Happy Birthday–January 10

Harry Wright (1835)
Chick Stahl (1873)
Del Pratt (1888)
Ziggy Sears (1892)
Max Patkin (1920)
George Strickland (1926)
Jim O'Toole (1937)
Willie McCovey (1938)
Chuck Dobson (1944)
Wilfredo Sanchez (1948)
Richard Dotson (1959)
Kelvin Torve (1960)
Wally Bell (1965)
Kevin Baez (1967)
Gary Rath (1973)
Adam Kennedy (1976)

 Outfielder Ziggy Sears played in the minors for sixteen years, mostly in the Texas League.  He once drove in eleven runs in a game.  He was a National League umpire from 1934-1945.

Max Patkin was a well-known baseball clown from 1944-1995.

Wilfredo Sanchez was a star in Cuba from 1968-1986, winning five batting titles.

Wally Bell was a major league umpire from 1992-2013, when he passed away from a heart attack.

First baseman Kelvin Curtis Torve was with the Twins for about a month in 1988. Born in Rapid City, South Dakota, Torve attended Oral Roberts University, then was drafted by San Francisco in the second round in 1981. He had some solid years in the Giants' minor-league system, but appeared to top out at AA and was traded to Baltimore after the 1984 season. He again did well in AA in 1985, but less well when placed in AAA for 1986 and 1987. Torve became a minor league free agent after the 1987 campaign, and was signed by Minnesota. He hit .301 for AAA Portland in 1988 and was promoted to Minnesota in late June as a pinch-hitter and reserve first baseman. He batted only 16 times, hitting .188 with one home run (hit off Stu Cliburn) before being sent back to Portland in late July. Torve had another good year in Portland in 1989, but became a free agent after the season, signing with the Mets. He hit well for AAA Tidewater in 1990 and 1991, getting brief appearances in the majors both years. He is the last player to wear the number 24 for the Mets, having been accidentally given the number briefly after it had been unoffically retired in honor of Willie Mays. He was released by the Mets after the 1991 season, went to Japan for two seasons, and then called it a career. When asked about his hitting ability, Torve said, "I hit well enough to be employed for thirteen years." Kelvin Torve has moved back to Rapid City and was recently named the head coach of the  Post 22 American Legion baseball team.  If you're not from around here, it's hard to explain to you what a big deal that team is in Rapid City.

Shortstop Kevin Richard Baez did not play in Minnesota, but was in the Twins' minor-league system for a year. A native of Brooklyn, he attended high school there and then went to Dominican College of Orangeburg, New Jersey, one of two major league players that school has produced (Frank Cimorelli). He was drafted by the Mets in the seventh round in 1988. Baez had an undistinguished minor league career, but kept getting promoted a level every season and reached AAA in 1991. He actually made his major league debut before that, getting 12 at-bats with the Mets in 1990. He made another brief major league appearance in 1992, and in 1993 was brought up in mid-June to spend the rest of the season with New York as a reserve infielder. He never hit, and should not have been expected to, as he did not hit well in the minors. In the big leagues, Kevin Baez compiled an average of .179 in 151 major league at-bats. He kept plugging away in the minors for several more years. After the 1993 season, he was traded to Baltimore. A free agent after the season, he moved to the Tigers organization for 1995-1996, and then signed with the Twins for 1997. He actually had a pretty good year in AAA Salt Lake, hitting .274. He moved back to the Tigers for 1998, but was traded to Cincinnati before the season started. He went back to the Mets' organization early in 1999, staying there through 2001. He then played independent ball through 2005, going back to the Reds organization briefly in 2003. Kevin Baez became a coach for the independent Long Island Ducks in 2009 and became their manager in 2011.

Left-hander Alfred Gary Rath made five appearances, one of them a start, for Minnesota in 1999. He was born in Gulfport, Mississippi and went to high school in Long Beach Mississippi. Rath then attended Mississippi State and was drafted by the Dodgers in the second round in 1994. He basically topped out at AA; he never had an ERA under four at any level higher than that. In 1998, after three not very good years at AAA, Rath made his major league debut with the Dodgers, pitching 3.1 innings over three games and giving up four earned runs. He became a free agent after the season and signed with Minnesota. He was having another poor year at AAA in 1999 when the Twins brought him up for a start in late May. He gave up five runs in three innings, taking the loss. Rath then made four relief appearances before being sent back to Salt Lake. As a Twin, he was 0-1, 11.57 in 4.2 innings. He finished out the year in Salt Lake and then again became a free agent. He appeared briefly in the Boston and Arizona organizations in 2000 and also pitched some independent ball. He then began pitching overseas, pitching in South Korea in 2001-2002, 2004, and 2008; in Japan in 2003 and 2005; in Venezuela in 2006; and in Taiwan in 2007. In 2009, Gary Rath became the head baseball coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, a position he held until resigning in May of 2014.  At last report, Gary Rath was an insurance agent with State Farm in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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