Happy Birthday–July 7

George Moriarty (1885)
Double Duty Radcliffe (1902)
Satchel Paige (1906)
Billy Herman (1909)
Sammy White (1927)
John Gordon (1940)
Bill Melton (1945)
Tommy Moore (1948)
Len Barker (1955)
Dan Gladden (1957)
Glenn Hoffman (1958)
Tim Teufel (1958)
Dave Burba (1966)
Jeff Shaw (1966)
Chuck Knoblauch (1968)
Matt Mantei (1973)
Cory Provus (1978)
John Buck (1980)
Brandon McCarthy (1983)
Yangervis Solarte (1987)

Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe played in the Negro Leagues for many years.  He got his nickname because he would sometimes catch one game of a doubleheader and pitch the other.  He played professionally until 1954, when he retired at age 52.  He is the oldest player to ever appear in a professional baseball game, throwing one pitch for the Schaumberg Flyers of the Northern League in 1999 when he was 96.  I'm no expert on the Negro Leagues, but it seems to me that he should be in the Hall of Fame.

John Gordon was a radio broadcaster for the Twins from 1987 through 2011.

Tommy Moore was drafted by Minnesota in the twenty-eighth round in 1966, but did not sign.

Cory Provus has been a radio broadcaster for the Twins since 2012.

Outfielder Clinton Daniel Gladden played for the Twins from 1987-1991.  He was born in San Jose, went to Cal State-Fresno, and signed with San Francisco as a free agent in 1979.  He hit over .300 each season in the minors except 1980, when he hit .299.  1980 was his best power year, as he hit 18 homers in a season split between A and AA.  He reached AAA in 1982, got a September call-up in 1983, and came up for good in late June of 1984.  He had a tremendous half-season, hitting .351 with an OPS of .857.  He never equaled those numbers, of course, and by 1986 he had become a part-time player.  That meant he was available in a trade, and after the 1986 the Twins acquired him along with David Blakely for Jose Dominguez, Ray Velasquez, and a player to be named later (Bryan Hickerson).  It was a good trade for the Twins as Gladden, who had played mostly center field in San Francisco, was installed as the starting left fielder for the Twins.  The Twins won the World Series in his first season in Minnesota, and Gladden was given credit for much of their improvement despite the fact that his numbers weren’t all that good, especially for a leadoff batter:  .241/.312/.361 with 25 stolen bases.  He would have better seasons than that, but oddly, the Twins again won the Series in 1991 when Gladden was having another down year:  .247/.306/.356 with 15 steals.  He became a free agent after the season, and as Gladden was now 34 the Twins elected not to sign him.  He went to Detroit, where he was a semi-regular left fielder for two undistinguished seasons, and then retired.  As a Twin, Dan Gladden hit .268/.318/.382 in 645 games.  In 2000, he became a radio broadcaster for the Twins, a position he currently holds.

Infielder Timothy Shawn Teufel played for the Twins from 1983-1985.  He was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, went to Clemson University, then was drafted by the Twins in the second round in 1980.  He started out in AA that seasons and did well there.  Nothing particularly stands out, but he hit for a good average, showed some power, and drew a good number of walks.  He was promoted to AAA in the latter part of the 1982 season, and had an awesome year there in 1983:  .323/.437/.577 with 27 homers, 100 RBIs, 103 runs, 102 walks, and an OPS of 1.015.  He also stole 13 bases.  That over-qualified him for a September call-up, and he was the Twins’ starting second baseman in 1984.  He did fairly well, finishing fourth in Rookie of the Year voting, but never really progressed the way the Twins thought he would.  His defense was considered suspect as well, and so after the 1985 season the Twins traded him to the Mets with Pat Crosby for Billy Beane, Joe Klink, and Bill Latham.  It was not a good trade for the Twins, as the three players they received did little or nothing and Teufel went on to play for eight more years.  He platooned with Wally Backman for much of his time with the Mets, years that were not particularly distinguished except for 1987, when he hit .308/.398/.545 with 14 homers in 299 at-bats.  Gregg Jefferies came along to take the second base position in 1989, and Teufel became more of a utility player.  The Mets traded Teufel to San Diego at then end of May, 1991 for Garry Templeton.  He stayed with the Padres through 1993, but didn’t do much and his playing career came to a close.  As a Twin, Tim Teufel hit .265/.342/.409 in 1,080 at-bats.  After his playing days, he joined the Mets organization as a minor league manager and coach.  He is currently a roving minor league infield instructor for the Mets.

