Happy Birthday–February 3

Lou Criger (1872)
Slim Sallee (1885)
Larry MacPhail (1890)
Joe Stripp (1903)
Buck Ross (1915)
Dick Tracewski (1935)
Joe Coleman (1947)
Bake McBride (1949)
Fred Lynn (1952)
Ronald Williamson (1953)
Fred Toliver (1961)
Joe Klink (1962)
Scott Klingenbeck (1971)
B. J. Garbe (1981)

Ronald Williamson was a catcher in the Oakland organization from 1971-1973.  In 1988, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.  He was cleared in 1999 through DNA testing and became the subject of John Grisham’s first non-fiction book, “The Innocent Man.”  Williamson passed away from cirrhosis in 2004.

Outfielder B. J. Garbe was chosen by the Twins with the fifth pick of the 1999 draft.  He was with the Twins through 2004, ended his career in 2006, and never got higher than AA.

Right-hander Freddie Lee Toliver was with Minnesota from 1988-1989.  He was born in Natchez, Mississippi, but went to high school in San Gorgonio, California.  The Yankees drafted Toliver in the third round in 1979.  He was in the Yankees' organization for three years, pitching pretty well but never rising higher than Class A.  After the 1981 season, Toliver was sent to Cincinnati in a deal that brought Ken Griffey (Senior) to New York.  He was promoted to AAA in 1982, got a September call-up in 1984, and had his first good year at AAA in 1985, going 11-3, 3.24 in Denver.  In August of that year, however, Toliver was again a player to be named later, going to Philadelphia in a deal that involved Bo Diaz.  He was a Phillie for most of 1986 and 1987, although he spent time in the minors both seasons.  Shortly before the 1988 season, Toliver was traded to Minnesota for Chris Calvert.  He started the season in AAA, but came up to the Twins in mid-June and did not do too badly, going 7-6, 4.24 in 21 appearances, 19 of them starts.  He started 1989 for the Twins, but did poorly, making only seven appearances, five of them starts, before being sent back to the minors.  He was then traded to San Diego in late June for Greg Booker.  Toliver was with the Padres the rest of the season, then was once again a player to be named later, going to the Yankees.  He then spent three years back in the minors:  he was released by the Yankees in April of 1990 signed with California in late May, stayed in the Angels' system through 1991, started 1992 playing for an independent team, and went to the Pittsburgh organization in late July, 1992.  Toliver stayed with the Pirates' organization through 1993, spending about six weeks of 1993 in the Pirates' bullpen.  Toliver's career was basically over after that season, although he pitched briefly in the independent Western League in 1998.  For a guy who never had a full season in the majors, he didn't have a bad career:  78 appearances, 37 starts, and a lifetime ERA of 4.73.  As a Twin, Fred Toliver went 8-9, 4.95 in 28 appearances, 24 of them starts.  He was, for a while, the pitching coach, at Los Angeles City College.  At last report, Fred Toliver was living in Highland, California.

Left-hander Joseph Charles Klink was with the Twins for a couple of months at the start of the 1987 season.  Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, he went to St. Thomas University, one of seven players that university has produced.  He was drafted by the Mets in the 36th round in 1983.  He was a reliever in Class A for the Mets for three seasons and pitched pretty well.  Before the 1986 season, however, Klink was traded with Billy Beane and Bill Latham for Pat Crosby and Tim Teufel.  He had a good year in AA in 1986 and made the Twins out of spring training in 1987.  He made twelve appearances out of the bullpen and wasn't that awful, really, but an outing in late May in which he gave up eight runs skews his numbers.  He went back to AAA in early June, and just before the 1988 season started was traded to Oakland for a player to be named later (Russ Kibler).  Klink split 1988 and 1989 between AA and AAA and pitched well.  He made the Athletics at the beginning of the 1990 season and stayed there two years, pitching pretty well in relief.  He suffered an injured elbow in 1991, however, and did not play at all in 1992.  He became a free agent after that season and signed with Florida for 1993.  He was with the Marlins all year but did not pitch well and was released after the season.  He signed with the Dodgers for 1994 but was sent to the minors and released in June.  Klink went to Cleveland for 1995 and had a good year at AAA, but did not get a shot at the majors.  He signed with Seattle for 1996 and was with the big club for about two weeks in May, pitching well in three appearances, but then was released and his career was over.  As a Twin, Joe Klink was 0-1, 6.65 in 23 innings.  Klink went 90 consecutive appearances without allowing a home run, the most by a left-hander since at least 1957.  There’s a Joe Klink who’s the communications director for ProVia Door and Heartland Siding in Ohio; it’s unclear, but it appears that it may be the same one.

Right-hander Scott Edward Klingenbeck pitched for the Twins in 1995 and 1996.  He was born in Cincinnati, went to high school there, and then attended Ohio State.  He was drafted by Baltimore in the fifth round in 1992.  He pitched very well in the Orioles' minor league system.  He made an emergency start in June of 1994, but made his "real" debut in June of 1995, when he stayed in the big leagues for the rest of the season.  It wasn't all with Baltimore, though, because in early July Klingenbeck was traded to Minnesota with a player to be named later (Kimera Bartee) for Scott Erickson.  He made 18 appearances for the Twins, four of them starts, and did not pitch well.  He did pitch very well in Salt Lake in 1996, but again flopped in ten appearances (three starts) in the majors.  He was sent to Cincinnati in April of 1997, where he pitched fairly well in AAA, but not well enough to get back to the big leagues.  He pitched very well in AAA in 1998, and made four starts for the Reds in June, his last appearances in the majors.  Klingenbeck was released by Cincinnati in early July, finished out the season with Pittsburgh, went back to AAA for 1999, and then his career was over.  As a Twin, he was 1-3, 8.30 in 77 innings pitched over 28 games, seven of them starts.  At last report, Scott Klingenbeck was an instructor for Sports Of All Sorts clinics and camps of Cincinnati.