Happy Birthday–June 12

Joe Hornung (1857)
Sol White (1868)
Red Dooin (1879)
Matty McIntyre (1880)
Otto Knabe (1884)
Bill Foster (1904)
Dutch Rennert (1930)
Gerry Arrigo (1941)
Jim Strickland (1946)
Scott Aldred (1968)
Damon Buford (1970)
Ryan Klesko (1971)
Damon Hollins (1974)
Hideki Matsui (1974)

Sol White was a Negro League player, manager, and executive.  He wrote the first history of African-American baseball, "Sol White's History of Colored Baseball", in 1907.

Bill Foster was a star pitcher in the Negro Leagues.  He was the stepbrother of Rube Foster.

Dutch Rennert was a National League umpire from 1974-1992.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to Eric B. B.  Wherever he may b.

Left-hander Gerald William Arrigo pitched for the Twins in the early 1960s.  Born and raised in Chicago, he signed with the home town White Sox in 1960.  After a fine season in Class D Clinton the Twins chose him in that off-season’s first year player draft.  He did not do particularly well in 1961 but was called up for a month anyway, working 10.2 innings in seven appearances.  He was better in the minors in 1962, making one appearance in the majors as a September call-up.  He pitched well in AA in 1963, again getting a September call-up.  In 1964, still only 23, Arrigo got his first full year in the majors, making twelve starts and twenty-nine relief appearances for the Twins.  He did okay, going 7-4, 3.84 with a WHIP of 1.35 in 105.1 innings.  He was substantially better working out of the bullpen than in the rotation.  After the season, however, Arrigo was traded to Cincinnati for Cesar Tovar.  He was in the majors most of the season but did not pitch well, and when he got off to a slow start in 1966 he was sold to the Mets.  He pitched in New York for about three months, then was sold back to Cincinnati, finishing the season at AAA.  He then got three full seasons with the Reds, working mostly out of the bullpen in 1967 and mostly in the rotation in 1968-1969.  In the first two of those years he pitched pretty well, but he had a bad year in 1969 and was traded to the White Sox after the season.  He started 1970 in Chicago but was awful and finished the season in AAA.  Arrigo made three appearances in AAA for Atlanta in 1971, then his playing career ended.  At last report, Gerry Arrigo was living in Amelia, Ohio.

Left-hander James Michael Strickland pitched for the Twins in the early 1970s.  He was born in Los Angeles, went to high school in Lakewood, California, and signed with the Dodgers as a free agent in 1964.  He was in the Dodgers’ system for three seasons and posted quite unimpressive numbers, although he did strike out quite a few batters.  He then missed the 1967-1968 seasons due to military service.  He was a much better pitcher when he returned, having a decent season in for AA Albuquerque in 1969 and an outstanding one there in 1970.  The Twins selected him in the minor league draft that off-season, and after thirteen outstanding appearances at AAA Portland they brought him up the big club.  He was not used very often, but did very well when given the chance, posting an ERA of 1.44 and a WHIP of 1.21 in 31.1 innings over 24 games.  1972 was similar:  he started at AAA, pitched very well, came up to Minnesota at mid-season, and continued to pitch very well but seldom.  1973, however, was a different story.  Strickland had a poor year at AAA and was awful in seven big-league appearances.  The Twins apparently gave up on him after that, trading him with Mike Brooks to Cleveland for Bill Butler and Dick Colpaert.  As a Twin, Jim Strickland was 4-2, 2.72 with a WHIP of 1.39.  He pitched 72.2 innings in 56 relief appearances.  He got straightened out somewhat in the Indians’ minor league system, pitching fairly well for two years and getting a September call-up in 1975.  He had a poor year in 1976, however, and his playing career came to an end.  No information about what Jim Strickland has done after that was readily available, but from accounts he appears to be a very nice man.

