Happy Birthday–July 2

Grover Hartley (1888)
Hal Wagner (1915)
Dick Greco (1925)
Red Rush (1927)
Chuck Stobbs (1929)
Mike Reilly (1949)
Tony Armas (1953)
Jose Canseco (1964)
Sean Casey (1974)
Rene Tosoni (1986)

Left-hander Chuck Stobbs was an original Twin, appearing in twenty-four games for them in 1961.  He was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, went to high school in Norfolk, Virginia, and signed with Boston as a free agent in 1947.  He pitched very well that season for Class B Lynn, going 9-2, 1.72, got a September call-up at age 18, and never went back to the minors again.  He may have been injured in 1948, as he appeared in only six games, but after that he was a regular major league pitcher until the end of his playing career.  He was primarily a starting pitcher with Boston, and frankly was not a very good won despite decent won-lost records.  His ERA with Boston was 4.70 and his WHIP was 1.49, but he was 33-23.  He changed his socks from Red to White after the 1951 season, as he was traded to Chicago.  He was there only one year, both starting and relieving, and was traded to Washington for Mike Fornieles.  He had his best season in the majors in 1953, going 11-8, 3.29 with a 1.24 WHIP in 27 appearances, 20 of them starts.  During that year, he gave up what is generally considered to be the longest home run in major league history, a shot by Mickey Mantle that went completely out of Griffith Stadium and traveled an estimated 565 feet.  He had another good year in 1956, going 15-15, 3.60 in 37appearances, 33 of them starts.  Other than that, however, he did not do a lot for Washington.  He remained in their rotation for the most part, however, until he was placed on waivers in July of 1958.  He was claimed by St. Louis, which moved him into the bullpen.  He did quite well there in 39.2 innings, but the Cardinals released him during the off-season, and he signed back with Washington for 1959.  Now primarily a relief pitcher, he had two good years for them before the team moved to Minnesota.  He came with the team in 1961 but did not pitch well, posting a 7.46 ERA in 44.2 innings.  The Twins released him after the season, ending his playing career at age 32.  He became an insurance salesman for a while, and was a coach at George Washington University.  He moved to Florida in 1971, working at a baseball academy operated by the Kansas City Royals.  He then worked as a minor league instructor for the Cleveland Indians from 1980-1984.  He was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.  Chuck Stobbs passed away after a long battle with throat cancer on July 11, 2008.

Outfielder Rene Michael Tosoni made his major league debut with the Twins in 2011.  He was born in Toronto and drafted by Minnesota in the thirty-sixth round in 2005.  After spending some time in the Gulf Coast League, he hit .300 in a 2007 split between Elizabethton and Beloit and hit .300 again in Ft. Myers in 2008.  He then spent two years in New Britain and had solid seasons both times, although he missed much of 2010 with injuries.  His numbers in Rochester in 2011 are decent, but nothing to get too excited about.  Even so, due to injuries and lack of depth, Tosoni made his major league debut with the Twins in late April and has been up and down since.  He has done little for the Twins in sporadic playing time, which is about what one would expect.  He turns 25 today, so he still has some time to improve, but he’ll need to start doing it pretty soon.