Make Sure Your Child Is Born In August, People

Slate, continuing to obsess over the arcane and curious, has discovered that an unusual number of baseball players are born in August. Consult your astrology guides!

It might have something to do with Little League cutoff dates.

The magical date of Aug. 1 gives a strong hint as to the explanation for this phenomenon. For more than 55 years, July 31 has been the age-cutoff date used by virtually all nonschool-affiliated baseball leagues in the United States. Youth baseball organizations including Little League, Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth, PONY, Dixie Youth, Hap Dumont, Dizzy Dean, American Legion, and more have long used that date to determine which players are eligible for which levels of play. (There is no such commonly used cutoff date in Latin America.) The result: In almost every American youth league, the oldest players are the ones born in August, and the youngest are those with July birthdays.

Great: That's all we need, is another reason for parents to push their children to play baseball when they're way too young.

A side note: Two recognizable Major League Baseball players were born on the same day as us (October 10, 1975): Placido Polanco and Pat Burrell. When either one of those guys retire, we're going to be extremely depressed.

The Boys Of Late Summer [Slate]