Yesterday, when Chipper Jones celebrated his 40th birthday with a home run during the Braves 4-3 win over the Dodgers, he joined an elite club – only four other players have hit a home run on their 40th birthday:
Bob Thurman, Reds, on May 14, 1957 … an unusual case, since Thurman didn’t make the major leagues until he was 37 and then played until he was 42 (1955-59).
Joe Morgan, Phillies, on September 19, 1983 … Morgan played from 1963-84.
Wade Boggs, Devil Rays, on June 15, 1998 … Boggs played from 1982-99.
Tony Phillips, As, on April 25, 1999 … Phillips played from 1982-99.
Jones, retiring after this season, will not have the chance to move to the next level … a homer on his 41st birthday. That birthday club has two members:
Darrell Evans, Tigers, May 26, 1988 … Evans played from 1969-89.
Jim Thome, Indians, August 27, 2011 … Thome, still playing for the Phillies, began his ML career in 1991. He rejoined the Indians (from the Twins) the day before his birthday blast.
And, of course, there is also the Mets’ Julio Franco. Maybe not a birthday bash but, on May 4, 2007, at 48-years-old (and 254 days), Franco established the current mark for the oldest major leaguer to hit a round-tripper. Note: Franco is also the oldest player to have a multi-homer game, hit a grand slam and hit a pinch-hit home run. Franco’s career stretched from 1982-2007.