The best baseball players born on Sept. 24

January 28th, 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 Sept. 24:

1) Rafael Palmeiro (1964)
Long before the finger-wag seen 'round the world, Palmeiro, a four-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glover, built a résumé that put him on an undisputed path to the Hall of Fame. Palmeiro is one of only six players in Major League history to eclipse 500 homers and 3,000 hits, and he finished in the top 20 in MVP voting 10 times. A steroid suspension railroaded his reputation, and he fell off the Hall ballot in his fourth year of eligibility in 2014.

2) Hubie Brooks (1956)
Brooks played for five teams during his 15-year career from 1980-94: the Mets, Expos, Dodgers, Angels and Royals. A two-time All-Star, Brooks set a then-Mets record with a 24-game hitting streak in 1984, batting .398 over 83 at-bats. When his career came to a close, Brooks had played in 1,645 games, marking the most by an active player without playing in the postseason.

3) Kevin Millar (1971)
Tied forever to the curse-busting 2004 World Series champion Red Sox, Millar carved a spot in Boston lore more for his high-octane personality than his raw numbers. Now a popular figure on MLB Network, Millar kept things loose among teammates in ’04, whether he was encouraging his brethren to tap into their “idiot” side or to, simply, “Cowboy Up.” On the field, Millar enjoyed a 12-year career with the Marlins, Orioles, Red Sox and Blue Jays from 1998-09, a run highlighted by six postseason series and one World Series ring.

4) Bernard Gilkey (1966)
Gilkey had his strongest performance in 1996, his first season after being traded from the Cardinals to the Mets. That year, his .317 batting average was eighth best in the National League, while his 44 doubles ranked fourth. Gilkey also led the league with 18 outfield assists, one of six times he reached double digits in assists in his 12-year career. Some may remember him for his cameo in the 1997 smash hit “Men in Black.” In that film, he was distracted by an alien spacecraft flying over Shea Stadium, causing him to be hit on his head by a fly ball.

5) John McDonald (1974)
In the mid-2000s, “Johnny Mac” was arguably the most popular player on the Blue Jays' roster, based mostly on his constant flow of jaw-dropping defensive plays at shortstop. In 2007, McDonald led all AL shortstops in defensive runs saved with 23. His longevity was nearly as impressive as his range -- the utility infielder lasted 16 years in the big leagues, starting with his debut with Cleveland in 1999 and concluding with the Angels in ’14. He now works for the Guardians as their field director.

Others of note:
Travis Ishikawa
(1983)

The first baseman became an instant Trivial Pursuit answer when he hit a walk-off three-run homer off Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha on Oct. 16, 2014, lifting the Giants to their third NL pennant in five years (which also turned into their third World Series championship in five years).

Hunter Strickland (1988)
In an eight-year career that included stops with the Giants, Rays, Mets, Angels, Nationals, Mariners and, most recently, the Brewers, Strickland has compiled a 3.11 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP through the 2021 season.

Jim Acker (1958)
Acker, a right-handed reliever, amassed 904 1/3 innings in a 10-year career, spent mostly with the Blue Jays, in two separate stints: 1983-86 and 1989-91.

Ben Broussard (1976)
Broussard, now a full-time musician, hit a career-high 21 homers in 2006 while with Cleveland and Seattle. He tallied six career grand slams -- three of which were as a pinch-hitter, tying a Major League record.

Jeff Karstens (1982)
Karstens pitched for the Yankees in 2006 and ’07 and the Pirates from 2008-12. He pitched a shutout in 2011 vs. the Astros, and became the first Pirates starter to win five consecutive decisions since Ian Snell five years earlier.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for Sept. 24? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.