Happy Birthday–November 8

Bucky Harris (1896)
Tony Cuccinello (1907)
Wally Westlake (1920)
Joe Nossek (1940)
Ed Kranepool (1944)
John Denny (1952)
Jerry Remy (1952)
Jeff Blauser (1965)
Eric Anthony (1967)
Henry Rodriguez (1967)
Jose Offerman (1968)
Edgardo Alfonzo (1973)
Nick Punto (1977)
Giancarlo Stanton (1989)

Bucky Harris was a star for the franchise when it was in Washington in the 1920s.

Outfielder Joseph Rudolph Nossek played for the Twins from 1964-1966. He was born in Cleveland, attended Ohio University, then was signed by the Twins as a free agent in 1961. He posted decent averages in the minors, batting .293 at AAA Dallas-Ft. Worth as a 22-year-old. He spent the first month of 1964 with Minnesota, but got into only seven games and batted only once, popping up. He hit only .238 that year at AAA, but spent the next three years in the big leagues as a part-time outfielder. He hit .218 for the Twins in 1965 in 170 at-bats, but started most of the 1965 World Series games in center field, ahead of all-star Jimmie Hall. Nossek was sold in May of 1966 to the Kansas City Athletics. He had his best season in 1966, hitting .261, although with few walks and little power. He slumped to .205 in 1967, and spent all of 1968 at AAA. Nossek was traded to St. Louis in 1969, and went to Milwaukee in 1971, spending all of those years at AAA with the exception of 12 big league at-bats. As a Twin, Joe Nossek played in 98 games and got 171 at-bats. He hit .216/.249/.304, with 2 home runs. After his playing career ended, Nossek got into coaching at the major league level, and developed a reputation for being adept at stealing signs. He was a coach for the Twins in 1976 and also was a coach for the White Sox.  He then did some scouting for the Houston Astros.  He is a member of the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame. At last report, Joe Nossek was retired and living in Amherst, Ohio.

Outfielder Eric Todd Anthony did not play for the Twins, but he went to spring training with them in 1997. He was born in San Diego, went to high school in Houston, and was drafted by Houston in the thirty-fourth round in 1986. He attracted attention in 1988 when he hit .273 with 29 home runs for Class A Asheville. He followed that by hitting .292 with 31 homers in 1989 in a year spent mostly at AA Columbus. He got about a month and a half in the majors that season. He spent most of 1990 and about two months of 1991 in the majors as a reserve, but did not hit. Despite that, he was the regular right fielder for the Astros in 1992 and 1993. He still did not hit for average, although he did show double-digit home run power. He then started bouncing around. Anthony was traded to Seattle for 1994, signed with Cincinnati as a free agent for 1995, was sold to Colorado on July 30, 1996, and became a free agent after the season. He signed with Minnesota that off-season. The Twins had him in spring training but released him on March 26. Texas signed him the next day but released him again about a month later. Anthony then signed with the Dodgers, finishing the season there. Anthony went to Japan in 1998, came back to the Dodgers in 1989-1990, spending two full years at AAA Albuquerque, played in the Atlantic League in 2000, and was in the Mexican League in 2001 before ending his playing career. He was never a star, but he got nearly two thousand at-bats in the big leagues over nine seasons, which is pretty good for a thirty-fourth round draft choice.  At last report, Eric Anthony was living in the Houston area.  His wife, Robin, has a business selling herbal health products.

Infielder Jose Antonio (Dono) Offerman played for the Twins in 2004 near the end of a fairly long career. Born in San Pedro de Macoris, Puerto Rico, Offerman signed with the Dodgers as a free agent in 1986. He arrived in Los Angeles with quite a bit of hype in August of 1990, having hit over .300 in his minor league career. He never quite lived up to it, but he became the regular shortstop for the Dodgers in 1992, a position he held most of the next four seasons. He was rather error-prone, making over 30 errors in a season three times. His best year as a Dodger was his last one, 1995, when he batted .287 and made the all-star team. That off-season, Offerman was traded to Kansas City and began moving around the infield, finally settling at second base. He had his best seasons in Kansas City, hitting over .300 in his three years there and leading the league in triples in 1998. A free agent after that season, Offerman signed with Boston. He had another good year in 1999, batting .294, leading the league in triples again, and making his second all-star team. He started to decline after that, however, and was traded to Seattle in August of 2002. He became a free agent after the season and signed with Montreal, but was released before the season started. Offerman spent 2003 playing for Bridgeport in the independent Atlantic League, but then signed with Minnesota in February of 2004. He did a decent job for the Twins as a part-time player, batting .256/.363/.395 in 172 at-bats and leading the league in pinch hits. Let go after the season, Offerman moved on to Philadelphia and the Mets, played another year of independent ball, and then went to the Mexican League, where he was played through 2009.  While he was playing in the Atlantic League in 2007, he hit catcher Johnathan Nathans in the head with a bat during a brawl, which in 2014 resulted in a $940,000 judgment being awarded to Nathans. Offerman also managed Licey in the Dominican Winter League, but was banned for life in January of 2010 when, during an argument, he punched the first base umpire and knocked him to the ground.  That suspension was apparently lifted in February of 2013, and he managed Licey in 2014.  He did not manage them after that, however, and no information about what Jose Offerman is doing now was readily available.  Wikipedia says "He is the father of WWE ring announcer and reality television star JoJo Offerman."  I have no idea who that is.

Infielder Nicholas Paul Punto played for the Twins from 2004-2010. He was born in San Diego, attended high school in Mission Viejo, California, and then went to Saddleback College, also in Mission Viejo. Punto was drafted by Philadelphia in the 21st round in 1998. He spent five full seasons in the minors, hitting as high as .305 with Class A Clearwater in 1999 and as low as .229 with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2001. He got September callups in 2001 and 2002 and was with Philadelphia almost all of 2003 as a reserve infielder. He was traded to the Twins in December of 2003 with Carlos Silva and Bobby Korecky for Eric Milton. He was strictly a reserve in 2004, but became a mostly-regular in 2005.  He was a regular in 2006 and 2007, when he had his best and worst seasons; his best season was 2006, when he hit .290; his worst was 2007, when he tried to play through injuries and hit .210.  He only played in over a hundred games once after that, but continued to see substantial playing time throughout his tenure with the Twins.  In seven seasons as a Twin, Nick Putno has hit .248/.323/.324, for an OPS+ of 74. The Twins declined his option for 2011 and he signed with St. Louis.  He missed time with injuries, but had a solid year for the Cardinals when healthy, mostly playing second base.  He moved on to Boston for 2012, but hit only .200 and was traded to the Dodgers in late August along with Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez.  Used mostly as a reserve, he did a decent enough job for the Dodgers that season and continued to do so in 2013.  A free agent again after the season, he signed with Oakland but did not do much for them.  He signed with Arizona for 2015 but did not play, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.  He is a member of the Saddleback College Athletics Hall of Fame.  I always thought he'd be a baseball lifer, but he doesn't seem to have stayed in baseball since he stopped playing.  No information about what Nick Punto is doing now was readily available, but he will always be remembered whenever we see someone slide into first base.

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