Happy Birthday–August 1

Due to personal time constraints, this is a reprint from last year which has not been updated.

Dummy Kihm (1873)
Pop Kelchner (1875)
War Sanders (1877)
Red Ames (1882)
John F. Kieran (1892)
Fuzzy Hufft (1901)
Tom Burgmeier (1943)
Bombo Rivera (1952)
Danny Sheaffer (1961)
Tim Wakefield (1966)
Matt Guerrier (1978)
Colby Lewis (1979)
Humberto Quintero (1979)
Grady Sizemore (1982)
Huston Street (1983)
Luke Hughes (1984)

A deaf mute, Dummy Kihm had 2,245 hits in seventeen minor league seasons.

Pop Kelchner was a scout for fifty years, most of them for the St. Louis Cardinals.

What was War good for?  Absolutely nothing.  In twelve games, War Sanders was 2-8, 5.64, 1.61 WHIP.  He also was 1-for-21 at the plate.

John F. Kieran was a long-time sportswriter in New York and was a panelist on the quiz show "Information, Please".

Fuzzy Hufft had 1,400 hits over seven seasons in the Pacific Coast League and served honorably in both World Wars.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to UncleWalt’s youngest child.

Left-handed reliever Thomas Henry Burgmeier pitched for the Twins from 1974-1977.  He was born in St. Paul, went to high school in St. Cloud, and signed with Houston as a free agent in 1961.  He was a starter in the minors and struggled quite a bit; in fact, Houston released him in June of 1964.  He signed with the Angels about six weeks later, but continued to struggle the rest of that year.  His first good year in the minors was 1965, when he went 8-7, 3.21 for AAA Seattle.  He went backward in 1966, but came back in Seattle in 1967 to go 11-14, 2.78, 1.06 WHIP.  He spent all of the 1968 season in the Angels’ bullpen and did not do too badly, going 1-4, 4.33 but with a WHIP of 1.23.  He was left unprotected in the expansion draft, and was selected by Kansas City.  Burgmeier was in the Royals’ bullpen for a little over four years.  He did pretty well in the first three of them, but in 1972 he posted a WHIP of 1.81.  Control seems to have been his big issue, as he walked 33 in 55 innings.  He started 1973 in Kansas City, but was sent to the minors in early May after making only six big-league appearances.  The Royals gave up on him, sending him to Minnesota after the 1973 season for Ken Gill.  It was a good trade for the Twins, as Burgmeier did some solid work for them as a left-handed setup man.  Over four seasons, he went 24-16, 3.77, 1.28 WHIP with 23 saves.  He appeared in 214 games, working 380 innings.  In his last season as a Twin, 1977, his ERA ballooned to 5.09.  He was allowed to become a free agent and signed with Boston.  He pitched quite well for the Red Sox, posting an ERA under three in four of his five seasons there, with a WHIP of under 1.2 in three of those seasons.  He became a free agent after the 1982 campaign and signed with Oakland.  He continued to pitch very well there, going 9-7, 2.72, 1.21 WHIP over two years.  There is nothing in his record to indicate that he could not have continued to do that for a while, but he was forty years old and suffering from shoulder tendinitis, so he decided to retire after the 1984 season.  Burgmeier remained in baseball and was a  minor league pitching coach for many years.  Most of that time he was working for the Royals, most recently as the pitching coach in Omaha from 2006-2009.  He was also the bullpen coach for the major league team from 1998-2000.  At last report, Tom Burgmeier was retired and was living in the Kansas City area, but continued to be available for personal appearances and private lessons.

Popular outfielder Jesus Manuel “Bombo” Rivera played for the Twins from 1978-1980.  He was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and signed with Montreal as a free agent in 1970.  He started slowly, which was to be expected given his youth.  He came on to hit .290 with a .374 OBP for AA Quebec in 1974, and followed that up with .293 and a .390 OBP for AAA Memphis in 1975.  After 40 games in Memphis, Rivera made his major league debut for the Expos.  He stayed through 1976 as a reserve outfielder and didn’t do badly in limited play, hitting .268 in 194 at-bats.  He was back in AAA in 1977 and hit .302 with 17 homers and 14 triples.  By that time, though, the Expos had Andre Dawson, Ellis Valentine, and Warren Cromartie in their outfield, all of whom were in their early twenties, and they had no need for Rivera.  He was sold to Minnesota in October of 1977.  He was a corner outfielder who was generally used as a platoon player, sharing time with Hosken Powell.  He did okay for his first two seasons and fell apart in the third; as a Twin, Rivera hit .268/.321/.397 in 627 at-bats.  He was released by the Twins late in 1981 spring training and signed with Kansas City.  Rivera played for Omaha for most of three seasons and had his best year there in 1982, hitting .318 with 27 home runs.  He got a September call-up that year, going 1-for-10.  He was in the minors with both the Royals and Cardinals in 1983.  Rivera went to Japan in 1985-1986, hitting 31 homers in the former season.  He played in the Puerto Rican League through 1989.  At last report, Bombo Rivera continued to live in Puerto Rico and worked for a non-profit organization that offers free sports clinics to disadvantaged children.  He also worked as an umpire for youth baseball in Puerto Rico.  He was never a great player, but he was always popular.  He was the subject of a song by Garrison Keillor and was mentioned in the W. P. Kinsella novel "Shoeless Joe".  Bill James once said, "A chart of numbers that would put an actuary to sleep can be made to dance if you put it on one side of a card and Bombo Rivera’s picture on the other.”

