Happy Birthday–June 9

Dude Esterbrook (1857)
Irish Meusel (1893)
Mike Ryba (1903)
Frank McCormick (1911)
Jimmy Newberry (1922)
Roy Smalley (1926)
Bill Virdon (1931)
Howie Gershberg (1936)
Jake Jacobs (1937)
Julio Gotay (1939)
Bruce Look (1943)
Tom Egan (1946)
Dave Parker (1951)
Tom Edens (1961)
Randy Winn (1974)

Jimmy Newberry was the first black player in Japanese baseball.

Howie Gershberg was a long-time college and minor league pitching coach.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to SBG’s uncle and to his brother.

Outfielder Lamar Gary “Jake” Jacobs appeared in four games for the Twins in 1961.  He was born in Youngstown, Ohio, went to college at Ohio University (playing on the same team as another future Twin, Joe Nossek), and signed with Washington as a free agent in 1959.  He did not hit for power in the minors, but hit for around .300 for three seasons, the first at Class D Sanford, the second at Class A Charlotte, and the third at AAA Syracuse.  He got a September call-up that second year, 1960, and appeared in six games for Washington, four as a pinch-runner and two as a pinch-hitter.  He went 0-for-2.  He got another September call-up the third year, 1961, and appeared in four games for what was now the Twins, starting two games in centerfield, pinch-hitting once, and being used as a defensive replacement once.  He went 2-for-8.  That was the extent of Jacobs’ major league career.  He played in the Twins’ organization for two more seasons, one in AAA Vancouver and one in AA Charlotte, hitting in the .250s both seasons.  Then, his playing career was over.  He went into the insurance business after that, selling insurance back in his home town of Youngstown for twenty-five years.  He also became involved in the YMCA and was a deacon in his local church.  Jake Jacobs passed away in Palmetto, Florida on July 26, 2010.

Bruce Michael Look was the Twins’ backup catcher in 1968.  Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, he attended Michigan State and was signed by Milwaukee as a free agent in 1964.  After one year in the Braves’ system, he was selected by the Dodgers in the first-year player draft.  He was in the Dodgers’ system for three season, going as high as AAA in 1967.  He did not have much power, but hit for decent averages, especially considering the era.  His best was 1967, when he hit .270 for AAA Spokane.  The Twins then chose him in the Rule 5 draft and kept him in the majors for 1968, his only big league season.  Look hit .246/.353/.380 in 118 at-bats for the Twins, playing in 59 games.  In 19 of those games he was used as a pinch-hitter, going 2-for-16 with two walks and a sacrifice fly.  Take away his pinch-hitting duties and he hit .265, which was pretty good for 1968.  After that season, Look went back to AAA for two seasons.  The Twins did not exactly have depth at catcher at that time, but two years of poor batting at AAA kept Bruce from getting another look.  Prior to the 1971 campaign, he was sent to the Yankees in “an unknown transaction.”  The Yankees traded Look to Milwaukee (now the Brewers) in mid-season, and he went to the Orioles after the year ended, but never got back to the majors.  He did not play for the Orioles either; his playing career ended after the 1971 season.  His brother, Dean, played three games for the White Sox in 1961.  Bruce Look is currently the national sales manager for Spinus, L. L. C., a seller of medical devices based in Saginaw, Michigan.

Right-hander Thomas Patrick Edens pitched briefly for the Twins in 1991 and then pitched for them for all of 1992.  He was born in Ontario, Oregon, went to high school in Fruitland, Idaho, and attended Lewis-Clark State College.  He was drafted by Kansas City in the fourteenth round in 1983.  He was unimpressive in his first season, but the Mets apparently thought they saw something in him, as they traded for him in April of 1984.  A starter in the minors, he pitched well in the Mets’ chain, reaching AAA in 1986 and getting a brief shot at the majors in 1987, making two starts in June.  The Mets sent him back to the minors for the next two years, then traded him to Philadelphia in mid-July.  The Phillies converted Edens to relief, and after the season he signed with Milwaukee for 1990.  He did not pitch all that well in Denver, mainly due to wildness, but the Brewers brought him up in late May and he stayed the rest of the season.  He became a free agent after that year and signed with Minnesota.  The Twins converted him back to a starter for AAA Portland and he had a fine season, getting called up to the majors in late August and making six starts for the Twins down the stretch of the pennant race.  He went back to relief in 1992, staying with the Twins all season.  He was a solid member of the bullpen that year, going 6-3 with three saves, an ERA of 2.83, and a WHIP of 1.32 in 76.1 innings over 52 appearances.  The Twins left him unprotected in the expansion draft after the season.  He was selected by Florida and immediately traded to Houston in a deal involving Hector Carrasco.  He had another good year for the Astros in 1993, but was not doing as well in 1994 and was traded to Philadelphia in late July.  He did a good job for the Phillies down the stretch, but was released after the season and signed with the Cubs.  He was in AAA most of the season and pitched well, but got only five appearances in the majors.  Those were his last five big league appearances.  He pitched poorly in AAA for Baltimore in 1996 and then his playing career was over.  One source says he was a minor league pitching coach for several years.  At last report, Tom Edens was living in Clarkston, Washington.

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