Happy Birthday–December 7

Denny Galehouse (1911)
Dick Donovan (1927)
Hal Smith (1930)
Don Cardwell (1935)
Bo Belinsky (1936)
Alex Johnson (1942)
Johnny Bench (1947)
Ozzie Virgil (1956)
Shane Mack (1963)
Tino Martinez (1967)
Eric Chavez (1977)
Saul Rivera (1977)
Yasiel Puig (1990)

Outfielder Shane Lee Mack played for Minnesota from 1990-1994, which were the best years of his career. Born in Los Angeles, he attended Gahr High School in Cerritos, California and then went to UCLA. He was drafted by San Diego with the 11th pick of the 1984 draft. He was off to a tremendous start at AAA Las Vegas in 1987, hitting .336, when the Padres called him up in late May. He struggled in a part-time role, however, and was back with Las Vegas in 1988. Again hitting very well, he was given a starting job with the Padres, but again had trouble at bat and was back in AAA by late July. After an injury-plagued 1989, all of which was spent in the minors, Mack was left unprotected by San Diego, and was selected by Minnesota in the rule 5 draft. It was a good move. Mack hit over .300 in four of his five years with the Twins, and also had an OPS over .850 in four of his five years. A free agent after 1994, the players' strike left Mack without a contract, and so he accepted a large contract to play for the Yomiuri Giants. After two years in Japan, Mack came back to the United States, but would never again be a starting outfielder. He signed with Boston in 1997 and hit .315 in a reserve role. A free agent again after the season, he signed with Oakland, but got only two at-bats with the Athletics before being traded in early April to Kansas City. He again hit well in a reserve role, but again became a free agent. He was signed by San Diego in December of 1998, but did not play again. As a Twin, Shane Mack hit .309/.375/.479, for an OPS+ of 130. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. At last report, Shane Mack was an instructor with Around the Horn Academy, a baseball training school in Fallbrook, California, but it is unclear whether he is still working for them.  His son, Casey, played baseball for Florida Gulf Coast University.

Right-hander Rabell Saul Rivera did not play for the Twins, but was originally drafted by them. The right-hander was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and attended the University of Mobile. He was drafted by Minnesota in the ninth round in 1998. A reliever, he pitched pretty well in the Twins' minor-league system for three year, advancing as high as AA in that time. During the 2001-02 off-season, he was selected on waivers by the Mets. He did not stay there long, as he became the player to be named later in a deal with Montreal, going to the Expos organization in mid-July of 2002. He was apparently injured in 2003, as he did not play at all, and in July of 2004 Rivera was traded to Milwaukee. Still in AA, he became a minor-league free agent after the season and signed with Washington. The Nationals again placed him in AA; in all, he spent five seasons at AA. Despite the fact that he had an ERA of 3.22 in those seasons, teams were obviously hesitant to advance him any farther. Once they decided to move him up, however, it happened quickly; after only 12 games of AAA in 2006, Rivera was in the big leagues. He was a solid contributor to the Nationals bullpen from 2006-08, but stumbled in 2009, was sent down to AAA in early May, and spent most of the rest of the season there. He was released after the season, signed with Cleveland a couple of weeks later, was sold to Arizona in mid-May, was released in late July, and signed with Cleveland in late August. He made four appearances for the Diamondbacks in mid-to-late May of 2010.  He played briefly in the Mexican League in 2011 but was not very effective.  He moved on to the Atlantic League in 2012, having a fine season for Sugar Land. He does not appear to have played anywhere in the summer 2013.  He signed with Long Island in the Atlantic League for 2014 but does not appear to have actually pitched for them.  He continued to play winter ball through 2015, then his playing career ended.  At last report, Saul Rivera was an instructor with Quinco Sports Academy in Winter Park, Florida but again, it could not be confirmed that he is still working there.

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