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Today is Leap Day (i.e. February 29th). To celebrate this day that happens only slightly-less-often-than every-4-years
All told, there have been 11 players born on a Leap Day: 6 hitters and 5 pitchers. First up, here are the hitters, ranked by their career WAR (Baseball-Reference version).
Poor Jerry Fry
Next up, let’s look at the pitchers.
What if these players’ birthdays only counted in years that had a Leap Day? How old would they be today?
Terrence Long, the youngest player on the list, was born in 1976. That means today is his 36th birthday by conventional measurement. But his Leap Age is only 9. Bill Long was born in 1960, giving him a Leap Age of 13 (conventional age: 52). Only 3 more Leap Birthdays until you can drive, Bill!
Jerry Fry was born in 1956, making him one Leap Year older than Long: 14. By conventional standards, today is his 56th birthday. Al Autry was born in 1952, so he’s 15 Leap Years old today (60 normal years).
Al Rosen is the oldest living Leap Birthday player. He was born in 1924, which makes this his 88th birthday and his 22nd Leap Birthday. I guess 2008 was a big year for him, since he could finally buy a leap drink legally.
For the 6 deceased players, here are their birth & death years and Leap Ages at death:
- Steve Mingori (Born 1944, Died 2008): Leap Age 16, actual age 64
- Pepper Martin (Born 1904, Died 1965): Leap Age 15, actual age 61
- Ralph Miller
- Roy Parker (Born 1896, Died 1954): Leap Age 13*, actual age 58
- Ed Appleton
- Dickey Pearce
* Leap Days do not occur in years that are multiples of 100–unless that year is a multiple of 1000. So there was a Leap Year in 2000, but there wasn’t one in 1900. Because of this, players born in the 19th century don’t add to their Leap Age in 1900.
So we can say for sure that Al Rosen holds the MLB record for oldest Leap Age. Congrats to Al, and a Happy Leap Birthday to all of these players.
Tagged with: age Al Autry Al Rosen Bill Long birthdays Dickey Pearce Ed Appleton Jerry Fry Leap Day leap years oddities Pepper Martin Ralph Miller Roy Parker Steve Mingori Terrence Long time
This blog is devoted to the invention and use of unusual baseball statistics. These Junk Stats are designed to reveal the not-so-meaningful quirks that make baseball so fascinating.
JunkStats is written by Jacob Peterson, who also writes for the Braves blog Talking ChopBeyond the Boxscore
For more about the site or the author, read the About page
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