Happy Birthday–May 6

Bonesetter Reese (1855)
Walton Cruise (1890)
Mike McCormick (1917)
Willie Mays (1931)
Russ Gibson (1939)
Bill Hands (1940)
Masanori Murakami (1944)
Steve Staggs (1951)
Larry Andersen (1953)
Al Williams (1954)
Gerardo Parra (1987)
Jose Altuve (1990)

John “Bonesetter” Reese worked with many baseball players and other famous people in the first part of the twentieth century.  Today we might call him a physical therapist, although he did not have a formal degree.  “Bonesetting” is a Welsh term for the treatment of muscle and tendon strains.

Masanori Murakami was the first Japanese-born player in the major leagues.

Infielder Steve Staggs was drafted by Minnesota in the fourteenth round in 1970, but did not sign.

Right-hander William Alfred Hands pitched for the Twins for most of two seasons in 1973 and 1974.  He was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, went to high school in Rutherford, New Jersey, and signed with San Francisco as a free agent in 1959.  Hands struggled early in his minor league career, and as a result he spent a full year in Class D, Class C, Class B, and Class A.  After a fine season in 1962 at Class A, however, he was jumped to AAA Tacoma.  He struggled his first year there, but did well in 1964 and even better in 1965.  Hands made four apperances with the Giants in 1965, then was traded to the Cubs with another future Twin, Randy Hundley, for Don Landrum and Lindy McDaniel.  He did not do well in his first season with the Cubs, and in 1967 he was used primarily out of the bullpen.  He had a good year there, and was placed in the Cubs rotation in 1968, where he stayed for five seasons.  His best year as a Cub was probably 1969, when he went 20-14, 2.49 with a 1.14 WHIP in 300 innings.  He continued to be a solid member of the rotation through 1972.  After that season, Hands was traded to Minnesota with Bob Maneely and Joe Decker for Dave LaRoche.  Hands pitched fairly well for the Twins in 1973, but his won-lost record did not reflect it, and when he got off to a slow start in 1974 he was pulled from the rotation and sent to the bullpen.  He pitched very well there, posting an ERA of 2.93 and a WHIP of 1.09 in 61.1 innings as a reliever.  The Twins gave him four starts in August and he still did well, going 2-1, 3.44, but after a bad start on September 1 they surprisingly placed him on waivers.  The Rangers snapped him up and put him in their rotation, where he pitched well through 1975.  He was traded to the Mets early in spring training of 1976, but opted to retire instead.  After retiring from baseball, he moved to Orient, Long Island where he purchased a service station and started a retail oil business, both of which proved successful.  Bill Hands passed away on March 9, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

Right-hander Albert Hamilton (DeSouza) Williams pitched for the Twins from 1980-1984.  He was born in Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua and signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent in 1975.  He pitched in the Pirates’ organization for a year and a half without particular distinction and was released in July of 1976.  He then returned to Nicaragua, where he fought in the Nicaraguan Revolution.  He did not play in organized baseball for three years.  He snuck out of the country, as the Nicaraguan government would not grant him a visa, and in January of 1980, Williams signed with Minnesota.  He made fifteen starts in Toledo, going 9-3, 2.10 with a WHIP of 0.95, and was called up to the majors.  He was used both as a reliever and a starter and did well, going 6-2, 3.51.  He was in the starting rotation beginning in 1981 and stayed there through 1983, not doing great but not doing terribly, either.  He started 1984 in the rotation as well, but got off to a bad start and was sent back to AAA Toledo in early May.  He came back a month later and did somewhat better, but got injured in early July and missed the next two months, coming back in September.  The Twins released Williams after the season.  He signed with the Yankees, had a mediocre season in AAA Columbus, and then his playing career came to an end.  His life is sufficiently interesting that you'd think someone would've done a "where are they now" story on him, but if they did our crack staff couldn't find it.  Therefore, no information about Al Williams since that time was readily available.

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