The best baseball players born on Oct. 6

January 21st, 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. 6:

1) Freddy Garcia (1976)
A two-time All-Star with the Mariners and later a World Series champion with the White Sox, Garcia pitched for seven teams over his 15-year career and compiled the highest WAR (34.2) of any player born on Oct. 6. Garcia burst onto the scene with Seattle in 1999, going 17-8 with a 4.07 ERA and finishing second to Carlos Beltrán in AL Rookie of the Year voting. The right-hander posted the best season of his career in 2001, when he led the AL in ERA (3.05) and innings pitched (238 2/3), won 18 games and finished third in AL Cy Young voting for a 116-win Mariners team that lost to the Yankees in the ALCS. After being traded to the White Sox in 2004, Garcia played a huge role in helping Chicago win the World Series in ’05 for its first title since 1917. He went 14-8 with a 3.87 ERA during the regular season, but his biggest contributions came in the playoffs. Garcia won all three of his starts in the postseason -- one in each series -- including a complete game in the ALCS vs. the Angels and seven scoreless innings in the clinching Game 4 of the World Series against the Astros.

2) Darren Oliver (1970)
A journeyman left-hander who pitched for nine teams, Oliver enjoyed a 20-year big league career from 1993-2013 while posting a solid 22.2 WAR. Oliver, who was used mostly as a starting pitcher from 1995-2003, found success late in his career when he switched over to a full-time reliever with the 2006 Mets. From 2006-13 (his age-35 through age-42 seasons), Oliver went 31-19 with a 2.95 ERA in 460 games and 508 2/3 innings with the Mets, Angels, Rangers and Blue Jays. Oliver pitched in seven postseasons but was unable to capture a World Series title, losing twice in the Fall Classic with the Rangers in 2010-11.

3) Ruben Sierra (1965)
The 1989 Home Run Derby co-champion, Sierra was a four-time All-Star over the course of his 20-year Major League career spent playing for nine teams. Sierra had three stints with the Rangers totaling 10 years, and most of his success came in the first six seasons of his career with Texas. He finished sixth in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1986 at age 20 before breaking out with a monster season in ’89, when he led the Majors with 14 triples and led the AL in RBIs (119), slugging percentage (.543) and total bases (344) while finishing a close second to Robin Yount for MVP. The switch-hitting right fielder and DH was traded to Oakland in 1992 for Jose Canseco and went on to play an important role on four Yankees teams that lost in the postseason (1995, 2003-05). Sierra finished his career with 306 home runs and 2,152 hits.

4) Oil Can Boyd (1959)
Dennis Boyd’s colorful nickname Oil Can referred to the usage of the word “oil” as a slang term for beer in his hometown state of Mississippi. The right-hander pitched for three teams over his 10-year career, eight of which were spent in Boston. During the Red Sox’s 1986 AL championship campaign, Boyd went 16-10 with a 3.78 ERA and 10 complete games as part of a strong top three in the rotation that included Roger Clemens and Bruce Hurst. Oil Can tossed seven gritty innings to win Game 6 of the ALCS against the Angels with Boston facing elimination, and the Sox claimed the pennant in Game 7 the next day. However, Boyd struggled against the Mets in Game 3 of the World Series, as the Red Sox went on to lose one of the most thrilling Fall Classics in history in seven games.

5) Jerry Grote (1942)
A two-time All-Star, Grote was the catcher and one of the leaders of the 1969 Miracle Mets, guiding a vaunted pitching staff that featured Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry, Nolan Ryan and Tug McGraw. After Cleon Jones caught the final out of the ’69 World Series to defeat the heavily favored Orioles and give the Mets their first title, one of the most iconic pictures from the wild celebration that followed was Koosman jumping into Grote’s arms on the mound before the fans started pouring out onto the field. Grote played 12 of his 16 years with the Mets, finishing with a career slash line of .252/.316/.326.

Others of note:
Gary Gentry

Often overlooked because of the big names on the Amazin’ Mets' 1969 pitching staff, Gentry had quite the rookie season while going 13-12 with a 3.43 ERA in 35 starts. In the most important outing of his career, Gentry tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 3 of the Fall Classic to beat Hall of Famer Jim Palmer and give the Mets a 2-1 Series lead over the Orioles. Gentry was traded to the Braves following the 1972 season, but his career ended prematurely after just seven years because of a right elbow injury.

Joel Hanrahan (1981)
A second-round Draft pick in 2000, Hanrahan went 22-18 with a 3.85 ERA in his seven-year career from 2007-2013 primarily as a relief pitcher. His greatest success came in his four seasons in Pittsburgh, and Hanrahan earned back-to-back All-Star nods from 2011-12, when the hard-throwing right-hander saved 76 games in 84 chances.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for Oct. 6? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.