Second baseman Edward Charles Knoblauch played for the Twins from 1991-1997.  He was born in Houston, went to high school in Bellaire, Texas, went to Texas A&M, and was drafted by Minnesota in the first round in 1989.  He had two solid years in the minors and reached the majors to stay at the start of the 1991 season.  He was the Twins’ starting second baseman that year, hit .281, helped the team with the World Series, and was named Rookie of the Year.  As a Twin, he made the all-star team four times, won two Silver Slugger awards, one Gold Glove, and was in the top twenty for the MVP award three times.  His best year as a Twin was 1996, when he hit .341 with an OPS of .965, hit thirteen homers, and led the league with fourteen triples.  He signed a long-term contract with Minnesota after the 1996 season, but became unhappy there and was traded at his request to the Yankees for Brian Buchanan, Cristian Guzman, Eric Milton, Danny Mota and cash after the 1997 season.  He had some decent years with the Yankees, but never played as well as he had in Minnesota.  He also developed an inability to throw to first base, which is obviously a problem for an infielder.  The Yankees moved him to the outfield for 2001, but he declined offensively and was allowed to become a free agent after the season.  He signed with Kansas City for 2002, had a poor year as a part-time outfielder, and his playing career came to an end.  The circumstances of his departure from Minnesota soured Twins fans on him, but as a player for them, he hit .304/.391/.416 in 1,013 games.  Life after baseball does not seem to have gone particularly smoothly for him; he was implicated in the PED scandal in 2008 and pled guilty to assaulting his wife in 2009.  He seemed to be getting his life in order after that, but in 2014 he was again arrested for assaulting what was now his ex-wife.  No report on the resolution of that case was readily available, but at last report, Chuck Knoblauch was living in his native Houston and had started Knoblauch Baseball, which organizes teams and provides baseball instruction in the Houston area.  He was also involved in raising money for Multiple Myeloma Awareness programs.

Infielder Yangervis Alfredo Solarte did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system from 2006-2011.  Born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela, he signed as a free agent with Minnesota in 2005.  He spent two years in rookie ball before reaching Class A in 2008.  He apparently was injured much of 2009.  There was not a whole lot to recommend him at that point, but he hit well in winter ball that year and came back to hit .320 in a half-season in Fort Myers.  He followed that up with a .329 average in a full season at New Britain.  He was only twenty-three at that point, but the Twins allowed him to become a minor league free agent and he signed with Texas.  He did fairly well for two years in AAA for the Rangers but did not get a call to the big leagues.  He became a free agent again and signed with the Yankees for 2014.  He became the Yankees' regular third baseman and did okay for them, but was traded to San Diego in late July.  He had a solid year for the Padres in 2015, batting .270 with fourteen homers.  He would probably be considered a utility player, in that he saw time at third, first, and second, but he started over a hundred of his team's games and played in all but ten of them.  He missed six weeks early in 2016 with injuries, but when healthy he did even better, batting around .286 with an OBP of .341 and fifteen home runs.  He played mostly third base in 2016 but was been mostly used at second in 2017.  His numbers went down but were not terrible and he actually hit more home runs (eighteen).  He was traded to Toronto before the 2018 season and has gone back to mostly third.  He will probably set a personal record for homers this season, as he already has sixteen at this writing.  He bounced around and started kind of late, but it looks like Yangervis Solarte is having a pretty decent major league career.

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