Happy Birthday–June 27

Rube Benton (1890)
Fred Saigh (1905)
Dick Terwilliger (1906)
Wendell Smith (1914)
Lou Kretlow (1921)
Gus Zernial (1923)
Wayne Terwilliger (1925)
Charles Bronfman (1931)
Chuck Coles (1931)

Eddie Kasko (1931)
Rico Petrocelli (1943)
Takashi Nishimoto (1956)
Jeff Conine (1966)
Jim Edmonds (1970)
Daryle Ward (1975)
Chris Woodward (1976)
Luis Rodriguez (1980)
Jim Johnson (1983)

Fred Saigh was the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1947-1953, selling to Anheuser-Busch.

Wendell Smith was an African-American sportswriter who was influential in the choice of Jackie Robinson as the first African-American major league player.

Charles Bronfman was the owner of the Montreal Expos from 1969-1991.

Takashi Nishimoto was a star pitcher in Japan from 1977-1993.

Daryle Ward is the son of ex-Twin Gary Ward.

We would also like to wish a happy anniversary to MagUidhir's brother.

Willard Wayne Terwilliger, known as “Twig”, did not play for the Twins, but was part of their organization for several years.  Unrelated to Dick Terwilliger, who was also born on June 27, they are the only two people with the last name “Terwilliger” to have played in the major leagues.  He was born in Clair, Michigan, attended Western Michigan University, and was signed by the Cubs as a free agent in 1948.  A second baseman, he had a fine year at AAA in 1949 and made his major league debut that year, coming to the Cubs in early August.  He was the Cubs’ regular second baseman in 1950, but hit only .242 with ten homers.  He remained the Cubs’ regular second sacker at the start of 1951, but when he hit no better he was traded to Brooklyn as part of an eight-player deal.  He was okay as a reserve the rest of the season, backing up Jackie Robinson, but in 1952 he went down to AAA St. Paul, where he hit .312.  The Dodgers were obviously not impressed, because Terwilliger was put on waivers after the season.  Washington selected him and made him their started second baseman for two seasons.  Twig was sold to the New York Giants for 1955.  He split the next two seasons between New York and AAA Minneapolis, then was in Minneapolis for all of 1957.  He was traded to Detroit for 1958, spent all of that season in the minors, and was taken by the Kansas City Athletics in the Rule 5 draft.  He was with the Athletics for all of 1959, was in the minors for nearly all of 1960, and then turned to managing and coaching (he made a few brief appearances in the minors all the way through 1968, presumably when his team was short of infielders).  His minor-league managing career was in the Yankees’ organization in 1961, the Washington chain from 1963-1968, Houston in 1973, Texas in 1975 and 1980, and with independent Ft. Worth from 2003-2005.  He was a major league coach with Washington/Texas from 1969-1972 and 1981-1985, and the Twins from 1986-1994.  He was a minor league coach with the St. Paul Saints from 1995-2002 and Ft. Worth from 2006-2010, when he finally retired at age 85.  He is a member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame and has written an autobiography, “Terwilliger Bunts One.”

Outfielder Charles Edward Coles did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system from 1961-1962.  He was born in Fredericktown, Pennsylvania and attended Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, one of two major league players produced by that school (Dick Gray).  He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers as a free agent in 1950.  He hit well in the minors through 1952, then missed two seasons due to the Korean War.  He was 24 when he returned.  He continued to hit well but could not get a chance above Class A in the Dodgers’ organization.  He played for independent Albuquerque in 1957, then moved to the Cincinnati system in 1958.  He hit .307 with 29 home runs in AA and got a September call-up.  He went 2-for-11 in five games, but it looked like, at age 27, Chuck Coles might finally get his chance.  It didn’t happen.  He had a terrible year in AA in 1959; one wonders if he might have been hurt, because his numbers are completely out of line with the rest of his career.  He bounced back with a solid year in AA in 1960, but by then he was 29 and was no longer considered a prospect.  He came to the Twins’ organization in 1961 and had a solid year at Class A Charlotte, but that was as good as it would get for him as a Twin.  He split 1962 between Charlotte and Class B Wilson, played for independent Tidewater in 1963, then ended his playing career.  In twelve minor league seasons, mostly in A and AA, Chuck Coles hit .293/.330/.466 with 176 home runs.  After his playing career, he was employed as a millwright in Jefferson, Pennsylvania.  He passed away in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on January 25, 1996 at the age of 64.  In 2009, Chuck Coles was posthumously inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Infielder Luis Orlando Rodriguez played for the Twins from 2005-2007.  Born and raised in Codejos, Venezuela, he signed with the Twins as a free agent in 1997.  He primarily played second base and shortstop in the minors.  He put up consistent but unspectacular numbers in the minors, generally hitting around .270 and drawing a good number of walks, but showing little power.  He was in his third year of AAA when he came up to the Twins in late May of 2005.  He did about as well as you’d expect a reserve infielder to do at the plate and got his only full season in the majors in 2006.  He was with the Twins for nearly all of 2007 as well, but his offense got worse every year, and since he was never known for his defense, the Twins placed him on waivers after the season.  As a Twin, Luis Rodriguez hit .243/.311/.339.  He played in 206 games and had 445 at-bats.  He signed with San Diego and in the majors with them for the second half of 2008 and nearly all of 2009.  He signed with Cleveland for 2010, was released in late April, and signed with the White Sox.  He was in AAA for them all season, then signed with Seattle for 2011.  Surprisingly, he made the Mariners as a reserve infielder and split the season between the majors and AAA.  He was still in the Mariners organization in 2012 and had a fine year at AAA Tacoma, batting .296 with an OPS of .841, but was not recalled to the majors.  A free agent after the season, he signed with the Angels for 2013 and had a good season for AAA Salt Lake, but again did not get a call-up.  Once again a free agent, he played in Mexico in 2014, played in Mexico and in the Atlantic League in 2015, and was back in the Atlantic League with Bridgeport in 2016.  He played winter ball that off-season, but then his playing career ended.  No information about what Luis Rodriguez has done since then was readily available.

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