Happy Birthday–July 2

Grover Hartley (1888)
Hal Wagner (1915)
Dick Greco (1925)
Red Rush (1927)
Chuck Stobbs (1929)
Mike Reilly (1949)
Tony Armas (1953)
Jose Canseco (1964)
Joe Magrane (1964)
Sean Casey (1974)
Greg Dobbs (1978)
Angel Pagan (1982)
Samuel Deduno (1983)
Brett Cecil (1986)
Rene Tosoni (1986)

Dick Greco played twelve seasons in the minors, hitting 328 home runs, but never got a chance in the majors.

Red Rush was a radio broadcaster for the White Sox, the Athletics, and the Cardinals.

Mike Reilly was a major league umpire from 1977-2010.

Left-hander Chuck Stobbs was an original Twin, appearing in twenty-four games for them in 1961.  He was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, went to high school in Norfolk, Virginia, and signed with Boston as a free agent in 1947.  He pitched very well that season for Class B Lynn, going 9-2, 1.72, got a September call-up at age 18, and never went back to the minors again.  He may have been injured in 1948, as he appeared in only six games, but after that he was a regular major league pitcher until the end of his playing career.  He was primarily a starting pitcher with Boston, and frankly was not a very good won despite decent won-lost records.  His ERA with Boston was 4.70 and his WHIP was 1.49, but he was 33-23.  He changed his socks from Red to White after the 1951 season, as he was traded to Chicago.  He was there only one year, both starting and relieving, and was traded to Washington for Mike Fornieles.  He had his best season in the majors in 1953, going 11-8, 3.29 with a 1.24 WHIP in 27 appearances, 20 of them starts.  During that year, he gave up what is generally considered to be the longest home run in major league history, a shot by Mickey Mantle that went completely out of Griffith Stadium and traveled an estimated 565 feet.  He had another good year in 1956, going 15-15, 3.60 in 37appearances, 33 of them starts.  Other than that, however, he did not do a lot for Washington.  He remained in their rotation for the most part, however, until he was placed on waivers in July of 1958.  He was claimed by St. Louis, which moved him into the bullpen.  He did quite well there in 39.2 innings, but the Cardinals released him during the off-season, and he signed back with Washington for 1959.  Now primarily a relief pitcher, he had two good years for them before the team moved to Minnesota.  He came with the team in 1961 but did not pitch well, posting a 7.46 ERA in 44.2 innings.  The Twins released him after the season, ending his playing career at age 32.  He became an insurance salesman for a while, and was a coach at George Washington University.  He moved to Florida in 1971, working at a baseball academy operated by the Kansas City Royals.  He then worked as a minor league instructor for the Cleveland Indians from 1980-1984.  He was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.  Chuck Stobbs passed away after a long battle with throat cancer on July 11, 2008.

Right-hander Samuel (Lake) Deduno played for the Twins from 2012-2014.  He was born in La Romana, Dominican Republic and signed with Colorado as a free agent in 2003.  A starter for most of his minor league career, he climbed a level a season (if you call A and high-A different levels) despite there being no good reason why he should have done so.  From 2005-2007, his lowest ERA was 4.80 and his lowest WHIP was 1.46.  He did not play in 2008, presumably due to injury, and when he came back in 2009 he was a much better pitcher.  He had a fine season in AA in 2009, and despite being injured much of 2010 pitched very well in six AAA starts.  He made his major league debut that season, appearing in four games for the Rockies in a late-season call-up.  By then, however, he was twenty-seven.  The Rockies no longer considered him a prospect and put him on waivers.  He was claimed by San Diego and actually started the season with the Padres, but was sent to AAA after only two appearances.  He did not do badly at AAA, but was allowed to become a free agent after the season and signed with Minnesota for 2012.  Sent to Rochester, he pitched well in nine starts and came up to Minnesota in July.  He finished the season in the rotation and wasn't awful, although he walked far too many batters.  He had control problems for most of his career, averaging five walks per nine innings in the minors.  He also struck out about nine and a half batters per nine innings, though, so he did well when he put the ball in the strike zone.  In 2013 he made three starts in Rochester before coming up to the Twins, and stayed in the rotation until he was injured at the end of August.  He actually did fairly well, going 8-8, 3.83 with a 1.35 WHIP.  He was able to significantly cut down on his walks while still throwing his primary pitch, the magical zoomball, which was described by Ryan Doumit as being like catching a ninety-two mile an hour knuckleball.  He was with Minnesota for most of 2014, starting the season in the bullpen, moving to the starting rotation, and then moving back to the bullpen, but was waived at the end of August and claimed by Houston.  He finished 2014 and started 2015 in the majors, but was seldom used and was sent down in mid-May, then missed most of the rest of the season due to a hip injury.  His big league numbers in 2015 look awful, but are skewed by one appearance in which he was allowed to give up ten runs in 4.2 innings.  He became a free agent in 2016 and signed with Baltimore, but apparently was still injured, as his only appearances with the Orioles were in the Gulf Coast League.  That's the last we've seen of him in the summer, but he has continued to pitch in winter ball and has done pretty well in relief.  As a Twin, he was 16-18, 4.26, 1.44 WHIP in 279 innings.  He turns thirty-five today.  We've probably seen the last of him, but everybody's always looking for pitching, so if he's healthy a team might take a look at him.  After all, when you throw a magical zoomball, anything can happen.

Outfielder Rene Michael Tosoni played for the Twins in 2011.  He was born in Toronto and drafted by Minnesota in the thirty-sixth round in 2005.  After spending some time in the Gulf Coast League, he hit .300 in a 2007 split between Elizabethton and Beloit and hit .300 again in Ft. Myers in 2008.  He then spent two years in New Britain and had solid seasons both times, although he missed much of 2010 with injuries.  He was the Most Valuable Player of the Futures Game in 2009, leading some to think he was better than he really was.  His numbers in Rochester in 2011  were not very good, but due to injuries and lack of depth, Tosoni made his major league debut with the Twins in late April and was up and down the rest of the season.  He did little for the Twins in sporadic playing time, which is about what one would expect.  He battled injuries again in 2012, did not play well in Rochester, was sent back to New Britain, did not do well there either, and finished the season on the disabled list.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Milwaukee for 2013 and had an undistinguished season in AA.  He was again a free agent and played with Sioux City, Sugarland, and Perth in 2014.  He was back with Sioux City in 2015 and was back with Sugarland in 2016, but that ended his playing career.  As a Twin, Rene Tosoni hit .203/.275/.343 in 172 at-bats.  He is the batting coach of the Class A Florida Fire Frogs in the Atlanta organization in 2018.

Leave a Reply