Featuring a star-studded group of Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Dennis Eckersley and Dave Stewart, Oakland won three consecutive AL pennants and a World Series title in 1989 over its Bay Area rivals, the Giants. La Russa moved on to the Cardinals in '96 and found success there as well, guiding the club to two World Series championships, including a seven-game thriller in 2011. La Russa retired after that Fall Classic, but he returned to his first managerial home with the White Sox a decade later, lifting the South Siders to their first AL Central title since '08.

La Russa was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014 via the Expansion Era Committee.

2) Frankie Crosetti (1910)
Winning was in Crosetti's DNA. The shortstop known as "The Crow" (for his high-pitched voice on the field) won eight World Series titles with the Yankees as a player and another nine as a coach under managers Bucky Harris, Casey Stengel and Ralph Houk.

"Crosetti is the sparkplug of the Yankees,” Rogers Hornsby told the New York World-Telegram in May 1936. “Without him, they wouldn’t have a chance. He is a great player, and he is about the only one on the club who does any hollering.”

Crosetti, who spent his entire 17-year playing career with the Yankees, was named an All-Star twice and won the AL stolen-base crown in 1938. Born in San Francisco, Crosetti played for the same Minor League team as the DiMaggio brothers, the Seals.

3) Ray Fisher (1887)
Fisher is one of three players from Middlebury College (Vermont) to play in MLB. The others are pitchers Harry Hulihan and Frank Wurm. Fisher is also one of the few players to be banned for life from baseball and reinstated.

After eight seasons with the Yankees, Fisher was claimed by the Reds, whom he pitched for from 1919-20. Before the '21 season, Fisher was tendered a salary half of what he made the previous season to return to the Reds, but he was also offered the head coaching job at the University of Michigan. He informed the Reds of his decision to take the job and retire, but the club placed him on ineligible-to-play list, which Fisher was unaware of. He appealed to Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who sided with the Reds and banned Fisher for leaving the team while under contract. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn reversed the decision in 1982.

If that isn't fascinating enough for you, here are other Fisher tidbits. He pitched for Cincinnati in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, and in his offseasons, he was the athletic director at Middlebury and Sewanee.

4) (1982)
The younger brother of Jeff Weaver, who pitched for six teams over 11 seasons, Jered spent 11 of his 12 years with the Angels, where he went 150-93 with three All-Star nods and three top-five Cy Young finishes. One of the highlights of Jered's career was the no-hitter he threw against the Twins on May 2, 2012. Pitching opposite Liam Hendriks, who has become a lights-out closer, the Angels' ace fanned nine, walked one and allowed just one other baserunner on a passed ball. Jered's no-no in 2012 was one of seven thrown that season.

But that wasn't Jered's only historic moment. He also has the dubious honor of being part of a losing no-hitter on June 28, 2008. The righty allowed a run to the Dodgers on a sac fly in the fifth inning, then departed after the sixth for reliever Jose Arredondo, who threw the final two innings at Dodger Stadium. With the Angels shut out, Weaver was the hard-luck loser in the Freeway Series.

"I'm sure you guys are going to eat this up a lot more than I am," Weaver said. "I don't consider it a no-hitter for me."

5) Charlie Leibrandt (1956)
The left-hander didn't wow, but he was a reliable arm in the Royals' and Braves' rotations in the 1980s and early '90s. He won a title with the Royals in 1985, the best season of his 14-year career. He earned Cy Young votes in '85 after notching career bests in wins (17) and ERA (2.69). With the Braves, he reached the 1991 World Series and pitched in the classic Game 6 against the Twins, allowing a walk-off homer to Kirby Puckett in the 11th inning.

Others of note:
Tony Gwynn Jr. (1982)

The son of Mr. Padre played eight big league seasons with the Brewers, Dodgers, Padres and Phillies, batting .238/.309/.310 with 23 triples and 98 RBIs. Today, he's a Padres radio broadcaster.

The veteran catcher succeeded Joe Mauer as the Twins' backstop in 2014 and made his first All-Star team that season. He's also one of the select few to win a College World Series (Cal State Fullerton, 2004) and a World Series (Nationals, '19).

A 19-year veteran who played for seven teams in his career, McLemore was a key member of the 2001 Mariners squad that won a record 116 games. As a supersub, the speedster swiped 39 bases, scored 78 runs and recorded 57 RBIs in '01.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for Oct. 4? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.