Happy Birthday–December 6

Jocko Conlan (1899)
Tony Lazzeri (1903)
Stan Hack (1909)
Dan Dobbek (1934)
Tony Horton (1944)
Larry Bowa (1945)
Tim Foli (1950)
Chuck Baker (1952)
Gary Ward (1953)
Juan Carlos Oliva (1954)
Steve Bedrosian (1957)
Larry Sheets (1959)
Kevin Campbell (1964)
Kevin Appier (1967)
Jose Contreras (1971)
Chris Basak (1978)
Jason Bulger (1978)

Jocko Conlan played two seasons of major league baseball, but is best known as a National League umpire from 1941-1965.

The younger brother of Tony Oliva, Juan Carlos Oliva was a star pitcher in Cuba and later became a successful pitching coach there.

Outfielder Daniel John Dobbek was a Washington player who came to the Twins when they moved in 1961. Born in Ontonagon, Michigan, he attended Western Michigan University and was signed as a free agent by Washington in 1955. He had a tremendous year for Class B Hobbs in 1956, hitting .340 with 23 home runs. He missed the next two seasons due to military service. When he came back in 1959, he hit 23 homers for AA Chattanooga. He got a September call-up that year and became a reserve outfielder for Washington in 1960. He hit 10 home runs in 248 at-bats, but hit only .218. Despite that, he tied a major league record by receiving three intentional walks in one game. Dobbek came to Minnesota with the club in 1961, and stayed there about 3/4 of the year, but batted only .168. He spent the rest of the year in the minors, and before the 1962 season was traded to Cincinnati for Jerry Zimmerman. He hit poorly in the minors for the Reds, and was released after the 1963 season, ending his career. Somewhere along the way (when is unclear), he suffered a serious shoulder injury, which clearly hampered his batting. His major league line is .208/.297/.363 in 433 at-bats. At last report, Dan Dobbek was living in Portland, Oregon and was a frequent attendee at Portland Beavers games.

Infielder Charles Joseph Baker finished his brief major league career with Minnesota in 1981. Born in Seattle, he attended Garden Grove High School in Orange, California. He then attended Loyola Marymount, and was drafted four times before signing with San Diego, who took him in the second round of the secondary phase of the January draft in 1975. He apparently was considered a superior fielder, because there is nothing in his minor-league record to suggest he would be a good major league batter. Despite hitting only .243 at AAA Hawaii in 1977, Baker was with San Diego all of 1978 as a defensive replacement, pinch runner, and pinch hitter, hitting .207 in only 58 at-bats. He went back to Hawaii for 1979 and most of 1980. The latter was his best minor-league season, as Baker hit .273. He got 22 more at-bats in the majors that year, and was traded after the year was over to Minnesota for Dave Edwards. He as a reserve shortstop for the Twins in 1981, getting 66 at-bats and hitting .185. The Twins released Baker after the season, and his career was over. There are, of course, any number of Chuck Bakers in this world; there was no way to know which, if any, of the ones found might be our Chuck Baker.

Outfielder Gary Lamell Ward was with Minnesota from 1979-1983, the early years of a pretty substantial major league career. A native of Los Angeles, he went to high school in Compton, California and was signed by the Twins as a free agent in 1972. He advanced slowly through the Twins' system, but finally got people's attention in his second year at AAA, when he hit .294 with an OPS of .828. Still, he only got September callups (he hit for the cycle in his 14th major league game, the earliest in a career a player has done so) until 1981, when a desperate Twins team finally gave him a chance. He did well, hitting .264 and finishing ninth in the Rookie of the Year voting. He had perhaps his best year in the majors in 1982, batting .289 with 28 homers and 91 RBIs. He had another strong season in 1983, making his first all-star team, but was traded in the off-season with Sam Sorce to Texas for John Butcher and Mike Smithson. As a Twin, Ward hit .284/.333/.461, for an OPS+ of 115. He had three more solid seasons for the Rangers, making another all-star team in 1985 and hitting over .300 for the only time in his career in 1986, although he hit only five home runs that season. He became a free agent after the 1986 season and signed with the Yankees, but perhaps due to the pressure of playing in New York, or perhaps due to his age, he did not play particularly well for them. Released in April of 1989, he was signed by Detroit, where he played for two years to finish out his career. He went into coaching after his playing career ended, serving on the staff of the Chicago White Sox from 2001-2008. Gary Ward was the batting coach for the Charlotte Knights for a few years after that, in 2012 was the batting coach for the Class A Winston-Salem Dash, in 2013 was the batting coach of the Birmingham Barons, in 2014 returned to Winston-Salem, all in the White Sox organization.  Since 2015 he has been the batting coach of the AZL White Sox.  He is the father of Daryle Ward, major league player from 1998 through 2008.

