Happy Birthday–April 30

Dave Eggler (1849)
Charley Jones (1850)
Jack Sheridan (1862)
Jumbo Brown (1907)
Chet Laabs (1912)
Ernie Tyler (1924)
Ken Retzer (1934)
Ray Miller (1945)
Phil Garner (1949)
Tracy Ringolsby (1951)
Jeff Reboulet (1964)
Ryan O'Rourke (1988)

Jack Sheridan was the first home plate umpire to crouch behind the catcher in the style that umpires do today.

Ernie Tyler was the umpires’ assistant for Baltimore Orioles home games from 1960 through 2010.  He went from opening day of 1960 through July 27, 2007 without missing a game, a streak of 3,769 games.  He missed two games that weekend to go to Cooperstown for the induction of Cal Ripken, Jr. into the Hall of Fame.

Ray Miller was the manager of the Twins in 1985 and 1986, replacing Billy Gardner and being replaced by Tom Kelly.

Tracy Ringolsby has been a baseball writer since 1976 and was given the Spink Award in 2005.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Rhubarb_Runner's brother.

Catcher Kenneth Leo Retzer did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system in 1965.  He was born in Wood River, Illinois and signed with Cleveland as a free agent in 1954.  He began in Class D and rose very slowly.  He hit for good averages most years, but with very little power.  He reached Class A in 1956, but then missed 1957 due to military service.  When he came back in 1958, he was once again in Class A.  He got to AAA in 1959, went to the Philadelphia organization in mid-season of 1960, and was in the White Sox’ chain in 1961.  He appears, however, to have remained the property of the Indians all that time, as he was traded in early September of 1961 by Cleveland to Washington.  He was in the majors the rest of the season, batting .340 in 57 at-bats.  He stayed with the Senators through 1963 and was their main catcher for those years, although he only caught 80-100 games each season.  His average dropped each season and he was considered to be a poor defensive catcher, so when he got off to a poor start in 1964 he was sent to the minors in early May.  After the 1964 season Washington traded Retzer to Minnesota for Joe McCabe.  He spent 1965 at AAA Denver, hitting .270/.361/.357.  He went to spring training with the Twins in 1966, but was traded to Houston shortly before the season started for Walt Bond.  He remained in AAA for the rest of his career, playing in the Houston organization in 1966 and in the Baltimore and Cleveland systems in 1967.  For his career, Ken Retzer hit .264/.316/.367 in 690 at-bats.  At last report, he was living in Phoenix.  He apparently is active in the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and is reputed to be a very nice man.

Infielder Jeffrey Allen Reboulet played for the Twins from 1992-1996, taking over the utility infielder role from Al Newman.  He was born in Dayton, Ohio, went to LSU, and was drafted by Minnesota in the tenth round in 1986.  He was a shortstop for most of his minor league career.  His highest minor league average was .287 in Class A in 1986; he never topped .260 in a full minor league season after that.  He also had no power:  his highest home run total in the minors was four.  Still, he came up to the majors in May of 1992 and stayed for ten years.  He was always a reserve:  the Twins used him primarily at shortstop, but he also played quite a bit of second and third as well as outfield.  In his years with the Twins, he played every position except pitcher.  His best year as a Twin was 1995, when he hit .292 in 216 at-bats.  As a Twin, Jeff Reboulet hit .248/.335/.342 in 450 games with just over a thousand at-bats.  He became a free agent after the 1996 season and signed with Baltimore, where he stayed for three years.  After his worst year in the majors, when he hit .162 in 154 at-bats in 1999, he was sent to Kansas City.  He had one year as a Royal, then moved to the Dodgers for two years.  He was sent back to the minors for a month in 2002 and was released late in spring training of 2003, signing with Pittsburgh in April.  Reboulet began 2003 in AAA, but came up to the majors in mid-May and got the most at-bats he’d ever had in a season, 261.  He was pretty much the same hitter he’d always been, however, and after that season his playing career came to an end.  After his retirement, Jeff Reboulet went back to Dayton and is a co-founder of Horizon Wealth Management, LLC, a full service financial planning and investment advisory firm.  He is also the president of REB Sports Academy of Kettering, Ohio, an indoor sports training facility.

Left-handed reliever Ryan Patrick O'Rourke has pitched for the Twins since 2015.  He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, went to high school in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, attended Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, and was drafted by Minnesota in the thirteenth round in 2010.  He both started and relieved in his first couple of years as a pro but has been a reliever since 2012.  His minor league record has been less than stellar.  Even granting that ERA can easily be skewed for relief pitchers, he has an ERA over five in both AA (69 games, 59.1 innings) and AAA 23 games, 15.2 innings).  He appears to have been used as a left-handed specialist even in the minors.  He spent the second half of 2015 with the Twins and pitched well for the first month, but ended up with an ERA of 6.14 and a WHIP of 1.41.  He did, however, get 24 strikeouts in 22 innings (28 games).  He split 2016 between Rochester and Minnesota, doing very well for the Red Wings and fairly well for the Twins.  Unfortunately, he then missed the 2017 season with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.  So far, his big league numbers are 0-1, 4.98, 1.26 WHIP with 48 strikeouts in 47 innings.  He turns thirty today.  A year ago, we wrote, "Assuming a return to good health at some point, he still has a chance at a decent major league career."  The return to good health has not happened yet, as he has not pitched in 2018 so far either.  He did sign with Baltimore for the 2018 season, and he is on their AAA disabled list, so the Orioles must be holding out hope that he will be able to pitch again.  Let's hope they're right.

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