Happy Birthday–May 9

Frank Bancroft (1846)
Tommy Clarke (1888)
Billy Jurges (1908)
Tony Bartirome (1932)
Ron Jackson (1953)
Tom Chism (1954)
Tony Gwynn (1960)
Aaron Harang (1978)
Prince Fielder (1984)
Chase Headley (1984)
Buddy Boshers (1988)
Oswaldo Arcia (1991)

Frank Bancroft managed seven teams in nine different seasons over the period of 1880-1902.

Infielder Tony Bartirome is better known as an athletic trainer, working for Pittsburgh from 1967-1985 and for Atlanta from 1986-1988.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to UncleWalt’s youngest child.

First baseman Ronnie Damien Jackson played for the Twins from 1979-1981.  Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, he was drafted by California in the second round in 1971.  He was primarily a third baseman in the minors.  He had good but unspectacular minor league seasons with the exception of 1974, when he hit .328 with 11 home runs at AA El Paso.  He made his major league debut as a September callup in 1975 and started 1976 with the Angels.  He began as a bench player, but by mid-May Jackson was the regular third baseman.  He did not hit, however, and was down to part-time status in 1977.  He played more first base than third in 1978 and had a pretty good year, batting .297 in 387 at-bats.  After the season, Jackson was traded with Danny Goodwin to Minnesota for Dan Ford.  He was the Twins’ regular first baseman in 1979 and was fairly decent, hitting .271 with 14 home runs.  He was the mostly regular in 1980 as well, but slipped a little and fell to part-time status in 1981 before being traded to Detroit in August for a player to be named later (Tim Corcoran).  Jackson became a free agent after the season and did not sign until mid-April of 1982, going back to the Angels.  He hit .331 in only 142 at-bats for California in 1982, but slid back after that.  California released him in August of 1984 and he finished the season with Baltimore.  Jackson played in AAA for St. Louis in 1985 and briefly in AAA for the White Sox in 1988.  He played for a couple of years in the Seniors League, but then his playing career ended.  He was consistently employed until 2009 as a batting coach, either in the majors or in the minors.  He has made a series of instructional videos under the general title “Ron Jackson’s Hitting Factory.”  At last report, he was the owner of Gap to Gap, a website which offers various batting instructional videos and aids.  He also serves as a guest instructor at various baseball academies and coached Birmingham's Willie Mays Youth Baseball team to the 2014 championship of the Junior RBI Classic.

First baseman Thomas Raymond Chism did not play for the Twins, but he was in their farm system for a brief time in 1980.  He was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, attended Brandywine Junior College, went to Widener University (the only major league player to have gone to that school), and was drafted by Baltimore in the fourth round in 1974.  He did quite well in the minors, hitting .300 more often than not and posting an OPS over .800 every year.  He got a September call-up in 1979, appearing in six games and going 0-for-3.  Unfortunately for Chism, the Orioles had a first baseman named Eddie Murray, so there was no room for Chism. After the season, the Orioles traded him to Minnesota for Dan Graham.  That seemed to be a turning point in his career; he never made the majors again, and his averages in the minors fell into the .250s.  He apparently did not get along with Twins management very well, moved on to the Detroit organization after 34 AAA games for the Twins, and finished the year back in the Orioles’ chain.  He stayed there for 1981, but at that point he could see that he was unlikely to get much of a chance.  He was a player-coach in 1981 and became a full-time minor-league coach in 1982 .  He remained in the Orioles organization through 1985 as a coach and scout.  He received a World Championship ring from them in 1983, a ring that was later stolen.  The thief was caught, but the ring was never recovered.  At last report, Tom Chism was living in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a security guard for the Crozer-Chester Medical Center for twenty-years until a back injury forced him to retire.  His son, T. J. Chism, was a pitcher in the Mets’ organization, reaching AA, and played in the Atlantic League in 2015.

Left-hander Jeffrey Allan "Buddy" Boshers has played for the Twins for parts of 2016-17.  Born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, he attended Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama (a school which produced Jorge Posada and Gary Redus) and was drafted by the Angels in the fourth round in 2008.  He was a starter through 2009, but became primarily a relief pitcher in 2010.  He struggled early in his career, not reaching AA until 2012.  He began 2013 in AA, but was promoted to AAA in June.  He made sixteen appearances in AAA, doing okay but nothing special, when for no apparent reason he was promoted to the majors in mid-August.  He spent the rest of the season there and was apparently used as a LOOGY, as he made 25 appearances but pitched only 15.1 innings.  He did okay, sort of, posting a 4.70 ERA and a 1.37.  He actually did significantly better against right-handed batters than he did against lefties, although it's obviously a small sample size.  He split 2014 between AA and AAA, became a free agent, signed with Colorado for 2015, was released in late March, did well in the Atlantic League that season, and signed with the Twins for 2016.  He started 2016 in Rochester but came up to the Twins in late May and did fairly well for them.  He started 2017 in Rochester as well, but again came up to the Twins in late May and did well at first, but faded in the second half.  The Twins waived him after the season and he was claimed by Houston, for whom he is pitching in AAA in 2018.  As a Twin, Buddy Boshers was 3-0, 4.56, 1.25 WHIP in 86.1 innings (100 games).  He turns thirty today.  As a left-hander, it seems likely he'll get another chance or two in the majors, and if he can pitch well at the right time he might even still have a fairly long career.

Outfielder Oswaldo Celestino Arcia made his debut for the Twins in 2013.  He was born in Anaco, Anzoategui, Venezuela and signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 2007.  He did okay his first couple of years, but really broke through with Elizabethton in 2010, hitting .375/.424/.672.  He was jumped to Fort Myers for 2011 and did not really stand out, but he did not do badly, either.  He took another substantial step forward in 2012, hitting .320/.388/.539 in a season divided between Fort Myers and New Britain.  He began 2013 in Rochester, but was brought to Minnesota early in the season.  He struck out a lot, which was a problem in the minors as well, but he still did okay, especially for a twenty-two year old. In 2014 he continued to strike out a lot, but also hit twenty homers and had an OPS of .752.  He was off to a decent start in 2015 when he was injured in early May.  He never got it going after that, having a poor year in Rochester.  He had quite an interesting 2016:  he started the season in Minnesota, was traded to Tampa Bay in June for a player to be named later or cash, was waived in late August and claimed by Miami, was waived again four days later and claimed by San Diego.  As a Twin, he batted .240/.303/.429.  He was released after the 2016 season and signed with Arizona for 2017.  He had a tremendous year in AAA, posting an OPS of 1.049, but did not get back to the majors.  He became a free agent after the season.  It's hard for me to think that no major league team wanted to give him a chance after a AAA season like that, but apparently no one did, because he's playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2018.  He's batting very well there.  It seems like he's been around forever, but he's only twenty-seven today.  If someone will give him a chance, Oswaldo Arcia still could have a decent major league career.  His brother, Orlando, is a shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers.

4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday–May 9”

  1. Oh, sure. Include Uncle Walt's youngest child, but not my third child. I see how it is. 😉

    1. Happy birthday to Philosofer's youngest child!

      As I've said before, if you want things included they need to be in comments to the birthday list. I go back and check old birthday list comments, but I don't check out the cups of coffee.

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