Happy Birthday–February 15

Sliding Billy Hamilton (1866)
Charlie Irwin (1869)
Jimmy Ring (1895)
George Earnshaw (1900)
Larry Goetz (1900)
Lorenzo Ponza (1915)
Chuck Estrada (1938)
Ron Cey (1948)
Rick Auerbach (1950)
Joe Hesketh (1959)
Mark Davidson (1961)
Melido Perez (1966)
Ugueth Urbina (1974)
Alex Gonzalez (1977)
Luis Ugueto (1979)
Russell Martin (1983)

Lorenzo Ponza invented the modern pitching machine.

Larry Goetz was a National League umpire from 1936-1957.

Outfielder John Mark Davidson played for the Twins from 1986-1988.  His father, Max Davidson, was a minor league outfielder from 1947-1954.  Mark Davidson was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and attended both the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Clemson.  He was drafted by Minnesota in the eleventh round in 1982.  He was up and down in the minors, but got people's attention in 1985, when he hit .302 with 25 home runs for AA Orlando.  He did not do as well in 1986, when he was promoted to AAA, but still was with Minnesota for about two months as a reserve outfielder.  He did nothing that year, batting only .118 in 68 at-bats, but was with the Twins for all of 1987 and most of 1988.  He was decent as a reserve in 1987, batting .267, but fell to .217 in 1988.  Davidson started 1989 in the minors, then was traded to Houston in May for a player to be named later (Greg Johnson).  Houston initially kept him in AAA, but brought him to the majors for the second half of the season.  He split 1990 between AAA and the majors and was with Houston all of 1991 (always as a reserve).  He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Cleveland organization, spending two years at AAA before ending his playing career.  As a Twin, Mark Davidson hit .219/.283/.287 in 324 at-bats spread over three seasons.  At last report, Mark Davidson was living in Statesville, North Carolina and was working in marketing for Wikoff Color Corporation, which makes packaging and containers.

Infielder Luis Enrique Ugueto did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system in 2007.  He was born in Caracas, Venezuela, went to high school in Maracay, Venezuela, and signed with Florida as a free agent in 1996.  He had no power, and while he had some decent minor league batting averages, he did not hit for a terribly high average.  He stole some bases, but not a huge number, and did not draw a ton of walks, either.  He was considered a tremendous defensive player, however, and because of that he played in the minors for quite a few years.  He stayed in rookie and A ball through 2001, hitting a combined .243.  His last year in Class A, he hit .263/.330/.342.  After the 2001 season, he was selected by Pittsburgh in the Rule 5 draft and was sold to Seattle the same day.  He spent the 2002 season in the majors but was used mostly as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, appearing in 62 games but making only 25 plate appearances.  He was in the majors for about a month in 2003 in a similar role, appearing in twelve games and getting six plate appearances.  He was in AAA for the Mariners in 2004 and actually had the best year of his career, hitting .271/.341/.440 in Tacoma, but it was not good enough.  He became a free agent after the season and was in AAA with Kansas City in 2005; however, he was suspended twice for using performance-enhancing drugs and was released in August.  He played in Taiwan in 2006; then the Twins signed him in 2007.  He was mostly in Ft. Myers, appearing in seven games for Rochester, and hit a combined .223/.288/.299.  He played in Italy in 2008 and for Laredo in the independent United Baseball League in 2009.  It is unclear what he was doing in 2010, but in 2011 he played briefly for Yuma of the North American League.  He played for Anzoategui in the Venezuelan league that winter, but did not catch on with anyone for 2012.  He continued to play winter ball for a couple more years, but it does not appear that he played this winter.  His major league record is .214/.290/.321 in 74 games (28 at-bats).  At last report, Luis Ugueto was operating the Luis Ugueto Baseball Academy in San Cristobal, Venezuela.

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