The best baseball players born on May 9

May 9th, 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 May 9.

1) Tony Gwynn (1960)
Gwynn was singular in his ability to step into the batter’s box with a plan in mind equal to his ability to put bat on ball. In retirement, he summed it up: “The pitcher has the ball. He knows what he wants to do. He knows how he’s going to attack guys. But when I went to the plate, I flipped the script. I made it so I was dictating the action.” Gwynn won eight National League batting titles, finished with a .338 batting average and 3,141 hits, earned 15 All-Star nods and won five Gold Glove Awards while spending 20 seasons with the Padres en route to the Hall of Fame. The right fielder struck out only 434 times and batted .302 with two strikes against him -- 40 points higher than anyone else since tracking of pitch-count stats began in the mid-1970s. Gwynn died at age 54 in 2014 after fighting cancer.

2) Brandon Webb (1979)
Through six seasons with the D-backs, Webb looked to be building a Hall of Fame résumé. The right-hander perfected his sinker and produced an NL Cy Young Award, two runner-up finishes and three All-Star selections. He twice led the NL in wins (including an MLB-best 22 in 2008) and had an ERA+ of 125 or better in each of those six seasons. Alas, his first outing of 2009 proved to be his last in the Majors. Webb suffered a shoulder injury that required three surgeries and ultimately ended his career.

3) Prince Fielder (1984)
At age 12, Fielder was hitting upper-deck home runs at Tiger Stadium during batting practice, so it came as no surprise that power was his forte once he became a Major Leaguer in his own right. Fielder hit 319 homers in 12 seasons, ending with the same career total as his father, Cecil Fielder. Prince Fielder led the NL with 50 homers in 2007. He had six All-Star seasons and three top-five MVP finishes while playing for the Brewers, Tigers and Rangers. He was bothered by a herniated disk during his time in Texas, an injury that eventually required spinal fusion surgery and forced him to retire in 2016 at age 32.

4) Chase Headley (1984)
Headley is a good case study for the term “career year.” The third baseman compiled a bWAR mark of 25.9 across 12 seasons with the Padres and Yankees, and nearly a quarter of that came in one season, 2012. Headley’s WAR was 6.4 that year as he led the NL with 115 RBIs and hit 31 homers -- more than double his next-best season (14 in 2016). He also won his only Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award while finishing fifth in the NL MVP voting.

5) Tommy Edman (1995)
Edman doesn’t yet have the total numbers of some born on May 9, but he already can boast of being a Gold Glove second baseman. Edman, of course, can play just about anywhere on the field -- and did while helping the Cardinals reach the postseason in each of his first four seasons.

Others of note:
Billy Jurges (1908)
Jurges earned three All-Star selections during a 17-year career split between the Cubs and Giants. The shortstop played on three World Series teams with the Cubs in the 1930s and finished with 1,613 career hits. Jurges, who managed the Red Sox for part of the 1959 and ’60 seasons, survived a shooting in 1932, when a former girlfriend fired three shots, hitting him in the left little finger and in the ribs. Jurges missed only two weeks of games and lived until age 88.

Aaron Harang (1978)
The right-hander had 128 wins in a 14-year career, more than half spent with the Reds. He led the NL in 2006 in wins (16) and strikeouts (216) and tied for the MLB lead in complete games (six). Harang finished fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting the next year, when he was 16-6 with a 3.73 ERA and 218 strikeouts.

Floyd Robinson (1936)
The outfielder was in the Majors from 1960-68, a decade dominated by pitching. Spending most of that with the White Sox, Robinson earned MVP votes in four straight seasons, 1962-65, and was third in the 1961 AL Rookie of the Year voting. He led the AL with 45 doubles in 1962 and had a career-high 109 RBIs that year.

John “Neck” Stanley (1905)
The left-hander spent the bulk of his two-decade Negro Leagues career with the New York Black Yankees. Stanley threw a no-hitter for the New York Cubans in 1936 and tossed the final four innings of a combined no-hitter for the Black Yankees in 1948. Stanley died in 1959 at age 53.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for May 9? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.