Happy Birthday–May 25

Al Reach (1840)
Lip Pike (1845)
Tip O'Neill (1858)
Joe Judge (1894)
Martin Dihigo (1905)
Lindsey Nelson (1919)
Bill Sharman (1926)|
Jim Marshall (1931)
W. P. Kinsella (1935)
Glenn Borgmann (1950)
John Montefusco (1950)
Bob Knepper (1954)
Kerwin Danley (1961)
Dave Hollins (1966)
Bill Haselman (1966)
Joey Eischen (1970)
Todd Walker (1973)
Miguel Tejada (1974)
Jason Kubel (1982)

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Sharman was a minor league outfielder from 1950-1953 and in 1955, reaching AAA with St. Paul.

Today is also the birthday of Twins' farmhand Pat Dean (1985).

Catcher Glenn Dennis Borgmann played in part or all of eight seasons for the Twins, from 1972-1979.  He was born in Paterson, New Jersey and attended the University of South Alabama.  Minnesota drafted him in the first round of the June Secondary draft in 1971.  He advanced rapidly through the minors, and after hitting .336 with 12 homers at AAA Tacoma in 1972, he got his first taste of the majors, spending the second half of the 1972 as the Twins' regular catcher.  He did not hit in the majors, though, and was back in Tacoma for most of 1973, getting only a September call-up.  Borgmann was back as the regular catcher in 1974-1975, hitting .252 in the former year but only .207 in the latter.  After that, a combination of injuries and the emergence of Butch Wynegar as the Twins' catcher limited Borgmann's playing time.  He caught in only 118 games total over the next four seasons.  Borgmann became a free agent after the 1979 season and signed with the White Sox.  He was in AAA most of the year, coming up to Chicago for the last two months.  In 1981, Borgmann signed with Cleveland, but he did not get back to the major leagues and his playing career ended after that season.  After leaving baseball, he worked in the auto parts industry.  At last report, Glenn Borgmann had returned to his native New Jersey and was working for the Meadowlands race track.

Infielder David Michael Hollins was with the Twins for most of the 1996 season.  He was born in Buffalo and attended the University of South Carolina.  Hollins was drafted by San Diego in the sixth round in 1987.  He was in the Padres' organization for three seasons, hitting for a good average with moderate power.  He advanced a level at a time, but was left unprotected after the 1989 campaign and was taken by Philadelphia in the Rule 5 draft.  He was with the Phillies all of the 1990 season but played sporadically and not very well, hitting .184.  He started 1991 in Philadelphia, still playing sparingly, and was sent down in late April to get some playing time.  He came back in mid-July and this time was ready to stay a while.  He was the regular third baseman the rest of the way and hit .298.  He never hit that high in a full season, but he stayed in the .270s as a Phillie, and developed power, hitting 27 home runs in 1992 before settling in consistently in the teens for homers.  Hollins moved to first base in 1995 to make room for Charlie Hayes and was traded to Boston in late July.  He played in only five games for the Red Sox before missing the rest of the season with an injury.  A free agent after the season, Hollins signed with Minnesota and went back to third base.  He was decent but unspectacular as a Twin, hitting .242/.364/.396 in 422 at-bats.  Hollins was traded to Seattle in late August for a player to be named later (David Arias, n/k/a David Ortiz, a true player to be named later).  He became a free agent after the season and moved to Anaheim, where he stayed for two seasons.  The first was a good one, the second not so much, and he was traded to Toronto late in spring training of 1999.  He got off to a slow start and was released by the Blue Jays in late June.  The White Sox signed him, but kept him in AAA the rest of the season.  In 2000, Hollins signed with Tampa Bay in January, was released in May, signed with Baltimore in July, was released in August, and signed the same day with Cleveland.  All of that season was spent in the minors as was all but two games of 2001.  He signed back with Philadelphia in 2002 and was in AAA with them most of the next two years, getting 17 at-bats in the majors.  His playing career ended after the 2003 campaign.  He has remained in baseball, serving as a coach at Binghamton in 2005 before becoming a scout for the Phillies.  Dave Hollins is a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

Infielder Todd Arthur Walker played for the Twins in parts of five seasons from 1996-2000.  He was born in Bakersfield, California, went to high school in Bossier City, Louisiana, and then attended LSU.  He was drafted by the Twins with the 8th pick of the 1994 draft.  He hit very well in the minors, with his best year coming in 1996 when he hit .339 with 28 homers for AAA Salt Lake, getting called up at the end of August.  He started 1997 as the Twins' starting third baseman, but was sent down in late May after hitting .194.  He came back in late August, played well in September, and replaced Chuck Knoblauch as the Twins' second baseman in 1998.  He had a strong season, hitting .316 with 12 homers.  He was decent, although not as good, in 1999.  His defense was considered less than adequate, as was his attitude, and when he got off to a slow start in 2000 he was sent back to AAA and then traded to Colorado with Butch Huskey for Todd Sears and cash.  As a Twin, he hit .285/.341/.413 in 1,374 at-bats.  Walker resurrected his career in Colorado, batting over .300 in about a year, but was traded again in mid-season, this time to Cincinnati.  He continued to hit, but again did not stay long, this time becoming a free agent and signing with the Cubs prior to the 2004 season.  He was a Cub for two and a half years, continued to hit decently, and was traded to San Diego in late July.  The Padres released him in late March of 2007.  Walker signed with Oakland and didn't hit badly for a bench player, but he was released in mid-May, ending his playing career.  Todd Walker was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in July of 2009, was named to the College World Series legends team in 2010, and was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.  No further information about what Todd Walker has been doing since his playing days ended was readily available.

Outfielder/DH Jason James Kubel has been with the Twins for at least part of seven seasons and counting.  He was born in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, attended high school in Palmdale, California, and was drafted by Minnesota in the twelfth round in 2000.  He hit very well throughout the minors.  His best year was 2004, when he started by hitting .377 with 6 homers in 138 at-bats in New Britain and followed that by hitting .343 with 16 homers in 35o at-bats in Rochester.  He made his major league debut on August 31 of that year and continued to hit, batting .300 with two home runs in 60 at-bats.  Unfortunately, he then tore up his knee in the Arizona Fall League.  Kubel missed all of 2005, started 2006 in the majors, was sent back to AAA for a month, and all-in-all had a poor year, leading some to believe he might not make it back.  He proved those people wrong in 2007, and has been a good major league player every year since.  2009 was his best so far, as he hit .300 with 28 home runs and finished 24th in MVP voting.  He had a down year in 2010, but still hit 21 homers and drove in 92 runs.  He turns 29 today, and is having another fine season so far.  It seems likely Jason Kubel will be a solid major league player for at least a few more years to come.

8 thoughts on “Happy Birthday–May 25”

    1. According to the politician's bio, his nickname was after the baseball player.

      1. Wikipedia says I was 1 when he left office, 8 when he died. I am a history major, after all. And he did play a big role in the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

    2. The baseball Tip O'Neill had a pretty substantial career, mostly with St. Louis in the American Assocation (then considered a major league). In 1887, he won the triple crown and then some, leading the league in runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and total bases. An outfielder, he hit .326 in a ten-year career. He also pitched in two seasons, going 16-16, 3.39.

  1. Is W.P. Kinsella the best fiction baseball writer? I suppose there really isn't a huge market for this though, huh?

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