Happy Birthday–May 12

Chicken Wolf (1862)
Lave Cross (1866)
Jumping Joe Dugan (1897)
Hank Borowy (1916)
Ed Runge (1918)
Yogi Berra (1925)
Felipe Alou (1935)
Ted Kubiak (1942)
Vic Albury (1947)
Bob Heise (1947)
Joe Nolan (1951)
Lou Whitaker (1957)
Kevin Bass (1959)
Willie Lozado (1959)
Mark Clark (1968)
Wes Helms (1976)
Felipe Lopez (1980)
Evan Meek (1983)
Lance Lynn (1987)

Ed Runge was an American League umpire from 1954-1970.  His son Paul and his grandson Brian have also been major league umpires.

Infielder Willie Lozado was drafted by Minnesota in the third round of the January Secondary draft in 1978, but did not sign.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to MagUidhir’s sister.

Left-hander Victor Albury pitched for the Twins from 1973-1976.  Born and raised in Key West, Albury was drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round in 1965.  He was a first baseman then, and spent a year at Class A Dubuque hitting .233.  He then went into the military for three years, and when he came back he was a pitcher.  Somewhere along the line, Cleveland transferred his rights to the Cubs.  He pitched for them in Class A in 1969 and did well, posting an ERA of 2.32.  Despite that, the Cubs transferred him to San Diego, for whom he had a bad year split between Class A and AAA.  Minnesota selected him in November of 1970 in the minor league draft.  He had a tremendous year at AA Charlotte in 1971, going 12-7, 1.72 with a WHIP of 1.20.  The next year, he was mostly injured, pitching only 18 innings at AAA Tacoma.  He came back in 1973, put up an ERA of 3.99 at Tacoma, and was promoted to the Twins in August, pitching out of the bullpen the rest of the season.  He was with Minnesota for the next three seasons.  He started the 1974 season in the bullpen, went into the starting rotation for about three months, then went back to the bullpen again.  He was much better as a starter, going 7-9, 3.77, so he started 1975 in the rotation again.  He didn’t do all that badly, but the Twins had no patience with him, and switched him back to the bullpen in late May.  This time, he did quite a bit better as a reliever, going 3-0, 3.00 in that role.  In 1976 he was a full-time reliever, going 3-1, 3.58 in 50.1 innings, although with a WHIP of 1.49.  The Twins decided that was not good enough and he spent 1977 pitching in AAA for the Yankees.  He did poorly there, was out of baseball in 1978, then tried to come back with AAA Tacoma, by then in the Cleveland organization, in 1979.  He did poorly there, too, and his playing career came to an end.  In his major league career, all of which came with Minnesota, he was 18-17, 4.11 in 372.2 innings.  He appeared in 101 games, 37 of them starts.  Albury stayed in baseball for a while, coaching in the Indians organization at Waterloo in 1983.  Vic Albury passed away on April 18, 2017 in Tampa.

Right-handed reliever Evan David Meek did not pitch for the Twins, but was drafted by them.  He was born in Bellevue, Washington, went to high school in Kenmore, Washington, and was drafted by Minnesota in the 11th round in 2002.  He had an outstanding season at Elizabethton in 2003, going 7-1, 2.47 with a 1.12 WHIP.  He followed that with two outstandingly bad seasons at Elizabethton, Quad Cities, and Beloit, and the Twins released him in June of 2005.  He signed with San Diego in September and was in Class A for them for most of 2006 before being traded to Tampa Bay in late August.  Meek did somewhat better in AA in 2007 and was chosen by Pittsburgh that winter in the Rule 5 draft.  He began the year in Pittsburgh, but the Pirates then purchased him from Tampa Bay and sent him to AA Altoona.  He pitched very well both there and in AAA Indianapolis.  What seems to have changed the most is that Meek learned how to throw strikes, which he had not done most of his time in the Twins’ organization.  He was in the Pirates’ bullpen for most of 2009 and pitched quite well, posting a 3.45 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP although in only 47 innings over 41 appearances.  He did even better in 2010, his first full season in the majors, going 5-4, 2.14, 1.05 WHIP in 80 innings over 70 appearances and making the all-star team.   He was injured much of 2011, making only 20 appearances, and his control problems returned when he was able to pitch.  He spent most of 2012 in AAA when healthy, and while he did not give up a lot of hits he continued to struggle to throw strikes.  A free agent after the 2012 season, he signed with Texas and spent 2013 at AAA Round Rock, and while his control improved some he did not have a very good year.  He signed with Baltimore for 2014 and made the big club out of spring training, but again could not throw strikes and was sent to Norfolk in early May.  Surprisingly, he did throw strikes there, walking only four in 41.2 innings.  He again became a free agent, signed with Washington for 2015, and spent the season pitching for AAA Syracuse, where his control problems returned.  He pitched well otherwise, but was still released in July and finished the season in Korea.  He pitched in independent ball in 2016, then his playing career was over.  No information about what Evan Meek has been doing since then was readily available.

Right-hander Michael Lance Lynn joined the Twins for the 2018 season.  He was born in Indianapolis, went to high school in Brownsburg, Indiana, attended the University of Mississippi, and was drafted by St. Louis in the first round in 2008.  He progressed rapidly through the low minors and reached AAA in 2010 (other than one AAA start in 2009).  He had a rather mediocre year in Memphis and started 2011 there as well, but came up to the majors in early June and, after a rough start, pitched very well out of the Cardinals bullpen.  He went into the Cardinals' rotation (he had always been a starter in the minors) at the start of the 2012 season and stayed there through 2015.  He was a solid rotation starter for those seasons, going 60-38, 3.38 and making over thirty starts each season.  He missed 2016 due to injury, but came back in 2017 to go 11-8, 3.43.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Minnesota for 2018.  He has gotten off to a poor start with the Twins, although he pitched better in his last game.  It's hard to believe he suddenly forgot how to pitch, so unless he's hiding an injury, it seems likely that Lance Lynn will eventually be a good pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.

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