Happy Birthday–February 26

Grover Alexander (1887)
Rip Collins (1896)
Preacher Roe (1916)
Johnny Blanchard (1933)
Don Lee (1934)
Hiromitsu Kadota (1948)
Jack Brohamer (1950)
Rick Wieters (1955)
Kelly Gruber (1962)
Scott Service (1967)
J. T. Snow (1968)
Mark DeRosa (1975)

Hiromitsu Kadota is third on the Japanese professional baseball home run list with 567.

The father of Matt Wieters, Rick Wieters pitched in the minor leagues for five years, reaching AA.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 26

Happy Birthday–February 25

Bob Bescher (1884)
Al Hollingsworth (1908)
Roy Weatherly (1915)
Monte Irvin (1919)
Andy Pafko (1921)
Syd Thrift (1929)
Johnny Schaive (1934)
Jerry Reinsdorf (1936)
Denny Lemaster (1939)
Danny Cater (1940)
Ron Santo (1940)
Stump Merrill (1944)
Ken Szotkeiwicz (1947)
Cesar Cedeno (1951)
Bob Brenly (1954)
Ken Dayley (1959)
Paul O'Neill (1963)
Shannon Stewart (1974)

Syd Thrift was the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1986-88 and of the Baltimore Orioles from 2000-02.  He also held a variety of other front office positions, generally having to do with overseeing minor league player development.

Infielder Johnny Schaive was in the Washington organization from 1955-1960, reaching the majors for parts of the 1958-1960 seasons.  He was selected by the new Washington franchise as the 36th pick in the 1960 expansion draft.

Jerry Reinsdorf became part-owner of the Chicago White Sox in 1981.

Stump Merrill was the manager of the New York Yankees from 1990-91.  A catcher, he was drafted by Minnesota in the twenty-third round in 1965, but did not sign.

Shortstop Ken Szotkiewicz was chosen by Minnesota with the third pick of the 1967 June Secondary draft, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 25

Happy Birthday–February 24

Honus Wagner (1874)
Wilbur Cooper (1892)
Del Wilber (1919)
Bubba Phillips (1928)
Jim Rantz (1938)
Dave Edwards (1954)
Eddie Murray (1956)
Nick Esasky (1960)
Mike Lowell (1974)
Randy Keisler (1976)
Bronson Arroyo (1977)
Dewayne Wise (1978)
Rob Bowen (1981)
Nick Blackburn (1982)
J. D. Durbin (1982)
Chris Parmelee (1988)

Jim Rantz was in the Twins' organization in some capacity from the birth of the team until his retirement in 2012., serving as farm director from 1986-2012.  He was also the winning pitcher in the deciding game of the 1960 College World Series.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 24

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Tuesday’s Gone

In June of 1977, just days before moving to Minnesota, I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd play at the old Mile High Stadium, one of the Colorado Sunday concert series gigs from back in the day. The one I attended also had The Marshall Tucker Band, Heart (they played two songs and in the middle of the third their gear went dead, sabotaged by another band's roadie), Atlanta Rhythm Section, The Outlaws, Foreigner, Dickey Betts and Great Southern, and Rusty Weir. My friends and I drove up to Denver the night before and slept in a park with a thousand other kids a few blocks from the stadium, across the street from a police station. The cops were pretty cool about the whole thing. Gates opened at noon and the music started about an hour later. Skynyrd came on as the sun was starting to set and just blew everyone away. That weekend was the crown jewel of my high school party days, and the last time I've seen three of the four friends who went, so it's a fairly treasured memory. Four months later I was trying to figure out my new life in L'Étoile du Nord when a plane crash killed Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines. So it goes.

6 votes, average: 8.67 out of 106 votes, average: 8.67 out of 106 votes, average: 8.67 out of 106 votes, average: 8.67 out of 106 votes, average: 8.67 out of 106 votes, average: 8.67 out of 106 votes, average: 8.67 out of 106 votes, average: 8.67 out of 106 votes, average: 8.67 out of 106 votes, average: 8.67 out of 10 (6 votes, average: 8.67 out of 10)
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Happy Birthday–February 23

Barney Dreyfuss (1865)
Paul Cobb (1888)
Roy Johnson (1903)
Ray Brown (1908)
Mike Tresh (1914)
Elston Howard (1929)
Ron Hunt (1941)
Ken Boswell (1946)
John Shelby (1958)
Juan Agosto (1958)
Bobby Bonilla (1963)
Rondell White (1972)
Scott Elarton (1976)
Edgar Gonzalez (1983)

Barney Dreyfuss was the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900-1932.

The brother of Ty Cobb, John Paul Cobb (known by his middle name), played in over a thousand minor league games over ten years, batting .283.

Ray Brown was a star pitcher in the Negro Leagues from 1931-1945.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 23

Sunny Hill – Monday Blues

When my daughters were adolescents they got into manga and anime and Pokémon and YuGiOh. They had Tamagotchi virtual pets that died untimely but completely predictable deaths, and for awhile our youngest wouldn't let us go to the grocery store without bringing home Pocky. Their musical tastes were dominated by boy bands and girl groups and Disney variants, and they each had their flirtations with A-pop. I was reminded of all this while looking for a song about Monday on YouTube and stumbling across this contemporary cultural document. So to kick off my guest week here’s some new Seoul music, because I don't mind a little sugar-frosted K-Pop for breakfast. How about you?

6 votes, average: 4.83 out of 106 votes, average: 4.83 out of 106 votes, average: 4.83 out of 106 votes, average: 4.83 out of 106 votes, average: 4.83 out of 106 votes, average: 4.83 out of 106 votes, average: 4.83 out of 106 votes, average: 4.83 out of 106 votes, average: 4.83 out of 106 votes, average: 4.83 out of 10 (6 votes, average: 4.83 out of 10)
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Happy Birthday–February 22

Bill Klem (1874)
Clarence Mitchell (1891)
Roy Spencer (1900)
Charles O. Finley (1918)
Stubby Greer (1920)
Ryne Duren (1929)
Sparky Anderson (1934)
Steve Barber (1938)
Tom Griffin (1948)
Gerry Davis (1953)
John Halama (1972)
J. J. Putz (1977)
Casey Kotchman (1983)
Brian Duensing (1983)

Bill Klem was a National League umpire from 1905-1941.  He was the first umpire to indicate his calls with arm signals, and was also the first umpire to wear an inside chest protector.  He umpired in eighteen World Series and also umpired the first all-star game.

Charles O. Finley was the owner of the Kansas City and Oakland Athletics from 1960-81.

Stubby Greer played in the minors from 1940-1958 with a career batting average of .330.  He never played in the major leagues.

Sparky Anderson was born in Bridgewater, South Dakota.

Gerry Davis has been a major league umpire since 1982.

J. J. Putz was drafted by Minnesota in the seventeenth round in 1998, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 22

Happy Birthday–February 21

Jouett Meekin (1867)
Dummy Taylor (1875)
John Titus (1876)
Tom Yawkey (1903)
Mark Scott (1915)
Joe Foy (1943)
Jack Billingham (1943)
Tom Shopay (1945)
Charley Walters (1947)
Rick Lysander (1953)
Alan Trammell (1958)
The birthday list (2009)

Tom Yawkey was the owner of the Boston Red Sox from 1933 until his death in 1978.

Mark Scott was the host of “Home Run Derby”.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 21

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.