Which date produced the most future baseball players?
What day produced the most major league ballplayers? Many people know that on May 27, 1968, two future Hall of Fame first basemen were born. That day, the world welcomed little Jeffrey Robert Bagwell and Frank Edward “Little Hurt” Thomas, two future sluggers. But the date that’s produced the most future ballplayers came ten months later on March 25, 1969. On that day, six babies were born who later matured into big leaguers, including David Travis Fryman, the most successful of the six.
Well, you may argue for Daniel Allen Wilson, who ended up catching more than 1,200 games, most of them for the Mariners. Dan Wilson was, like Fryman, an All-Star, and he was born in Arlington Heights, about 400 miles northwest of Lexington, Kentucky, where baby David Travis came along. About 300 miles west and south of Arlington Heights, in Hannibal, Missouri, a baby named Scott Gerald Sanders was born on the same day. Sanders grew up to be a pitcher, and in 1996 he pitched to Wilson, the two men teammates in Seattle. The next year, Sanders played with Fryman on the Tigers. Ah, it’s a small world.
But that’s not all, because the bizarre coincidences that connect the six ball players born on March 25, 1969, doesn’t end there. A pitcher named Paul Menhardt, who was born in St. Louis, also pitched to Dan Wilson, when the pair were teammates in Seattle in 1997, one year after Sanders was on the team. Erik Schullstrom was born on March 25, 1969, in San Diego, and he only pitched in 46 major league games. But, wouldn’t you know it? In 1995, in a game at Tiger Stadium, Fryman hit a home run off Schullstrom (pitching for the Twins). Fryman ended up hitting .600 (3-for-5) off Schullstrom, the highest average of any batter who ever faced Schullstrom more than two times. The final member of the 3/25/69 Baby Gang was Erik James Helfand, born in Erie, Pennsylvania. Like Wilson, Helfand grew up to be a catcher, and he played against Wilson and Fryman, of course. His family moved away from Pennsylvania when he was a kid, to…San Diego, where he once actually pitched against Schullstrom in high school.