Major League Baseball players born on the day a U.S. President was inaugurated:
–The first major leaguer born on an Inauguration Day was born on March 4, 1861, the day Abraham Lincoln was sworn in (until the mid-20th century, scheduled inaugurations usually took place on March 4). The player born that day was apparently the child of patriotic parents because they named their brand new baby after the brand new president. Abraham Lincoln Wolstenholme was born in Philadelphia, cradle of the nation. Abe Westenholme grew up to play in three games in 1883 for the brand new National League franchise in Philadelphia, which eventually became the Phillies but was then known as the Quakers. The other MLB players born on the day a U.S.president was sworn into office were:
–Joseph Herr, who was born the day of Lincoln’s second inauguration (“with malice toward none, with charity for all…”), played in 66 games in the old American Association when it was considered a major league.
–Mike Lehane was born on April 15,1865, the day Lincoln died after being shot the previous evening, Vice-President Andrew Johnson being then sworn in as the new president. Lehane was another American Association guy, playing two seasons for the short-lived Columbus Solons franchise.
–Red Bowser got into one game as a member of the 1910 Chicago White Sox. He was born the day Vice-President Chester Arthur was sworn in as President, after James Garfield had died the previous day from gunshot wounds he had suffered back in July.
–Lefty O’Doul and Neal Brady were both born on March 4, 1897, the day William McKinley was sworn in for his first term as President. O’Doul was one of the best hitters in the NL from 1929 through 1932. Brady pitched a few games for the pre-Babe Ruth Yankees as a kid, then pitched mostly in the minors before popping up briefly with the Reds in 1925.
–Bill Hart was born on March 4, 1913, the day Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated for the first time. Hart’s middle name was Woodrow, which I assume was not a coincidence. He was a career minor leaguer who got his chance with the Dodgers during World War II, thanks to a perforated eardrum that disqualified him from military service.
–Alex Monchak was born on March 5, 1917, the day of Wilson’s second inaugural. Monchak played in the majors for a short time in 1940, served in the Army with valor on the European Front, and coached and scouted in the majors for a very long time, particularly as Chuck Tanner’s first base coach for years, a position he held for the Pirates’ 1979 World Champions. Born in 1917 during the segregationist Woodrow Wilson’s administration, Monchak died in 2015 during the Obama administration.
–John Easton was born on March 4, 1933, the day Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated for the first time. Easton was a Princeton grad and engineer who appeared as a pinch-runner for the Phillies in one game in 1955, and three times as a pinch hitter (0 for 3) for the Phils in 1959.
–Dave Boswell was born the day of FDR’s fourth inauguration, January 20, 1945. He was an important part of the Twins’ starting pitching staff in the last half of the 1960’s, when the Twins were one of the strongest teams in baseball. He got into an infamous fight with Billy Martin, his rather sociopathic manager, and arm injuries derailed his career.
–Kevin Maas was born on January 20, 1965, the day Lyndon Johnson was inaugurated for a term in his own right, after having ascended to the presidency on John Kennedy’s assassination.
Kevin Maas is Gary Sanchez’ recurring nightmare this offseason.
–Julio Santana was born January 20, 1973, Richard Nixon’s second Inauguration Day (Nixon’s
term foundered as the result of an intrusion on the Democratic National Committee, surely something no one would ever try to take advantage of again after that). Santana was a journeyman pitcher whose career might have fared better had he not pitched at the height of the hitting explosion of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
–Matt Morris was born on August 9, 1974, the day the aforementioned Nixon formally submitted his resignation and Gerald Ford was sworn in to succeed him. Morris is one of five pitchers to rack up 100 career Wins for the Cardinals since the end World War II.
–John Baker and Freddy Guzman were born on January 20, 1981, the day Ronald Reagan was inagurated for the first time. Baker was a backup catcher for a few years and had a memorable game for the Cubs in 2014 when he came in to pitch at the end of a long extra-inning contest and scored the winning run to give himself the W. He works in the Cubs front office now, presumably a fun place to be at the moment. Guzman is an outfielder who accumulated about 100 career PAs in the majors over several years bouncing around with a few different organizations, and has played in recent seasons in the Mexican League.
We won’t know for a long time if any kids born today will end up in the majors, but personally I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a bunch of babies born today to women named Rosemary.