Happy Birthday–February 16

Alex Ferguson (1897)
Parnell Woods (1912)
Creepy Crespi (1918)
Atsushi Aramaki (1926)
Bobby Darwin (1943)
Terry Crowley (1947)
Bob Didier (1949)
Glenn Abbott (1951)
Jerry Hairston (1952)
Barry Foote (1952)
Bill Pecota (1960)
Eric Bullock (1960)
Dwayne Henry (1962)
Jerome Bettis (1972)
Eric Byrnes (1976)
Tommy Milone (1987)

Parnell Woods was an infielder in the Negro Leagues for fourteen years.  He later became the business manager for the Harlem Globetrotters.

Atsushi Aramaki was a dominant pitcher in Japan in the 1950s and is a member of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.

Better known as an NFL running back, Jerome Bettis is a part-owner of the Altoona Curve and the State College Spikes.

Outfielder Arthur Bobby Lee Darwin played for the Twins in the early-to-mid 1970s.  Born in Los Angeles, he attended high school in Watts and was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Angels in 1962.  The signing was not as outfielder, but as a pitcher.  He made his big-league debut that same year, getting a September call-up and pitching 3.1 innings.  He also batted once and struck out, which was a sign of things to come.  It would be seven years before he made a major league appearance again.  Based on sporadic minor-league records, he appears to have struck out quite a few batters, but also walked a lot of batters.  He spent five years in the Baltimore system, never getting higher than AA.  He had a good year for AA Elmira in 1968, going 10-6, 2.21 with a 1.12 WHIP.  At that point, Darwin was left unprotected and was selected by the Dodgers in the Rule 5 draft.  He started 1969 with the Dodgers, but pitched sporadically and poorly, and did no better when he was sent to AAA.  He was now 27 years old and did not appear to be a prospect at all, but apparently someone noticed that this Darwin kid was a pretty fair hitter, and moved him to the outfield.  He spent two years in the minors working on his batting, playing in the big leagues for a little over a month in 1971.  After the season was over, the Dodgers traded Darwin to the Twins for Paul Powell.  Minnesota immediately made him a starting outfielder, initially putting him in center, then shifting him to right.  He showed some power, averaging over twenty homers per season, and did well when he made contact.  Making contact, however, was the problem:  Darwin led the league in strikeouts every year that he was a regular player.  As a Twin, Bobby Darwin hit .257/.318/.417 in 1,817 at-bats, striking out 453 times.  In June of 1975, with Darwin off to a slow start, the Twins traded him to Milwaukee for Johnny Briggs.  The Brewers gave Darwin a chance as a regular, but gradually reduced his playing time.  He was traded to the Red Sox in June of 1976, was traded to the Cubs in May of 1977, and was released in August, ending his career.  Still, for a guy who went undrafted and spent his first eight professional years trying to be a pitcher, Bobby Darwin didn't do too badly.  His grandson, Andrew Darwin, was selected in the 2008 amateur draft, but apparently did not sign.  An internet search for Bobby Darwin leads to information about singer Bobby Darin and about a song by country artist Tracy Lawrence called "Bobby Darwin's Daughter."  Upon ending his playing career, however, our Bobby Darwin became a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a job he continued to hold at last report.

Outfielder/first baseman/designated hitter Terrence Michael Crowley did not play for the Twins, but was their hitting coach from 1991-1998.  He was born in Staten Island, New York, went to high school there.  He attended the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University and was drafted by Baltimore in the eleventh round in 1966.  He was decent, but nothing to attract anyone's attention, until 1969, when he hit .282 with 28 homers for AAA Rochester.  That earned him a September call-up, and in 1970 Crowley got his first full year in the big leagues as a bench player, batting .257 with five homers in 152 at-bats.  He was used almost exclusively against right-handed pitching, a pattern which would hold throughout his career.  In 1971 Crowley took a step backward, going to AAA for most of the year, although he spent about six weeks in Baltimore, where he was used almost entirely as a pinch-hitter.  In 1972 he was back in the majors and got the most playing time he would get in a big league season, playing in 97 games and batting 247 times.  He hit only .231, although he did hit 11 home runs.  His playing time was roughly cut in half in 1973, his production fell, and he was sold to Texas after the season.  Crowley never played a game for the Rangers, though--he was sold again, this time to Cincinnati, just before the season.  He was used primarily as a pinch-hitter for the Reds for two years, and did about as well as one could expect in that role.  He was traded to Atlanta in April of 1976, was released in early May after getting only six at-bats, and three weeks later re-signed with Baltimore.  He spent part of 1976 and most of 1977 in Rochester (hitting .308 there in 1977), then was a reserve for the Orioles through 1982.  His best year was 1980, when he hit .288 with 12 home runs in 233 at-bats.  Crowley was released by the Orioles just before the 1983 season, signed with Montreal, and retired after the season.  He became the Baltimore batting coach in 1985, was the batting coach for the Twins from 1991 through 1998, and then went back to Baltimore, where he was the batting coach through 2010.  After that, he opted for semi-retirement, agreeing to serve as a special advisor and roving minor-league coach for the Orioles in 2011.  In June, however, he became the Orioles’ bullpen coach, replacing Rick Adair, who became the pitching coach.  He returned to his role as a special advisor for the Orioles in 2012, a job he still held at last report.

