Happy Birthday–March 12

Abraham Mills (1884)
Denny Lyons (1866)
Leroy Matlock (1907)
Vern Law (1930)
Durwood Merrill (1938)
Johnny Callison (1939)
Jimmy Wynn (1942)
Bill Butler (1947)
Larry Rothschild (1954)
Ruppert Jones (1955)
Dale Murphy (1956)
Mike Quade (1957)
Darryl Strawberry (1962)
Shawn Gilbert (1965)
Steve Finley (1965)
Raul Mondesi (1971)
Greg Hansell (1971) 
David Lee (1973)
P. J. Walters (1985)

Abraham Mills was president of the Mills Commission, which determined that Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball in Cooperstown, New York in 1839.

Leroy Matlock was a star pitcher in the Negro Leagues in the 1930s.

Durwood Merrill was a major league umpire from 1977-2002.

Left-hander William Franklin Butler pitched for the Twins in parts of three seasons:  1974, 1975, and 1977.  He was born in Hyattsville, Maryland and went to high school in Herndon, Virginia.  He was drafted by Detroit in the 37th round in 1965.  He pitched pretty well in the low minors, but did not reach AA until the end of 1967.  He was shifted to the bullpen in 1968 and continued to pitch well in AA.  Butler was left unprotected in the expansion draft, however, and was selected by Kansas City.  He was with the Royals for all of 1969.  He went back to starting and did decently, going 9-10, 3.90 in 193.2 innings.  He was did about as well again in 1970, but started 1971 in AAA Omaha, coming back to Kansas City in late June.  He again did okay, but the Royals clearly had no faith in him, as the again started him in the minors in 1972 and then sold him to Cleveland in July.  He got a September call-up with the Indians and pitched well in 11.2 innings.  It did him no good, as he was in the minors all of 1973 and was traded to Minnesota after the season, along with Dick Colpaert, for Mike Brooks and Jim Strickland.  Butler made four good starts at AAA Tacoma and was called up to Minnesota in mid-May.  Used about equally as a starter and a reliever, Butler went 4-6, 4.10 with a 1.49 WHIP.  He was used more as a reliever in 1975, but did not do as well.  He had an unspectacular 1976 in Tacoma and did not do much better there in 1977, when he was shifted back to a starting role.  Butler was with the Twins for about a month that season, his last shot at the majors, and pitched poorly.  The Twins traded him to the Dodgers for Rex Hudson after the season.  He was in the AAA Albuquerque bullpen all season, pitched poorly, and his playing career was over.  At last report, it appeared that Bill Butler was living in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and was working with youth there.

Outfielder/infielder Gregory Michael Quade did not play for the Twins, but he managed the Rochester Red Wings from 2015-2017.  He was born in Evanston, Illinois, went to the University of New Orleans, and was drafted by Pittsburgh in the twenty-second round in 1979.  He had some decent batting averages and drew a good number of walks, but had very little power.  He remained in the Pittsburgh organization through 1983 but spent nearly all of that time in Class A, only reaching AA for sixty-three games in 1981.  He was mostly an outfielder, but also played every position of the infield except first base and was twice used as a mop-up pitcher.  He became a minor-league manager in 1985 and has been a manager or coach most of the rest of the time.  In seventeen years as a minor league manager his teams have reached the playoffs eight times and won the league championship twice.  He was the manager of the Chicago Cubs at the end of 2010 and for all of 2011, where he joined a long list of managers who failed to win anything with the Cubs.  He was been the manager of the Rochester Red Wings, the Twins' AAA team, from 2015-2017.  Mike Quade will be a roving minor league outfield instructor for the Twins in 2018.

Utility player Albert Shawn Gilbert was drafted by the Twins, but never played for them.  He was born in Camden, New Jersey, but went to high school in Avondale, Arizona.  He then attended Cal State--Fresno and Arizona State and was drafted by Minnesota in the 12th round in 1987.  He was in the Twins' minor league system for six years.  He was a shortstop for the first four years, shifted to the outfield in his fifth season, and played all over the place in year six.  His best season was 1988, when he hit .288, mostly for Class A Kenosha.  He had little power, never topping five home runs and not even hitting that many doubles.  He reached AAA in 1992, but hit only .245 in Portland.  Gilbert was placed on waivers after the season and signed with the White Sox.  He did no better at AAA for them, became a free agent after the season, and signed with Philadelphia.  He had a couple of mediocre years in AAA there, became a free agent again, and signed with the Mets.  He was not particularly better as a Met, but his persistence paid of in 1997, when he made his major league debut.  He came up in early June and was used mostly as a pinch-hitter/defensive replacement, getting 22 at-bats in 29 games.  Gilbert started 1998 in the Mets' system, then was traded to St. Louis in June.  Most of his 1998 was in the minors, although he got five major league at-bats (three with the Mets, two with St. Louis).  He became a free agent again after the season and signed with the Dodgers.  He had the best years of his career in AAA with the Dodgers, hitting over .300 for three consecutive years and in the .330s the last two years.  He was in his mid-thirties by then, and obviously not a prospect, but spent a month in the majors in 2000, used mostly as a defensive replacement.  He spent his last two years as a player at AAA in Pittsburgh, ending his playing career after the 2003 season.  He played seventeen years in the minors, twelve of them in AAA, but got only 47 at-bats in the majors, hitting .149.  Still, it's 47 more at-bats than most of us will ever get, and he got to spend seventeen years doing something he apparently loved doing.  He was an assistant baseball coach for Fresno Pacific University from 2009-2010, then was an assistant baseball coach for Long Beach State, and at last report was the head baseball coach at Servite High School in Orange County, California.

