Happy Birthday–May 31

Socks Seibold (1896)
Edward Bennett Williams (1920)
Russ Goetz (1930)
Ray Washburn (1938)
Tippy Martinez (1950)
Joe Orsulak (1962)
Kenny Lofton (1967)
Bill Miller (1967)
Dave Roberts (1972)
Jake Peavy (1981)

This is also the birthday of Twins’ farmhand Spencer Steedley (1985).

Left-handed reliever Felix Anthony “Tippy” Martinez appeared in three games for the Twins in 1988.  Born and raised in La Junta, Colorado, he went to Colorado State and signed with the Yankees as a free agent in 1972.  He was primarily a reliever in the minors other than 1975, when he started 14 games for AAA Syracuse.  He pitched very well in the minors, posting ERAs under three in both 1973 and 1975.  He made his big-league debut in 1974 and came up to stay in mid-July of 1975.  He was almost exclusively a reliever in the majors, making only two big league starts, both in 1975.  He did a fine job for the Yankees, but was traded to Baltimore in mid-June of 1976 as part of a ten-player trade that included numerous good ballplayers.  He did a fine job with the Orioles as well, pitching well every year from 1976-1983 with the exception of 1978.  He was never "the closer" for Baltimore, but had double digit saves in five consecutive seasons from 1980-1984 with a high of 21 in 1983.  That was probably his best season, as he pitched the most innings (103.1), his lowest ERA (2.35), and his lowest WHIP (1.09).  He also made the all-star team that year.  He started to slip in 1984; his ERA was still below four, but his WHIP soared to 1.53.  He had a poor 1985, struggled in 1986, and was released in June of 1987.  Martinez was out of baseball the rest of that year, but signed as a free agent with the Twins on April 4, 1988.  It did not work--he pitched in three games, lasted four innings, and gave up eight runs on eight hits and four walks.  After that, his playing career was over.  Martinez is best remembered for a game in 1983 in which he picked off three baserunners in an inning with emergency catcher Lenn Sakata behind the plate, but he was an excellent relief pitcher for several years.  Tippy Martinez was the pitching coach for York in the Atlantic League from 2006-2009, but was not retained in that position for 2010.  No information was readily available regarding what Tippy Martinez has done since then.