Right-hander Stephen Wayne Bedrosian came to the Twins in 1991, near the end of his career. Nicknamed "Bedrock", Bedrosian was born in Methuen, Massachusetts, and attended Methuen High School. He then went to the University of New Haven, and was drafted by Atlanta in the third round in 1978. A starting pitcher in the minors, he had good ERAs at every stop, although his WHIP was relatively high his first couple of years. After a solid 1981 campaign in AAA Richmond, he was called up to the Braves in mid-August, placed in the bullpen, and never returned to the minors (other than a rehab assignment). He did a solid job for the Braves for four years, although he did less well the fourth year, when Bedrosian was switched back to starting. After the 1985 season, he was traded to Philadelphia and returned to the bullpen, where he once again flourished. His best year was 1987, when he led the league with 40 saves, won the Cy Young Award, and finished 16th in MVP voting. He was still pitching well for the Phillies in 1989 when he was traded to San Francisco. Bedrosian had a poor year in 1990, however, and was traded to Minnesota after the season for Johnny Ard and Jimmy Williams. He did a decent job for the Twins as a right-handed setup man, going 5-3 with a 4.42 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP, and six saves in 56 appearances. A free agent after the season, Bedrosian was out of baseball in 1992, but then gave it a last shot with his old team, the Braves. He did not go back to closing, but pitched extremely well in 1993 and pretty well in 1994. He had a poor year in 1995, however, and was again out of baseball after the season, this time for good. He remained in Georgia after his career ended and was elected to the Coweta County Board of Education, serving for ten years.  He was also an assistant baseball coach at East Coweta High School for a while before retiring. Steve Bedrosian is a member of the Coweta Sports Hall of Fame and the University of New Haven Hall of Fame. His son, Cam, was a first-round draft choice of the Angels in 2010 and has pitched in the majors for them from 2014-2017.

Right-hander Kevin Wayne Campbell made 20 appearances with the Twins in 1994-95. A right-hander, Campbell was born in Marianna, Arkansas, went to Des Arc High School in Des Arc, Arkansas, and then attended the University of Arkansas. He was drafted by the Dodgers in the fifth round in 1986. He did fairly well in the low minors, but did not get out of Class A until 1989, when he was coverted from starting to relieving, and did not leave Class A behind for good until 1990. He got his break when he was traded to Oakland before the 1991 season. He split the next three seasons between Oakland and AAA Tacoma, pitching well at AAA every season but doing progressively worse in the big leagues. He became a free agent after the 1993 campaign, and signed with Minnesota. He spent most of his time in AAA in 1994, and did well there. He also did well in about a month and a half with the Twins, going 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. He did less well in 1995, however, and was released in mid-May. Seattle signed him, and Campbell again pitched well in AAA, but was not brought back to the majors, and his career ended after that season. As a Twin, Kevin Campbell posted a 3.41 ERA in 34.1 innings, with a WHIP of 1.11. There was no quick way to determine which of the numerous Kevin Campbells one can find might be the one who played for the Twins, but he was apparently alive and well in 2012, at least, as he spoke at an SABR meeting in Little Rock that year.

Infielder Christopher Joseph Basak never played for the Twins, but was in their minor league system for a time in 2007-2008. Born in North Platte, Nebraska, he attended Minooka High School in Minooka, Illinois, then went to the University of Illinois. Basak was drafted by the Mets in the sixth round in 2000. He advanced through the Mets system fairly quickly, reaching AAA for the first time in 2002, but stalled out there, spending parts of 2002 and 2003 and all of 2004-2008 there except for about a week in 2007. In those AAA seasons, Basak hit .255/.314/.397. He became a minor league free agent after the 2006 campaign and signed with the Yankees, who gave him his only big league time in 2007: three appearances as a defensive replacement, one as a pinch runner, and one as a pinch hitter, his only big-league at-bat (he lined out to deep left). Placed on waivers in August of 2007, the Twins selected him and sent him to Rochester. He remained there until mid-June of 2008, when he was sent back to the Yankees in a conditional deal. Basak became a free agent after the season, and his career came to an end. Chris Basak then became the Director of Player Development for Elite Sports Performance of Oswego, Illinois.  At last report, he was a partner at American Beverage, LLC in the Urbana-Champaign area.

Right-hander Jason Patrick Bulger did not play for the Twins, but went to spring training with them in 2012.  He was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, went to high school in Snellville, Georgia, went to Valdosta State University (the third major leaguer that school has produced), and was drafted by Arizona in the first round in 2001.  He was a starter early in his career and struggled in that role, but did much better when switched to the bullpen in 2004.  He reached AAA in 2005 and made his major league debut with the Diamondbacks in late August of that season.  In late February of 2006, however, he was traded to the Angels.  He saw some major league time each season with the Angels, but did not get significant time until 2009, his first (and so far only) full season in the big leagues.  He did well that year, going 6-1, 3.56, 1.16 WHIP in 65.2 innings (64 appearances).  He started 2010 in Los Angeles, but despite the fact that he does not appear to have been pitching that badly was sent to the minors in mid-June.  He began 2011 in the majors as well and went 0-1, 0.96 in five appearances, but the fact that he walked ten in 9.1 innings caused him to spend the rest of the year in AAA.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Minnesota for 2012 but was released in late March.  He signed with the Yankees and pitched well in AAA but still walked too many batters.  Control was an issue much of his career; he walked 4.3 batters per nine innings in the minors and 5.1 in the majors.   His playing career came to an end after the 2012 season.  At last report, Jason Bulger was living in the Phoenix area and was a core sales manager for ABM Industries, which provides "preventive HVAC service and energy solutions to commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings."

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