A down south beatdown, a historic loss in La La Land, and a new coach (and a points streak!) in Brooklyn
The following statistics are completely true pieces of information. Use them at your own risk. Results may vary. As always, follow @StatTardiff on Twitter for more insights.
Something you probably don’t care about is that today is my 25th birthday. Something you might care a little more about is which athletes have had the most success on their birthday. Without further ado…
Three Cheers for Nomar
Head to Baseball-Reference’s Play Index and you can find the most home runs hit by a player on their birthday. (Seriously, they have “Is Birthday?” as a filter, and it’s amazing.) The only player to ever hit three HR on their birthday is former Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who did it on his 29th birthday in 2002, part of a 22-4 rout of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Garciaparra became the 17th player in American League history with two home runs in the same inning, and is also the only player in history with eight RBI on their birthday.
The Big Aristotle’s Big Birthday
You can also find some birthday stats at StatMuse, and to save you a click, Shaquille O’Neal has the record for most points in a game on his birthday (61 points). You can find video of every point here, and the full box score at Basketball-Reference. Shaq’s 28th birthday was also his fourth game with 20+ rebounds and 10+ free throws, and is the only player in NBA history with 60+ points and 20+ rebounds in a game.
The Best Birthday Hat to Wear
There have been five hat tricks on an NHL player’s birthday, and Paul MacLean stands alone as the only player with four goals on his birthday (you can view the complete list here, thanks to Hockey-Reference). MacLean took only six shots on his 30th birthday (during the game, that is), and actually ended up with a -2 plus/minus in the 6-6 tie with the Calgary Flames. Not the best present to end up with a tie, but knowing you have a mustache as excellent as his is a decent birthday gift.
Matt Tardiff is the resident stat head at Chin Music Pod, and his birthday highlight was a victory his sophomore year at Stonehill College for the men’s basketball team, winning 70-58 over Southern New Hampshire University. He broadcasted the game. Wish him a happy birthday and find more interesting tidbits on Twitter @StatTardiff.