Happy Birthday–April 27

Hi Myers (1889)
Allan Sothoron (1893)
Rogers Hornsby (1896)
Horace Stoneham (1903)
Enos Slaughter (1916)
John Rice (1918)
Greg Kosc (1949)
Willie Upshaw (1957)
Patrick Lennon (1968)
Frank Catalanotto (1974)
Benj Sampson (1975)
Chris Carpenter (1975)
Pedro Feliz (1975)

Outfielder Patrick Orlando Lennon was in the Twins' minor league system for a couple of months in 1995.  Born and raised in Whiteville, North Carolina, he was drafted by Seattle with the eighth pick of the 1986 draft.  His early minor league numbers were fairly pedestrian, but in 1991 he hit .329 with 15 homers at AAA Calgary, earning him a September call-up.  Lennon was apparently injured much of 1992, as he had only 48 at-bats in AAA and two in the majors.  He became a free agent after 1992 and signed with Colorado.  He was released in April, signed and was out of baseball until July, when he signed with Cleveland.  A free agent again after the season, he went to Boston for 1994, was released in July of 1995, and signed with the Twins.  He hit .400 in 115 at-bats, but the Twins still let him go after the season.  He spent a month in the big leagues in with Kansas City in 1996 and was released at the end of April.  Lennon signed with Oakland and finished the season in their minor league system.  He started the 1997 in AAA with the Atheletics, but was called up in mid-May and spent most of the rest of the season in the majors, the most big-league playing time he ever got (116 at-bats in 56 games).  Lennon signed with Anaheim for 1998, was released in spring training, and went to Toronto, where he got 33 major league at-bats over two seasons before being released in June of 1999.  He finished the season for the Tigers' AAA team, was in AAA for Montreal in 2000, split 2001 between the Yankees' AAA team and the Mexican League, split 2002 and 2003 between AAA and independent Long Island, and was a Long Island Duck in 2004 and 2005 before his playing career finally came to an end.  He played in the minors for twenty seasons, hitting .295 in nearly six thousand at-bats, but got only 189 at-bats in the big leagues.  Patrick Lennon is currently an instructor for Play Like A Pro Baseball in Hauppauge, New York.

Left-hander Benjamin Damon Sampson pitched for the Twins for parts of two season from 1998-1999.  He was born in Des Moines and went to high school in Ankeny, Iowa.  Minnesota drafted him in the sixth round in 1993.  He pitched well in the low minors, but less well as he went up the ladder.  In parts of four AAA seasons, totally nearly three hundred innings, he never had an ERA below five.  Despite that, he got two shots with the Twins, which is probably more of a statement about the Twins' pitching in the late 1990s than anything else.  He got a September call-up in 1998 following his best AAA season, when he went 10-7, 5.14 with a WHIP of 1.55 for Salt Lake.  He made the Twins out of spring training in 1999 and was their fifth starter.  That lasted for three starts, by which time Sampson had an ERA of 15.00.  He stayed in the majors most of the season, pitching out of the bullpen except for one start in early August.  He did not pitch well in either role, and was sent to the minors on August 19.  He was in the organization three more years, pitching well in Ft. Myers in 2001 and in New Britain in 2002, but flopped again when promoted to AAA Edmonton later in 2002.  The Twins finally let him go after that season and he signed with Colorado, for whom   he had a good  year at AA Tulsa.  He then went to Taiwan for 2004 and to Italy for 2005 before retiring as a professional player.  Benj Sampson's big-league numbers, all with Minnesota, are 4-2, 6.83 with a WHIP of 1.78 in 88.1 innings.  He appeared in 35 games, six of them starts.  After retirement, he went into the business world.  From 2006 to 2008, he was an account manager for USA ScoreTables, working with high schools in Texas to install scrolling media into gymnasiums, arenas, and stadiums.  He is currently the national accounts consultant for Learning Through Sports, Inc., which is a leading publisher of digital game-based learning programs for K-12, as well as being a key figure in the company’s STAR mentors program.

18 thoughts on “Happy Birthday–April 27”

  1. There's been a Lennon, Harrison and Starr in MLB. No McCartney.

    There has been no Jagger or Watts. There has been a Jones, Wyman, and Richard(s).

    Beatles win, 75% to 60%. And there was a Best in MLB, too.

    That is all.

        1. I was sticking with the original Stones, but you make some good points. And Steve Stone did have a better career than Dave Beadle.

              1. Thanks for explaining - I assumed it was one link to a compilation of the three players. Maybe I need another jolt of caffeine.

    1. I think Ha Ha Tonka wins it.

      Lead Singer and Lead guitarist share names with active ballplayers. (first & last names only, I don't know the musicians' middle names.)
      Bassist is represented by the many Longs (including Terrence), and the drummer is covered by the one Bone or, via his first name, several Lennons.

      That's 4-for-4, with 2-for-4 on first & last names with active players.
      Plus, Brian is a Cards fan, and Brett digs the Royals.

  2. It's pretty amazing that there are this many LTEs in a birthday post without anyone mentioning beer.

    1. Oh, man, Jeff...! We were all thinking it, but we didn't want to jinx it by saying anything.

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