It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Or so the song says. As we get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus, what would this blog be without a special Christmas post? There have been a total of 67 current and former big league players born on December 25th. Without question, the best player born on Christmas (one of the best players born on any day for that matter) is Rickey Henderson. Another Hall-of-Famer born on this day was Nellie Fox, who captured the 1959 MVP award with the White Sox, the last Sox team to make the World Series before 2005. Rounding out this trio of Christmas Hall-of-Famers is Pud Galvin who played his entire career before 1900 and twice won 46 games in a season.
True to form, we will be looking at players who may not have been great but at least had some very nice careers. Presenting the best three non-Hall of Fame players (who started playing in at least 1920) born on Christmas starting with:
3-Manny Trillo played 17 years in the Majors and was the starting second baseman on the 1980 World Series Champion Phillies. He was a four-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner. He was the 1980 NLCS MVP, one of the greatest League Championship series of all-time. I always pictured him as light with the bat but his career .263 average and almost 600 RBI’s dispel that notion.
2-Jo-Jo Moore played his entire 12 year career with the New York Giants primarily as their every day Left Fielder. He was a six-time All-Star and finished 3rd in the MVP voting in 1934. During his career, the Giants won the 1933 World Series and made appearances in the 1936 and 1937 Series, losing both of them. Moore was a career .298 hitter and the led the National League in at-bats in 1935 with 681.
1-Ben Chapman had an outstanding 15 year career that began with the Yankees in 1930. He was a four-time All-Star who knocked in more than 100 runs in 1931 and 1932. He batted .292 in the 1932 World Series as the Yankees swept the Cubs. Chapman led the American League in stolen bases four times with a high mark of 68 in 1931. He finished his career in 1946 with a lifetime .302 batting average, nearly 1,000 RBI’s and 300 stolen bases.
Here is wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas. God Bless You All!