Happy Birthday–September 4

Tilly Walker (1887)
Eddie Waitkus (1919)
Hawk Harrelson (1941)
Paul Jata (1949)
Doyle Alexander (1950)
Frank White (1950)
Mike Piazza (1968)
Luis Lopez (1970)
Aaron Fultz (1973)
Pat Neshek (1980)

Left-handed reliever Richard Aaron Fultz played for the Twins in 2004. He was born in Memphis, went to high school in Munford, Tennessee, attended North Florida Community College, and was drafted by the Giants in 1992 in the sixth round. He pitched pretty well in rookie ball that year and in Class A in 1993, but was traded to the Twins in August of 1993 with Andres Duncan and Greg Brummett for Jim DeShaies. After just over two years (1994 and 1995) in the Twins system, Fultz was released, and he went back to the Giants. He generally had to repeat levels in the minors, with the result that he did not reach AAA until 1998. Fultz was not particularly impressive in AAA in either 1998 or 1999, but made the Giants with a strong spring training in 2000. Fultz spent three years with the Giants as a middle reliever, posting ERAs in the mid-fours, but was allowed to become a free agent after 2002 and signed with Texas. He did not pitch particularly well for the Rangers, and was again allowed to become a free agent, signing with the Twins for the 2004 campaign. Fultz appeared in 55 games for the Twins, going 3-3 with a 5.04 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in 50 innings. The Twins placed him on waivers after the season, and he was selected by Philadelphia, for whom he had his best year in 2005, going 4-0 with a 2.24 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in 72.1 innings. He did not repeat his success in 2006, and again became a free agent, signing with Cleveland for 2007. He did a good job for the Indians, going 4-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 37 innings, but was again released after the season. He has since played in the Detroit, Colorado, and Cincinnati organizations, as well as playing in Taiwan. Fultz played a little independent ball in 2009 before deciding to get on with his life and retiring in June. No information about Aaron Fultz since that time was readily available.

Right-handed reliever Patrick J. Neshek has been with the Twins since 2006. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin, went to high school in Park Center, Minnesota, and was drafted in the 45th round out of high school by the Twins in 1999. He did not sign, choosing instead to go to Butler University. The Twins kept watching him, and drafted him again in 2002 in the sixth round. He spent roughly a year at each minor league level, and pitched well at all of them, posting a WHIP below 1.00 in each of his first two minor league seasons. He came up to the Twins in July of 2006, and continued to pitch very well, becoming the Twins' top set-up man. In 2007, he was one of five players who was in the running for the final spot in the all-star game, losing to Hideki Okajima. Neshek then began to battle injuries, undergoing Tommy John surgery, and missed most of 2008 and all of 2009. He came back in 2010, beginning and ending the season in Minnesota but spending most of it in Rochester, where he was decent but no more than that.  The Twins waived him in March of 2011 and he was claimed by San Diego.  He’s been up and down a few times; he’s again been decent but no more in AAA and not very good in the majors.  As a Twin, Pat Neshek was 11-6, 3.05, 1.01 WHIP.  He appeared in 132 games and pitched 129.2 innings.  He turns 31 today.  He still may come back, but 2007 seems like a long time ago.