Outfielder Eric Gerald Bullock got seventeen at-bats for the Twins in 1988.  He was born in Los Angeles, went to high school in South Gate, California, and was drafted by Houston in the first round of the secondary phase of the 1981 draft.  He hit for a high average with a fair number of doubles throughout the minor leagues.  In 1985, he hit .319 at AAA Tucson, and hit .384 there in 1986 (though in only 151 at-bats).  The Astros were reluctant to give him a chance, however; in both years he was briefly in the majors, but got only a total of 46 at-bats.  Once again sent back to AAA in 1987, he was having a down year when he was traded to Minnesota for Clay Christiansen in June.  The Twins left Bullock in AAA the rest of that year and most of 1988, but brought him to the majors in late July.  He was used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter, playing in 16 games and getting 17 at-bats.  He went 5-for-17 with three walks and no extra-base hits.  After the season, Bullock was traded to Philadelphia with Tom Herr and Tom Nieto for Shane Rawley.  He had another decent year in AAA, batted four times in the majors, and became a free agent after the 1989 season.  He signed with Montreal for 1990, had another decent year, and got two more at-bats in the majors.  Finally, in 1991, Eric Bullock got a full year in the majors.  Again, he was used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter, playing in 73 games but coming to bat only 82 times.  He began 1992 in in the majors as well, but was sent down at the end of April after only five at-bats.  He would never return to the big leagues:  he was at AAA for the Expos for the remainder of the season, went to the Mets' organization for 1993, was out of baseball in 1994, and went to the Padres' organization in 1995 before his career came to an end.  A lifetime .294 hitter in the minors, he never got more than 72 at-bats in a major league season.  He did some minor league coaching in 1999 for Ft. Wayne.  At last report, Eric Bullock was a supervisor for UTi Integrated Logistics of Glendale, Arizona, a company that  provides services through a network of freight forwarding offices and contract logistics centers.

Left-hander Tomaso Anthony Milone pitched for the Twins from 2014-2016.  Born and raised in Saugus, California, he attended USC and was drafted by Washington in the tenth round in 2008.  He showed an inability to win that season, going 1-6 in Class A despite a 3.51 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.  He found the ability to win the next season, going 12-5 in Class A in 2009, 12-5 in AA in 2010, and 12-6 in AAA in 2011, posting excellent ERAs and WHIPs in each season.  He made his major league debut in 2011 as a September call-up and did well in five starts, going 1-0, 3.81, 1.23 WHIP in 26 innings.  The Nationals traded him to Oakland as part of a multi-player deal that off-season and he was in the Athletics' starting rotation all of 2012 and 2013.  He did well both years, going a combined 25-19, 3.92, 1.28 WHIP.  He started 2014 in the Athletics' starting rotation and was again pitching well but Oakland soured on him, sending him down at the all-star break and trading him to Minnesota at the end of July for Sam Fuld.  After one AAA start the Twins brought him up and placed him in the starting rotation, where he made one decent start and four pretty bad ones.  It was mystifying how someone who had such a track record of success in the majors could suddenly become so awful.  The mystery was solved when it was revealed that he had been trying pitch through a neck injury, a plan that worked out about as well as it usually does.  He pitched well for the Twins in twenty-three starts in 2015.  A year ago, we wrote, "There's no reason Tommy Milone should not be in the starting rotation for the Twins in 2016."  Well, he was, but he didn't stay there.  He made four not-very-good starts in April, was sent to the bullpen and then to the minors, came back to the rotation in late June, made three fairly good starts and four not-good ones, went back to the bullpen and then back to the minors, and finished out the season in the Twins' bullpen.  He became a free agent after the season and signed with Milwaukee.  As a Twin, Tommy Milone was 12-11, 4.79, 1.45 WHIP.  On the one hand, one feels he didn't get a very long chance with the Twins, given how desperate they've been for starting pitchers.  On the other hand, however, one has to admit he didn't do a lot with the chance he did get.  We wish him good luck in Milwaukee.

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