Happy Birthday–January 12

Henry Larkin (1860)
Tom Kinslow (1866)
George Browne (1876)
Joe Hauser (1899)
Lee Allen (1915)
Alfredo Ortiz (1944)
Ron Polk (1944)
Paul Reuschel (1947)
Randy Jones (1950)
Terry Whitfield (1953)
Tim Hulett (1960)
Mike Marshall (1960)
Casey Candaele (1961)
Andy Fox (1971)
Luis Ayala (1978)
Dontrelle Willis (1982)

Joe Hauser twice hit over 60 home runs in a season in AAA.

Historian and writer Lee Allen contributed much to the Hall of Fame and to the first edition of the Baseball Encyclopedia.

Alfredo Ortiz won 287 games in the minor leagues, mostly in the Mexican League, and 104 more in the Mexican Winter League.

Ron Polk was a very successful college baseball coach, most notably at Mississippi State.

The Mike Marshall listed above is the outfielder/first baseman who played mostly for the Dodgers.

Infielder Andrew Junipero Fox did not play for the Twins, but went to spring training with them in 2005. Born and raised in Sacramento, he was drafted by the Yankees in the second round in 1989. He started very slowly, hitting a combined .231 in four seasons of rookie and Class A ball. He had a better year in AA in 1993, hitting .275, but slumped to .222 in AA the following season. Finally, in 1995, he got things going, batting .296 with 14 homers in a year spent mostly at AAA. In 1996, he got his first full season for the big leagues, but batted just .196 as a reserve infielder for the Yankees and found himself back in the minors in 1997. A solid season in AAA earned him a September call-up, but he was traded to Arizona the following March. He was a regular in the batting order for the Diamondbacks in 1998 but had no regular position, starting games at each outfield position and each infield position except shortstop. He responded with his best major league season, hitting .277 with an OPS of .751. Oddly, shortstop became his primary position in 1999, as he was a semi-regular there and hit .255. He was traded to Florida in June of 2000. He stayed there through 2003, filling a reserve role each season but 2002, when he was the regular shortstop. Once again, he did better as a regular than as a reserve, but not enough better that a team would want to keep using him as a regular. A free agent after 2003, he signed with Texas, but was left unprotected and was chosen by Montreal in the Rule 5 draft. He was with the Expos through mid-July, was released, and finished the season with Texas. A free agent again, he signed with Minnesota for 2005, but was released in late March. He signed with the Angels on April 1, but retired four weeks later, ending his playing career. Fox has stayed in baseball as a manager and coach both in the majors and minors.  At last report, Andy Fox was the minor league infield coordinator for the Boston Red Sox.

Right-handed reliever Luis Ignacio Ayala played for Minnesota for about half of the 2009 season. He was born in Los Mochis, New Mexico, and attended high school there. He was playing in the Mexican League when he was purchased by the Colorado Rockies in October of 1999. He played in the Colorado minor league system, but failed to impress and was sold back to Saltillo in the Mexican League in May of 2001. He was purchased by Montreal in August of 2002 and pitched well in his brief time in AAA that year, but became a free agent after the season and was signed by Arizona. Left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft, the Expos drafted him, and he was a valuable member of their bullpen for the next three years. Injured in 2006, he came back to have another fine year for the team, by then playing in Washington, in 2007. For a while, it looked like that might be the last good year Ayala had. He pitched poorly in 2008 for Washington, was traded to the Mets in mid-August, and continued to pitch poorly. Signed by Minnesota for 2009, he did better, but nothing that great--he was 1-2, 4.18 with a WHIP of 1.42 in 32.1 innings--and when he complained about how he was used, Ayala was released in early July. Florida signed him, and he pitched ten scoreless innings in AAA before being brought up to the Marlins, where he gave up ten earned runs in 7.2 innings. He was apparently the subject of an attempted kidnapping over the winter of 2009-2010. He was in AAA for the Dodgers, Arizona, and Colorado in 2010, not pitching very well for any of them. It appeared that his career might be over, but the Yankees signed him for 2011.  Surprisingly, he made the team of out of spring training and stayed almost the entire season.  Even more surprisingly, he had a very good year, going 2-2, 2.09, 1.27 WHIP in 56 innings (52 appearances).  A free agent after the season, he signed with Baltimore for 2012 and turned in another very good year.  He started 2013 with the Orioles, but in early April he was traded to Atlanta, for whom he had a rather high walk total (in only 31 innings) but otherwise pitched well.   That turned out to be his swan song, though.  He signed with Washington for 2014 but was released half-way through spring training.  He signed with Baltimore, spent a couple of months pitching poorly in AAA, and was released again.  He signed with Toronto, again pitched poorly in AAA, and was released again.  He also made eight appearances for Tabasco in the Mexican League and did well there.  He has continued to pitch in the Mexican League through 2017.  He turns forty today.  He did have a good year last year, so one suspects Luis Ayala's playing career is probably over.

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