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Five MLB All-Stars were born today. How closely were their careers connected?

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September 10 is a big day for baseball birthdays, featuring five former MLB All-Stars: Ted Kluszewski, Roger Maris, Randy Johnson, Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt.

Let's take a trip through the archives (with help from Baseball-Reference's Oracle of Baseball) and see just how these players are linked across MLB history:

1. Ted Kluszewski (b. 1924), who made four All-Star teams in nine seasons with Cincinnati, played with Minnie Minoso -- the Cuban Comet -- during a late-career stop on the 1960 White Sox.

2. Two years prior, Minoso had played on an Indians team featuring a young Roger Maris (b. 1934).

3. Catching for that same Indians team was Russ Nixon -- a career .268/.310/.361 hitter who later worked as a coach with Cincinnati, Montreal, Atlanta and Seattle.

4. By 1967, with his playing career nearing an end, Nixon had found his way to the Twins. One of his teammates there was a rookie whose most lasting impact would come later in the Bronx: Graig Nettles.

5. Nettles ended his career as a bench player on the 1988 Montreal Expos -- a talented team with a promising rookie pitcher named Randy Johnson (b. 1963).

6. Johnson became a superstar, winning the first of his five career Cy Young Awards with the Mariners in 1995. The Big Unit shared the spotlight on that Seattle team, of course, with the legendary Ken Griffey Jr.

7. Junior was traded to the Reds after the 1999 season and would remain there until midway through 2008. Before he was dealt to the White Sox, Griffey took the field with first baseman and future NL MVP Joey Votto (b. 1983).

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8. In 2012, Votto's Reds called up shortstop Didi Gregorius for an eight-game September cameo. The young Dutch national was traded to the Diamondbacks before the 2013 season, where he would team up with ...

9. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt (b. 1987).

DidiandPaul

And there you have it -- 66 years of MLB history (1947-2013) connected by nine just nine degrees of separation. Happy birthday to Ted, Roger, Randy, Joey and Paul. 


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