Left-hander Scott Phillip Aldred pitched for the Twins from 1996-1997.  He was born in Flint, Michigan, went to high school in Montrose, Michigan, and was drafted by Detroit in the sixteenth round in 1986.  His early minor league numbers are rather bland–he never stunk it up, but he was never really good, either.  He was promoted to AAA in 1990 and got a September call-up despite not having a very good year in Toledo.  He was marginally better in AAA in 1991, which resulted in two and a half months with the Tigers.  He started 1992 in the majors, was terrible, and went back to Toledo in mid-June, where he was merely bad.  He was taken by Colorado in the expansion draft, which worked about as well as one would expect, and was waived at the end of April, selected by Montreal.  He apparently was injured early in his tenure with the Expos, as he appeared in only three games.  He missed all of 1994, was released, and signed back with Detroit for 1995.  He made 15 appearances in the low minors, did pretty well, started 1996 in the Tigers’ rotation, was awful again, and was waived in late May, selected by Minnesota.  The Twins made him their fifth starter and he continued to be bad.  He began 1997 in the rotation, was even worse, and was finally sent back to AAA in mid-June.  The Twins let him go after the season; as a Twin, Scott Aldred was 8-15, 6.10 with a WHIP of 1.54.  He worked 199.1 innings over 42 appearances, 32 of them starts.  He signed with Tampa Bay for 1998.  He was not pitching very well in AAA for the Devil Rays but was brought up in mid-May, placed in the bullpen, and had what for him was a decent year (he set a record that year, since broken, for the most appearances in a season without a decision).  He could not sustain it in 1999, however, and was traded in late July to Philadelphia.  He was marginally adequate the rest of the season, but started poorly in 2000 and was done as a major leaguer by late May.  He kept at it, though; Aldred was in the Yankees’ organization in 2001, the Dodgers’ system in 2002, and the Red Sox’ chain in 2003.  He then pitched for Somerset in the Atlantic League in 2004 before hanging it up for good.   Scott Aldred has become a minor league coach since then, working for Charleston (2006), Trenton (2007-2008), Empire State (2012) Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (2009-11, 2013-15).  At last report he was the minor league pitching coordinator for the Yankees.

Outfielder Damon Hollins did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system for a few months in 2001.  He was born in Fairfield, California, went to high school in Vallejo, California, and was drafted by Atlanta in the fourth round in 1992.  He hit .321 in rookie ball in 1993 and then started to develop power, hitting 23 homers in Class A in 1994 and 18 in AA in 1995.  He had a bad year in 1996, when he apparently was battling injuries, but bounced back to hit 20 homers in AAA Richmond in 1997.  He made his major league debut in 1998, but got only six at-bats in three games before being sent back to AAA.  In September he was traded to the Dodgers, for whom he got nine more at-bats.  For some time, it looked like that would be the extent of his major league career.  The Dodgers released him after the season.  He signed with Cincinnati for 1999, was a free agent after the season, signed with Milwaukee for 2000, and was a free agent after the season again.  He was decent in AAA in those years, but did nothing to attract any attention.  The Twins signed him for 2001 and sent him to AAA Edmonton.  He played in 69 games there, hitting .276/.342/.405 in 232 at-bats.  He was traded back to the Braves’ organization on July 22 in a conditional deal.  He stayed there through 2004, each year putting up decent numbers but never getting another shot at the big leagues.  In 2004, he hit .301 with 20 homers for Richmond, also getting another ten days in the majors that year.  He was a free agent after the season and signed with Tampa Bay.  Hollins started the year in the minors, but was called up in a month and became a major league regular for the first time at the age of 30.  He played in 241 games for the Devil Rays over the next two seasons and hit 28 home runs, but batted only .239.  A free agent after the 2006 season, he went to Japan for 2007, then signed with Kansas City and spent 2008 in Omaha.  He signed with Philadelphia for 2009, but did not make the team and his playing career ended.  Still, his persistence got him almost two full years in the big leagues, which is more than a lot of people can say.  Since his playing career ended, Damon Hollins has been coaching in the Kansas City system, serving as a coach for Wilmington in 2012, Idaho Falls in 2013 and 2014, and Lexington in 2015 and 2016.  He returned to Idaho Falls in 2017-2018.

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