Happy Birthday–December 29

Hank DeBerry (1894)
Bill Knickerbocker (1911)
Ted Del Guercio (1927)
Ken Rudolph (1946)
Jim Wilson (1960)
Devon White (1962)
Craig Grebeck (1964)
James Mouton (1968)
Tomas Perez (1973)
Richie Sexson (1974)
Emil Brown (1974)
Jaret Wright (1975)
Jack Wilson (1977)

Ted Del Guercio was part of the largest trade in baseball history. He was traded by the New York Yankees along with Don Larsen, Billy Hunter, Bob Turley, Kal Segrist, Bill Miller and Don Leppert to the Baltimore Orioles for Gene Woodling, Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald, Hal Smith, Gus Triandos, Willy Miranda, Mike Blyzka, Darrell Johnson, Jim Fridley and Dick Kryhoski in the off-season following the 1953 campaign. Del Guercio was the only person involved in the trade not to play in the majors.

James Mouton was drafted by Minnesota in the eighth round in 1990, but did not sign.

First baseman James George Wilson did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system for much of 1987. He was born in Corvallis, Oregon, went to Oregon State (where he lettered in baseball and football), and was drafted by Cleveland in the second round in 1982. He showed power throughout his minor league career, hitting 14 homers in Class A in 1982, 26 in AA in 1983, 15 in AAA in 1984, and 26 in AAA in 1985. He had good batting averages to go with those power numbers. He was a September call-up in 1985, going 5-for-14, and doubtless big things were expected. They didn’t happen. In 1986 Wilson slumped to only 9 homers and a .232 average in AAA Maine, and was released by the Indians after the season. Minnesota signed him in mid-May and sent him to Portland, where he hit .268 with 3 homers in just 157 at-bats. He signed with Seattle for 1988 and spent the year in AA. In 1989, however, he had a big year in AAA Calgary, hitting .314 with 26 homers and getting another September call-up. He went 0-for-8, however, and would never get another shot at the majors. He was in AAA with Montreal in 1990 and with San Francisco in 1991, hitting .300 with 21 homers in Phoenix. It did him no good; he was out of baseball in 1992, played briefly with Calgary in 1993, was with independent Winnipeg in 1994, and then his playing career was over. While his minor league records are incomplete, it appears that he struck out a lot, which may be why teams were reluctant to give him a shot. Still, he hit over 20 homers in four minor league seasons and over .300 in three minor league seasons; it seems like he deserved a chance to see what he could do at the major league level. After his playing days were over, Jim Wilson coached high school and American Legion baseball in Vancouver, Washington.  He now lives in Corvallis, Oregon, and is a broadcaster for Oregon State football.  He is a member of the Oregon State Sports Hall of Fame.