Happy Birthday–April 7

John McGraw (1873)
Oral Hildebrand (1907)
Bobby Doerr (1918)
Jerry Hoffberger (1919)
Tom Phoebus (1942)
Bill Stoneman (1944)
Pete Van Wieren (1944)
Bobby Mitchell (1955)
Ricky Bones (1969)
Brett Tomko (1973)
Ronnie Belliard (1975)
Adrian Beltre (1979)

Jerry Hoffberger was the principal owner of the Baltimore Orioles from 1965-1979.

Pete Van Wieren was a broadcaster for the Atlanta Braves from 1976-2008.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to the Philosofer's wife.

Outfielder Robert Van Mitchell was with the Twins from 1982-1983.  He was born in Salt Lake City, went to high school in Chatsworth, California, and was drafted by the Dodgers in the seventh round in 1977.  He hit for a high average every year in the minors; his lowest average was .292 with AA San Antonio in 1978, and his highest was .327 with AAA Albuquerque in 1979.  He drew a decent number of walks as well, although he had no power.  Mitchell got September call-ups in both 1980 and 1981.  Prior to the 1982 season, he was traded to Minnesota with Bobby Castillo for Paul Voight and Scotti Madison.  He replaced Jim Eisenreich as the starting center fielder that year.  He fielded the position well, but could not translate his high minor league averages into major league success.  He hit .249 with an OBP of .331 and lost the starting job in 1983 to Darrell Brown.  Mitchell hit .230 in a reserve role.  He was with AAA Toledo in 1984, hitting .272, but then the Twins let him go.  As a Twin, Bobby Mitchell hit .244/.337/.310 in 606 at-bats.  He played in AAA for two more years, in the Tigers organization in 1985 and the Blue Jays organization in 1986, and then his playing career was over.  He has been a minor league coach and manager since then, employed by the Expos, Padres, and Angels organizations.  Bobby Mitchell managed the Salt Lake Bees, the AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, from 2008-2010.  He began 2011 as the roving outfield, baserunning, and bunting coordinator for the Angels, but became the manager of the AA Arkansas Travelers late in the season when their manager resigned.  He was manager of the Cubs entry in the Arizona Summer League from 2012-2014, was the coordinator of player development for the Atlanta Braves in 2015, was the manager of the Trenton Thunder in the Yankees' organization from 2016-2017, and was the manager of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in 2018.  He was let go after the season, however, and while he has expressed an interest in remaining in baseball it does not appear that he has a job there at the present time.  We wish him well in whatever the future holds for him.

Right-hander Ricardo Ricky Bones did not play for the Twins, but he was in their minor league system briefly in 1998.  He was born in Salinas, Puerto Rico and went to high school in Guyama, Puerto Rico.  He signed with San Diego as a free agent in 1986.  He did not have spectacular minor league numbers, but he was decent and showed fairly good control.  He made his major league debut with the Padres in mid-August of 1991, making eleven starts and not doing too badly for a 22-year-old.  Just before the 1992 season, Bones was traded to Milwaukee in a trade that involved Gary Sheffield.  He was in Milwaukee nearly five years, spending the first three as a solid rotation starter.  His best year as a Brewer was 1994, when he was 10-9, 3.43 and made the all-star team.  He had a down year in 1995, and was doing worse in 1996 when he was traded to the Yankees.  Bones became a free agent after the season and signed with Cincinnati for 1997.  He pitched poorly, was released in May, signed back with Milwaukee, and was sold to Kansas City in late June.  He stayed there the rest of the year, became a free agent, and signed with Minnesota in January of 1998.  He was pitching pretty well in AAA Salt Lake, going 5-1, 3.42 with a 1.27 WHIP, but was still released in late May.  He signed back with Kansas City, went back to the bullpen, and did well there, posting a 3.04 ERA in 32 appearances.  Bones spent three more years in the majors, playing for Baltimore in 1999 and for Florida in 2000 and 2001.  He played in the Dodgers' organization in 2002 and in Mexico in 2003 before ending his playing career.  He went into coaching after that, working in the Mets' organization.  He was in the minors through 2011 and was the Mets' bullpen coach from 2012-2018.  He was not retained for 2019, however, and no information was readily available as to what he might be doing this season.