The best baseball players born on Sept. 30

September 30th, 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. 30.

1) Robin Roberts (1926)
A Hall of Fame right-hander, Roberts found success early in his career with a dominant fastball for the Phillies before transitioning into a finesse pitcher, ultimately spending 19 seasons in the big leagues while also playing for the Orioles, Astros and Cubs. Roberts was one of MLB’s best starters of the 1950s, pitching in seven consecutive All-Star Games from 1950-56 and starting five of them, sharing the all-time record with Lefty Gomez and Don Drysdale. In 1952, Roberts had his best season, going 28-7 with a 2.59 ERA over 330 innings. He pitched 28 consecutive complete games from 1952-53 and is the Phillies’ franchise leader in games pitched (529), complete games (272) and innings pitched (3,739 1/3). He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.

Robin Roberts celebrates his 200th career win on Aug. 1, 1958.

2) Kenley Jansen (1987)
Jansen converted from catcher to pitcher in 2009 and hasn’t looked back, becoming one of the most consistent and dominant closers for the Dodgers. The franchise’s all-time saves leader, Jansen’s best run came from 2016-18, when he was named to three consecutive All-Star teams and racked up 126 saves and a 194 ERA+.

3) Nap Rucker (1884)
Rucker was the first lefty to throw a no-hitter in Dodgers franchise history, blanking the Boston Doves on Sept. 5, 1908, while fanning 14, which stood as a record for a no-hitter until 1960, when Warren Spahn struck out 15 in a no-no. One of the best southpaws of the Deadball Era, Rucker played 10 seasons in the big leagues, winning a career-high 22 in 1911.

4) Johnny Podres (1932)
For a story about birthdays, it only makes sense to feature a great birthday performance. A lefty who spent 13 of his 15 big league seasons as a Dodger, Podres made the most of Sept. 30, 1955, when he turned 23. With the Dodgers down 2-0 to the Yankees in the World Series, Podres delivered a win in Game 3, pitching the only birthday complete game in postseason history. Podres threw another complete game -- this time a shutout -- in Game 7, sealing the first championship in franchise history and winning World Series MVP.

5) Carlos Guillen (1975)
A three-time All-Star who finished in the top 10 in MVP voting in 2006, Guillen’s best years in the Majors came after he was traded from the Mariners to the Tigers after the 2003 season. He quickly made an impact with Detroit in 2004, leading the team in RBIs (97), runs (97), doubles (37), triples (10), total bases (283), slugging percentage (.542) and OPS (.921). In 2006, he led all Major League shortstops with a .919 OPS, and on Aug. 24, 2007, Guillen hit a walk-off home run to defeat the Yankees, 9-6, in a game that went 11 innings and ended at 3:30 a.m. ET, due to a four-hour rain delay. On his 32nd birthday that same year, he hit the 93rd home run of his career, giving him 100 RBIs in a season for the first and only time in his career.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for Sept. 30? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.