Great baseball names always seem to come in bunches. Tonight I was looking up Carl Crawford’s stats when I decided, for no particular reason, to look all the players born on his birthday, August 5th. This yielded a number of very solid Name of the Week candidates, but my favorite has to be:
Fabian Sebastian Gaffke, in fact. Born in Milwaukee in 1913, Gaffke played for Boston from 1936 to 1939, and for Cleveland in 1941 and 1942. With many players away serving in WWII, Gaffke and his career line of .227/.297/.361 (good for a career OPS+ of 67) lasted longer than they otherwise might have. But he did have his moments. Per the Baseball-Reference Bullpen, in 1937 he had a five-hit game, a separate five-run game, and a three-homer game for the Red Sox, and his OPS+ that year was 102. Before and in between stints in the majors, he played for the Minneapolis Millers in the American Association.
Other excellently-named players born on August 5th include Ossie Chavaria (who in 38 games for the 1967 Kansas City Royals put up a remarkable OPS+ of 5), Rocky Krsnic, Rube Novotny, Ebba St. Claire, Slim McGrew, Buddy Gremp, and Bob Daughters.