Happy Birthday–March 11

Bobby Winkles (1930)
Dock Ellis (1945)
Cesar Geronimo (1948)
Phil Bradley (1959)
Bryan Oelkers (1961)
Steve Reed (1965)
Salomon Torres (1972)
Bobby Abreu (1974)
Rich Hill (1980)
Dan Uggla (1980)
Frank Mata (1984)

Bobby Winkles was the head baseball coach at Arizona State from 1959-1971, winning three College World Series titles. He also managed and coached in the major leagues.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to Zack.

Left-hander Bryan Alois Oelkers made ten appearances for the Twins in 1983. Born in Zaragoza, Spain, Oelkers was the second player born in Spain to reach the major leagues (Al Cabrera, one game in 1913). He attended high school in Maryland Heights, Missouri and then attended Wichita State. After being named NCAA picher of the year in 1982, he was drafted by the Twins with the fourth pick of the 1982 draft, famously drafted ahead of Dwight Gooden. He made eight starts in the minors in 1982 and started 1983 in the Twins' starting rotation. He did well in two of his first three starts, but things went downhill after that. After five poor starts and a couple of poor relief appearances, Oelkers was sent to AAA, where he continued to pitch poorly. in 1984, he bounced back to go 16-11, 3.40 at AA Orlando, pitching a surprising 219.2 innings. He could not repeat his success in 1985 and was traded to Cleveland after the season along with Ken Schrom for Ramon Romero and Roy Smith. After nine successful starts in AAA Maine, Oelkers came up to the Indians in early June. Working mostly out of the bullpen, he did a decent but unexceptional job for them. It would be his last major league season. After a bad year at AAA Buffalo in 1987, the Indians let Oelkers go. He pitched at AAA for Montreal and the Cubs in 1988 and for St. Louis in 1989 before ending his playing career. He is a member of the Wichita State Hall of Fame. Bryan Oelkers is currently a senior vice president of customer implementation for MasterCard Worldwide and is living in the St. Louis area.

Right-handed reliever Frank Jesus Mata did not play for the Twins, but was originally signed by them. He was born in Barcelona, Venezuela, attended high school in Venezuela, and signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 2002. He played in the Venezuelan Summer League for two seasons before coming to Elizabethton in 2004. He pitched quite well there, but then missed the entire 2005 season with an injury. He struggled on his return in 2006 with Class A Beloit. In 2007 and 2008 he pitched well in Ft. Myers, but struggled in both years when promoted to AA New Britain. In New Britain for a full year in 2009, he did better but not all that great and became a free agent after the season. He signed with Baltimore for 2010 and pitched very well in AAA Norfolk, making the majors for a month. He was 0-0, 7.79, 1.85 WHIP in 17.1 innings spread over fifteen games, numbers that are skewed by a few really bad outings. A free agent again after the season, he signed with Florida for 2011, but did not pitch well. He played in the Mexican League in 2012 and played winter ball in Venezuela after the 2013 season, but that appears to have been it.  No information about what Frank Mata has done since then was readily available.