After he broke Lou Brock’s stolen base record on May 1, 1991, Rickey Henderson famously anointed himself “the greatest of all-time.”
With such conceit, it seems fitting that Henderson would share a birthday with Jesus. Though most recall the cocky stolen base king as an all-star with the Oakland A’s, Blue Jay fans will remember his stint with the 1993 World Series-winning team.
But while the “Man of Steal” is the most well known, Christmas-born big leaguer, he isn’t the only one with a Canadian connection. Here’s a rundown of some of the others:
1. Bruce Walton
The current Jays pitching coach was born on Christmas in 1962. Walton also pitched 27 games in the big leagues, including four relief appearances with Montreal in 1993.
2. Marty Pevey
The former Jays coach shares a birthday with Walton. Pevey played just 13 games in the majors, all of them with the Expos in 1989.
3. Scott Bullett
Born in Martinsburg, West Virginia in 1968, Scott Bullett now lives in Welland, Ont. He would suit up for parts of four major league seasons with the Pirates and Cubs and record a .233 batting average in 247 games.
4. Charlie Lea
Born in France in 1956, but raised in Tennesse, Charlie Lea was one of the Expos most effective starting pitchers in the early ’80s. On May 10, 1981, he became the only Montreal pitcher to toss a no-hitter at Olympic Stadium.
5. Wallace Johnson
From 1981 to 1990, Wallace Johnson, born in 1956, served as the Expos’ top pinch hitter. In 428 games, he hit .255.
6. Manny Trillo
Even the most diehard Expos fan would have a hard time remembering that Manny Trillo, a three-time Gold Glove second baseman with the Phillies, toiled for the Expos for 31 games in 1983. Trillo was born in 1950.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Who’d a thunk it? Very creative Kevin, and an appropos read on Christmas Eve for sure! May you and your readers all hit ’em where they ain’t in 2011! Tom
Thanks, Tom. Merry Christmas to you!
I read this one with a little extra interest, Kevin. My wife’s birthday is Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Happy Birthday to your wife and Merry Christmas to your family! Thanks for your support this year.
I haven’t heard the name Manny Trillo in years! Nice job Kevin. Keep up the great work.
Neither have I and I had forgotten that he played for the Expos. Thanks for the comment.
Scott Bullet now loves in Welland? How did you discover that and why did he end up there? My guess would be be married a Canadian but I’d be interested to hear why if you know.
Thanks for the comment, Matt. Bullett played for a Pirates affiliate club that was located in Welland. He met his wife there and has since settled there. I believe he runs a baseball school in Welland.