Happy Birthday–August 17

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

Johnny Rawlings (1892)
Rudy York (1913)
Donald Honig (1931)
Jim Davenport (1933)
John Buzhardt (1936)
Diego Segui (1937)
Boog Powell (1941)
Ron Boyer (1944)
Skip Lockwood (1946)
Butch Hobson (1951)
Alex Cole (1965)
Jorge Posada (1971)
Mike Maroth (1977)
Brett Myers (1980)
Dustin Pedroia (1983)

Author Donald Honig has written nearly forty books about baseball.

Ron Boyer is the brother of Clete Boyer and Ken Boyer. He played in the Yankees’ farm system for eight years, reaching AAA.

Outfielder Alexander Cole played for the Twins in 1994-1995.  He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, attended Manatee Community College of Bradenton, Florida, and was taken by St. Louis in the second round of the 1985 January draft. A speedy singles hitter with no power at all, he didn’t hit enough singles to really establish himself after getting to AAA in 1986. Cole moved around a few times in AAA–he did not hit enough to make the team he was with want to keep him, but he was so fast that there was always someone who wanted him. Traded from St. Louis to San Diego to Cleveland, Cole made his debut with the Indians in July of 1990. He posted good batting averages as a part-time player in 1990 and 1991, but after a poor start in 1992 he was traded to Pittsburgh. After the 1992 season, the Colorado Rockies selected Cole in the expansion draft. He played for the Rockies in 1993, but hit only .256 as a semi-regular center fielder and became a free agent.  He was signed by the Twins at the start of spring training in 1994 and stayed in Minnesota for two years. Cole did well as a part-time player for the Twins in 1994, hitting .296 with an OBP of .375.  Unfortunately, he was injured much of 1995 and became a free agent after that season.  He hit , batting .304 with a .381 OBP in 424 at-bats. He again became a free agent after the 1995 season and signed with Boston for 1996, his last year in the big-leagues. Cole was in the Marlins organization for part of 1997 and then spent a few years playing independent ball before calling it a career after the 2001 season. Sadly, life after baseball does not seem to have gone well for him: in 2002, Cole was sentenced to 18 months in prison possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, and in 2006, a $30,000 judgment was entered against him for running up credit card bills under someone else’s name.  At last report, Alex Cole was splitting his time between Florida and North Carolina.  It’s hoped that he has his life straightened out now.

Left-hander Michael Warren Maroth did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system in 2010.  Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, he attended the University of Central Florida and was drafted by Boston in the third round in 1998.  He showed some promise in the Red Sox’ system, but was traded to Detroit at the July, 1999 deadline for Bryce Florie.  He struggled in the Tigers’ system until 2002, when he went 8-1, 2.82 in eleven starts for AAA Toledo.  He made his big league debut that season, making 21 starts for the Tigers and not pitching too badly.  The next year, 2003, Detroit made a serious run at having the worst record in the history of baseball, and Maroth became a symbol of their futility, losing 21 games.  He was not that horrible, but he wasn’t all that good, either, posting an ERA of 5.73 and a WHIP of 1.45.  He was in the rotation for two more seasons and was fairly average.  He was off to a good start in 2006 but was injured, missing most of the year.  He was back in the rotation in 2007 but did not pitch well and was traded to St. Louis in June.  He did worse there and was allowed to become a free agent after the season.  He signed with Kansas City for 2008, but was released in late April and was out of baseball the rest of the year.  He signed with Toronto for 2009 but was released in late March and was out of baseball again.  The Twins signed him for 2010 and sent him to Rochester.  He got off to a decent start, but was injured after only three starts.  He made a rehab appearance in late July, but that was it for him as a Twin.  He became a free agent after the season and pitched in winter ball, but did not sign with anyone for 2011 and officially retired on January 25, 2011.  He has since spent some time as a minor league pitching coach.  Mike Maroth is currently minor league rehab pitching coordinator for the Atlanta Braves.