Catcher Danny Todd Sheaffer did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system for two seasons.  He was born in Jacksonville, Florida, went to high school in Lewisbury, Pennsylvania, and then attended Clemson.  He was chosen by Boston in the first round of the January draft in 1981.  He was primarily a catcher, but played a handful of games both in the infield and the outfield.  He had some decent years in the minors, hitting .276 with 15 homers for Class A Winston-Salem in 1983 and .340 (in 243 at-bats) with AAA Pawtucket in 1985.  He was with the Red Sox for a couple of months in 1987 as a reserve but hit only .121 in 66 at-bats.  He became a free agent after the 1988 season and signed with Cleveland.  He was in AAA most of the 1989 season, although he was with the Indians for about three weeks.  Sheaffer moved on to the Pittsburgh organization for 1990, then signed with Minnesota as a free agent.  He was generally a part-time catcher in AAA Portland, although he also played a handful of games in the outfield and corner infield.  He hit .288 in two seasons there, but did not get a chance in the majors.  He signed with Colorado for 1993, surprisingly made the team as a backup catcher, and stayed there for two years, hitting .258 in limited duty.  He moved on to St. Louis in 1995 and oddly becoming a super-utility player at age 33.  He caught some, but also played a fair amount of corner infield and corner outfield.  He hit only .234 with a .624 OPS as a Cardinal, but was apparently considered a valuable reserve, as he stayed with St. Louis for three seasons.  He was in the minors for St. Louis in 1998, then his playing career ended.  For someone who had only 82 major league at-bats at age 30, he did quite well.  He remained in the Cardinals’ organization, managing in the minors for them from 2000-2006.  He then moved to the Astros and was their minor league catching instructor through 2012.  Since 2013, Danny Shaeffer has been the manager of the Princeton Rays in the Appalachian League.

Right-handed reliever Matthew Olson Guerrier was with the Twins from 2004-2010 and again in 2014.  He was born in Cleveland, went to high school in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and attended Kent State.  He was drafted by the White Sox in the tenth round in 1999.  He pitched very well in the White Sox’ chain for three seasons, the first two as a reliever, the third as a starter.  His combined ERA in those seasons was 2.80, as he rose as high as AAA in 2001.  The White Sox traded him to Pittsburgh in March of 2002.  He was in AAA Nashville for two seasons, still as a starting pitcher.  His won-lost records and ERAs were unimpressive, but he posted a combined WHIP of 1.25 with very good control.  The Pirates put Guerrier on waivers, and he was selected by Minnesota in November of 2003.  Still a starter in 2004, Guerrier was 5-10, but with an ERA of 3.19 and a WHIP of 1.11.  He had three stints with the Twins that season, starting two games and relieving in one in June, relieving in two games in August, and then getting a September call-up.  He became a permanent member of the bullpen at the start of the 2005 season and was there through 2010.  He pitched well for them every year but 2008.  He led the league in appearances in 2008 and 2009.  He was never a closer–he had exactly one save each season since 2006–but he was a valuable set-up man for the Twins.  He became a free agent after the 2010 season and signed with the Dodgers; his ERA was a little higher in 2011, but the rest of his numbers were similar to what he did for the Twins.  He was off to a good start in 2012 but injured his elbow in April and missed most of the season, coming back in late August.  He started poorly in 2013 and was traded to the Cubs in early July.  He pitched well for the Cubs in limited duty.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Minnesota for 2014.  He began the year in Rochester but was soon recalled to the majors.  He made twenty-seven appearances for the Twins and was not terrible, but was not all that good, either, and was released in late July, ending his playing career.  As a Twin, Matt Guerrier was 19-26, 3.40, 1.25 WHIP with 5 saves in exactly 500 innings (420 games).  Matt Guerrier is currently an assistant baseball coach for Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama, where another assistant coach is former big league player Wes Helms.

Third baseman Luke Trevor Hughes played in two games for the Twins in 2010 and was with them for most of 2011.  He was born in Perth, Australia, and signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 2002.  He played both short and third in 2002, moved to second base for 2004-2005, shifted primarily to third in 2006, played second base and outfield in 2007, went back to primarily third base in 2008-2009, and was mostly playing second base in Rochester this season before getting injured.  He hit .305 in the Gulf Coast League in 2003 and .284 in Elizabethton in 2004, then struggled for a few of years before hitting .283 in AA New Britain in 2007.  He followed that up with his best minor league season, hitting .309 with 18 homers in a 2008 spent about two-thirds at New Britain and one-third in AAA Rochester.  He then seemed to go backward, hitting in the .250s in Rochester and New Britain.  He played in two games for the Twins in late April of 2010, replacing an injured Nick Punto, and went 2-for-7, hitting a home run in his first major league at-bat.  He suffered a strained left hip flexor in mid-May and did not play again.    He spent much of 2011 with the Twins, but did not do much with the opportunity, batting .223 with an OPS of .627 in nearly 300 at-bats.  He began 2012 in Rochester but was placed on waivers in late April and was selected by Oakland.  He played in four games for the Athletics, was sent to AAA Sacramento, didn’t do much there, and was released in mid-July.  He signed with Toronto on August 1 and hit well for a month in AAA, but did not get a September call-up.  He signed to play with an Australian Rules football team in April of 2013, but it appears that nothing really came of that.  He was back in the United States in 2015, playing with Lancaster in the Atlantic League.  He has continued to play for Perth in the Australian League and was the team's batting coach last season.  Luke Hughes turns thirty-three today.  It is extremely unlikely that we will see him in a major league uniform again, but it sounds like he will remain active in the Australian sports world for some time to come.

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