Happy Birthday–October 10

Otto Hess (1878)
Bill Killefer (1887)
Wally Berger (1905)
John Stone (1905)
Floyd Baker (1916)
Bobby Tiefenauer (1929)
Don Schaly (1937)
Gene Tenace (1946)
Roger Metzger (1947)
Terry Enyart (1950)
Les Straker (1959)
Jim Weaver (1959)
Ramon Martinez (1972)
Placido Polanco (1975)
Pat Burrell (1976)
Brad Ziegler (1979)
Troy Tulowitzki (1980)
Kolten Wong (1990)

Don Schaly was the head baseball coach at Marietta College for forty years.  His teams reached the finals of the Division III College World Series ten times, winning three times.

Kolten Wong was drafted by Minnesota in the sixteenth round in 2008, but did not sign.

We would like to wish a happy birthday to Can of Corn's Niblet.

Left-hander Terry Gene Enyart did not play for the Twins, but he was in their farm system for over four years. He was born in Ironton, Ohio, went to high school in Titusville, Florida, attended Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Florida, and was chosen by Philadelphia with the seventh pick of the 1969 January draft. For reasons that are unclear, he left the Phillies organization in April of that year, and was signed by Minnesota as a free agent in May of 1969. He pitched fairly well but had trouble with his control, walking over five batters per nine innings in his first three seasons in the minors. He seemed to have conquered that in 1972, his second year at AA, when he dropped his walks to 3.2 per nine innings. He took a step backward in 1973, however, and the Twins released him early in the season. He signed with Montreal in late June of 1973 and they again sent him to AA, making him a full-time reliever (he had both started and relieved in the Twins’ organization). He moved up to AAA in 1974, and while he was still walking quite a few batters he pitched well enough to make his major league debut in mid-June. He appeared in two games, worked 1.2 innings, and gave up six runs (three earned) on four hits and four walks. Those are his major league totals; he went back to AAA in early July and never made it back to the big leagues. He was with Montreal through 1977, then went to the Oakland organization for over two seasons. At mid-season of 1980 he went to the Detroit system, pitching in AA, and then his playing career was over. His life after baseball did not go well, as he developed problems with alcohol. Sadly, Terry Enyart passed away on February 15, 2007 in Zephyrhills, Florida, shooting himself following a domestic altercation.

Right-hander Lester Paul (Bolnalda) Straker pitched for the Twins in 1987 and 1988. He was born in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela and signed by Cincinnati as a free agent in 1977. He pitched well in rookie and A ball, but flopped in a couple of tries at AA with the Reds. He became a minor-league free agent after the 1983 season, and signed with Oakland. Sent to AA again, Straker's numbers were better in 1984, but still nothing to get excited about, and the Athletics released him. The Twins signed Straker in January of 1985 and sent him to AA one more time. Now 25, Straker finally had a good year there, winning 16 games with a 3.08 ERA for Orlando. He did fairly well again in 1986 at AAA Toledo, and came to the Twins the following year. Straker was in the Twins' rotation for a year and a half, doing a steady, decent job, and was a substantial contributor to the 1987 World Championship. He was the first Venezuelan ever to pitch in the World Series. He was injured in June of 1988, missing two and a half months of the season. He came back in September and pitched well, but it was to be his last shot at the big leagues. Straker was sent to AAA Portland in 1989, and did not pitch well enough to get called back up. He signed with Montreal in 1990, but made only three appearances with AAA Indianapolis before his career came to an end. In his big league career, all of which was with the Twins, Les Straker appeared in 47 games, 40 of them starts. He was 10-15 with a 4.22 ERA in 237 innings, with an ERA+ of 105.  In recent years, he has been an instructor in the low minors with the Philadelphia Phillies.  He was the pitching coach of one of the Dominican Summer League entries in 2017.

Outfielder James Francis Weaver did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system for over five years. He was born in Kingston, New York, went to Florida State, and was drafted by Minnesota in the second round in 1980. He showed some power in the minors, hitting double-digit home runs each season from 1982-1987, but struggled to keep his average up as he advanced to higher levels. The Tigers chose him in the 1984 rule 5 draft and tried to keep him in the majors, but when he had only seven at-bats in late May of 1985 they sent him back to the Twins. On August 1 of 1985 the Twins traded him to Cleveland along with Jay Bell, Curt Wardle, and a player to be named later (Rich Yett) for Bert Blyleven. He stayed with the Indians through 1986, then was released. He signed with Seattle and had a good year at AAA Calgary, getting a September call-up. He got four more at-bats, but was released again after the season. He signed with Houston for 1988, moved on to the White Sox for 1989, was traded to San Francisco in mid-August, and got another September call-up, getting twenty at-bats this time. He played in AAA for Seattle in 1990, then his playing career came to an end. His lifetime major league numbers are .161/.235/.290 in 31 at-bats.  No current information about what Jim Weaver is doing was readily available.

Leave a Reply