Happy Birthday–June 19

Eddie Cicotte (1884)
Lou Gehrig (1903)
Bill Swift (1908)
Don Gutteridge (1912)
Archie Ware (1918)
Mom A (1925)
Chet Boak (1935)
Bob Aspromonte (1938)
Isao Harimoto (1940)
Jerry Reuss (1949)
Duane Kuiper (1950)
Jim Slaton (1950)
Johnnie LeMaster (1954)
Doug Mientkiewicz (1974)
Alex Prieto (1976)
Dustan Mohr (1976)
Bruce Chen (1977)
Blake Parker (1985)

Archie Ware was a star first baseman in the Negro Leagues.

Infielder Chet Boak played for the Twins’ AAA affiliate, the Syracuse Chiefs, in 1961, but does not appear to have actually been a part of the Twins’ organization, as records show him belonging to the expansion Washington Senators. One assumes he was loaned to the Twins’ for part of that season.

Isao Harimoto is the only person to have 3,000 hits in Japanese baseball.

I would like to wish a very happy birthday to Mom A. She is not a big baseball fan (she felt I'd had a good game if she didn't have to wash my uniform, which unfortunately happened quite a bit because I sat on the bench a lot), but she came to every game and often worked in the cramped little concession stand even on the hottest days. Happy birthday, Mom.

First baseman Douglas Andrew Mientkiewicz played for the Twins in all or part of seven seasons. He was born in Toledo, went to high school in Miami, and attended Florida State. He then was drafted by Minnesota in the fifth round in 1995. He started slowly but had a big year in New Britain in 1998, batting .323 with 16 home runs. That resulted in a September call-up, and in 1999 he started the season as the Twins’ regular first baseman, startling people who had expected David Ortiz to get the job. He hit well in April but did not do much after that, gradually losing playing time to Ron Coomer. In
2000 he had another big year in the minors, hitting .334 with 18 homers in Salt Lake and getting another September call-up. He also played on the gold medal U. S. Olympic team that year. He regained the regular first base job with the Twins in 2001 and held it through July of 2004. His best year as a Twin was 2001, when he hit .306 with 15 homers and finished fourteenth in MVP voting. He also won the Gold Glove that year, which despite his reputation as a tremendous defensive player was the only time he ever won that award. He had a bad year in 2004 and was traded to Boston at the end of July in a four-team traded that netted the Twins Justin Jones from the Cubs (Orlando Cabrera was also involved in the trade). He was a part-time first baseman for the Red Sox the rest of the season, winning a World Championship ring. He then started bouncing around, playing for the Mets in 2005, Kansas City in 2006, the Yankees in 2007, and Pittsburgh in 2008. For most of those years, he was basically what he had been, a good defensive first baseman who hit for a decent average, drew some walks, and had moderate power. Mientkiewicz signed with the Dodgers for 2009 but was injured much of the season. The Dodgers released him at the end of 2010 spring training and he went unsigned until early May, when he hooked on with the Marlins. He was in AAA for about two weeks, but opted out of his contract after playing in only four games. As a Twin, he hit .275/.367/.408 in 2,147 at-bats. Doug Mientkiewicz eventually went into coaching, and managed in the Twins organization from 2013-2017.  He is currently the manager of the Toledo Mud Hens, AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

Infielder Alejandro Antonio Prieto appeared in 24 games for the Twins in 2003-2004. Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, he was signed as a free agent by Kansas City in 1992 at age 16. He was in the low levels of the minors for five seasons before getting a promotion to AA in 1998. Prieto had little power, but hit for a decent average and drew a decent number of walks. He was primarily a shortstop but saw some time at second and third and played a few games in the outfield. He did fairly well in his second year of AA in 1999, and so moved up to AAA for 2000. He did well his second year there, 2001, as well, but after that he became a minor league free agent and signed with Minnesota. He was a consistent batter for Rochester, neither particularly good nor particularly bad. Prieto got a couple of stints in the majors with the Twins, the only big league playing time he got. In 2003 he was with the Twins for about a month, going 1-for-11. In 2004 he was there for about five weeks, going 8-for-32. Put it all together, and you have a line of .209/.255/.302 in 43 at-bats. He became a free agent after the 2004 season and spent three more years in the minors. He signed with the Philadelphia organization for 2005, was traded to the Kansas City system in late April, stayed there for 2006, and moved on the Red Sox’ chain for 2007, playing in AAA there until his release in late August. He then played in the independent Atlantic League in 2008 and 2009. He played for four independent teams in 2010, then his playing career came to an end.  At last report, Alex Prieto had returned to his native Caracas.

Outfielder Dustan Kyle Mohr played for the Twins for two-plus years in the early part of the decade of the 2000s. Born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, he attended the University of Alabama and was drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round in 1997. His minor league numbers were fairly good but not all that impressive, and the Indians released him in late March of 2000. The Twins signed him, and in 2001 he hit .336 with 24 homers for AA New Britain. That got people’s attention, and he was called up to the big leagues in late August of that season and stuck for a few years. He was a semi-regular outfielder for the Twins in 2002 and 2003, playing mostly in right. He mostly shared the position with Bobby Kielty. He was decent–Mohr finished eighth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2002. In mid-season of 2003, however, the Twins traded for Shannon Stewart, making Mohr expendable. He was traded after the season to San Francisco for a player to be named later (J. T. Thomas). As a Twin, he hit .258/.319/.408 in 782 at-bats. He hit well for the Giants in 2004 as a fourth outfielder, but was allowed to become a free agent and signed with Colorado. He was again a reserve outfielder, but hit only .214, and his big league career was nearing its close. He was with Boston and Detroit in 2006 and Tampa Bay in 2007, but was in the minors most of that time, getting only forty at-bats with the Red Sox and sixteen with the Devil Rays. He was with Colorado Springs in the Rockies organization for a month in 2008 then played for the independent Wichita Wingnuts the rest of 2008 and 2009. He played for the independent Long Island Ducks in 2010, then his career came to an end. At last report, Dustan Mohr had gone into the insurance business and was a regional vice president for One Resource Group in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area.

Right-hander Richard Blake Parker came to the Twins for the 2019 season.  Born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas, he attended the University of Arkansas and was drafted by the Cubs in the sixteenth round in 2006.  He has always been a reliever, never starting even one game in either the minors or the majors.  He pitched well in the minors and reached AAA in 2008, but then seemed to stall out.  He bounced between AA and AAA through 2011, not pitching badly but not really standing out, either.  He finally made his major league debut with seven games for the Cubs in 2012.  He was with the Cubs for the last four months of the season in 2013 and pitched very well, but spent 2014 bouncing back and forth between AA and the majors.  He was injured most of the 2015 season, became a free agent, and signed with Seattle for 2016.  He pitched well in AAA for them but made only one appearance in the majors before being waived in mid-August.  The Yankees claimed him and put him in their bullpen the rest of the season.  He was waived again after the season and claimed by the Angels, but the waived him prior to spring training and he was claimed by Milwaukee.  They waived him, still prior to spring training, and he was claimed by the Angels again.  He got his first full season in the majors in 2017, at age thirty-two, and he had two good years for the Angels, posting an ERA of 2.90 and a WHIP of 1.03.  He was a free agent after the season and signed with Minnesota for 2019. He has been given a prominent bullpen role and justified it with his performance for the first two months of the season, but things have not gone well for him so far in June.  Time will tell whether this is a bump in the road or a trend.

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