Right-hander Gregory Michael Hansell was a reliever for the Twins in 1996.  Born in Bellflower, California, he attended high school in La Palma, California and was drafted by Boston in the tenth round in 1989.  Originally a starter, he got off to a good start in the low minors, but was traded to the Mets in July of 1990 as part of a deal for first baseman Mike Marshall.  At the end of the year, he was traded again, this time to the Dodgers.  After a strong year in Class A Bakersfield in 1991, the Dodgers promoted Hansell as high as AAA in 1992.  He struggled there, but had a fine year after being moved to the bullpen in 1994.  He was apparently injured part of 1995, and was traded to the Twins at the July deadline along with Ron Coomer, Jose Parra, and a player to be named later (Chris Latham) for Kevin Tapani and Mark Guthrie.  the Twins kept him in the minors the rest of that season, but Hansell was in Minnesota in 1996, his only full season in the major leagues.  Used exclusively in relief, he was 3-0 with three saves in 50 appearances.  His ERA, however, was 5.69 and his WHIP was 1.53.  Less than impressed, the Twins put Hansell on waivers after the season.  He was claimed by Boston, but released in spring training of 1997, signing with Milwaukee.  He had a poor year in AAA for the Brewers and became a free agent after the season.  Hansell signed with Arizona, was released in March of 1998, signed with Oakland, and was traded to Kansas City in early May.  Again a free agent after 1998, he signed with San Francisco, was released right before the 1999 season, and signed with Pittsburgh.  He started the season in AAA but came up to the majors in mid-June and stayed the rest of the season.  He actually had a good year in limited use, posting a 3.89 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 39.1 innings.  It would be his last time in the big leagues, however; after the 1999 season, Hansell was sold to the Hanshin Tigers, where he stayed for three seasons.  In 2003, at age 32, he came back to the United States, pitched in the minors for the Yankees that season and for Arizona in 2004, and then his playing career came to an end.  Greg Hansell was an international scout for the Rakuten Eagles of Japan from 2005-2009.  He then worked with the Beverly Hills Sports Council from 2010-2012.  At last report, he was an instructor for Legends Baseball in Chandler, Arizona.

Right-hander David Emmer Lee did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system in 2002.  Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he attended Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania, one of two major league players the school has produced (John Costello).  He was drafted by Colorado in the twenty-third round in 1995.  A reliever all the way, he spent three years in Class A, then made only 16 appearances in AA and six in AAA before being jumped to the majors.  He was with the Rockies for most of 1999 and did okay in limited duty, going 3-2, 3.67, 1.47 WHIP in 49 innings spread over 36 appearances.  He began 2000 in the majors, but was sent back to AAA after only five appearances and spent most of the rest of the year there.  He was traded to the Yankees after the season, but before the 2001 campaign began he was traded again, this time to San Diego.  He was in the majors for almost all of the 2001 season and again did okay in limited duty, going 1-0, 3.70, although with a 1.62 WHIP in 48.2 innings over 41 appearances.  He was released after the season and signed with Minnesota for 2002.  He spent the entire year in Edmonton, going 9-1, 4.69, 1.71 WHIP in 64.2 innings.  He was with the Dodgers for 2003 but was traded to Cleveland in September and got a few appearances in the big leagues with them at the end of the year and again in 2004.  He was in the minors for the Mets, San Francisco, and St. Louis in 2005, signed with the Cubs for 2006, was released in spring training, and was in the minors for Houston, Florida, and Boston that year.  After that, he apparently ran out of teams to play for, and his playing career came to an end.  In his major league career, he was 5-2, 4.37, 1.64 WHIP in 115.1 innings.  He appeared in 96 games, all in relief.  At last report, David Lee was living in the Pittsburgh area and was a professional trainer for the David Lee Big League Experience.  According to his profile at LinkedIn.com, he is looking for a sales opportunity.

Right-hander Phillip DeWayne "P. J." Walters pitched for the Twins in 2012.  He was born in Dothan, Alabama, went to high school in Mobile Alabama, attended the University of South Alabama, and was drafted by St. Louis in the eleventh round in 2006.  He was a reliever that season in short-season Class A, but has been primarily a starting pitcher since.  He pitched very well in the minors before hitting a bump in his first year of AAA, 2008.  Still, he began 2009 in the majors.  He was not ready, and so spent the season in Memphis.  He was not much better there in 2009 than he had been in 2008, but he did significantly better in 2010.  He made seven appearances in the big leagues that season.  He was again in AAA in 2011 but was called up to St. Louis in July, making four relief appearances before being traded to Toronto in an eight-player deal.  He made one appearance there before going back to AAA.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Minnesota for 2012.  He was not particularly impressive in AAA for them, but the Twins were looking for pitchers, so he made twelve starts in the big leagues, pitching fairly well in about half of them.  2013 was pretty much the same as 2012--he did not do that well in AAA, but made eight starts in the majors anyway.  He became a free agent after the season and signed with Kansas City.  He appeared in ten games of AAA, pitched poorly, and was sold to Toronto in late May.  He was in both AA and AAA for the Blue Jays but was released after the minor league season was over.  He signed with Philadelphia for 2015, was released at the end of spring training, played independent ball for a month, signed with the Dodgers in early May, and was sold to Washington in early June.  He did not get back to the majors and did not pitch well for any of those teams in the minors.  He was released by the Nationals before the 2016 season, ending his playing career.  As a Twin, he was 4-10, 5.79, 1.60 WHIP in twenty starts.  As a big leaguer, he was 6-10, 6.28, 1.58 WHIP in 152 innings.  He appeared in 40 games, 24 of them starts.  He pitched in AAA for parts of eight seasons and had combined numbers of 55-44, 4.74, 1.47 WHIP there.  No information about what P. J. Walters has done since his release was readily available.

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