Happy Birthday–February 18

Ray Ryan (1883)
George Mogridge (1889)
Sherry Smith (1891)
Jake Kline (1895)
Huck Betts (1897)
Joe Gordon (1915)
Herm Wehmeier (1927)
Frank House (1930)
Manny Mota (1938)
Dal Maxvill (1939)
Bob Miller (1939)
Jerry Morales (1949)
John Mayberry (1949)
Bruce Kison (1950)
Marc Hill (1952)
Rafael Ramirez (1958)
Kevin Tapani (1964)
John Valentin (1967)
Shawn Estes (1973)
Jamey Carroll (1974)
Chad Moeller (1975)
Alex Rios (1981)

Ray Ryan was involved in minor league baseball for six decades.  He had one baseball card, a part of the T206 tobacco series.  This is the series that produced the famous Honus Wagner card.

Jake Kline was the baseball coach at Notre Dame from 1934-1975.

Born Robert Lane Gemeinweiser, right-hander Bob Miller played for the Twins in 1968-1969.  He was born in St. Louis and went to high school there.  Miller was signed as a free agent by the Cardinals in June of 1957 under the "bonus baby" rules, which required him to be on the major league roster the remainder of the 1957 season.  He appeared in only five games, pitching mop-up relief, before really getting his professional career started in 1958.  He was used primarily as a starter in the minors and pitched quite well, getting a major league call-up in August of 1959.  By 1960, he was in the majors to stay.  Miller was used mostly out of the Cardinals bullpen through 1961, doing a decent but unexceptional job.  He was left unprotected in the expansion draft and was chosen by the New York Mets.  He was with the Mets for one season, was used mostly as a starter, and did not do well, going 1-12, 4.89.  After the season, Miller was traded to the Dodgers, where he stayed for five years.  He started 23 games in 1963, but was used primarily as a reliever the rest of his time in Los Angeles.  He did a fine job for them, posting ERAs under three for four consecutive years (1963-1966) and leading the league in appearances in 1964.  He had a down year in 1967 and was traded to Minnesota with Ron Perranoski and Johnny Roseboro for Mudcat Grant and Zoilo Versalles.  Miller was used exclusively as a reliever in 1968 and primarily as a reliever in 1969 (he started 11 games).  He once again pitched very well:  as a Twin, Bob Miller was 5-8, 2.91 with a WHIP of 1.25 and an ERA+ of 120.  After the 1969 season, though, Minnesota traded Miller to Cleveland with Dean Chance, Graig Nettles, and Ted Uhlaender for Luis Tiant and Stan Williams.  Miller started bouncing around after that:  traded to the White Sox in June of 1970, sold to the Cubs in September of the same year, released by the Cubs in May of 1971, signed by San Diego the next day, traded to Pittsburgh in August, released in March of 1973, signed by San Diego again in April, selected off waivers by Detroit in June, sold to the Mets in September, and finally released by the Mets in October of 1974, ending time in the majors.  Other than 1970, he pitched pretty well in those years; even in his last major league year, he went 2-2, 3.58.  In 1975 he signed once again with San Diego and spent the year pitching for AAA Hawaii before ending his career.  He stayed in baseball after his playing career ended:  he managed in the minors in 1976, was the first pitching coach for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1977-1979, and later was a coach for the San Francisco Giants in 1985.  Miller was a scout for the Giants when he was killed in an automobile accident on August 6, 1993 in Rancho Bernardo, California.

Right-hander Kevin Ray Tapani had the best years of his career as a member of the Minnesota Twins from 1989-1995.  Born in Des Moines, he went to high school in Escanaba, Michigan, then attended Central Michigan University.  He was drafted by Oakland in the second round in 1986.  He pitched pretty well in Class A for two years, but was traded to the Mets after the 1987 in a three-team deal (the Dodgers were also included) which included Bob Welch, Alfredo Griffin, and Jesse Orosco.  With the Mets, he had a good year in AA in 1988 and another in AAA in 1989.  He was called up to the Mets for about two weeks in 1989, and pitched well in three relief appearances.  At the end of July of 1989, Tapani was traded to the Twins along with Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, David West, and a player to be named later (Jack Savage) for Frank Viola.  The Twins started Tapani at AAA, but called him up in September and immediately put him in their starting rotation.  He would not leave it until July of 1995.  In between, Tapani put together some fine years.  He was fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1990 and finished seventh in the Cy Young balloting in 1991, when he won 16 games and posted an ERA of 2.99.  Tapani never quite equaled that 1991 season; while he didn't become awful, he started a slow decline, with his ERA and WHIP both going up, gradually but noticeably.  On July 31, 1995, Tapani was traded to the Dodgers with Mark Guthrie for Ron Coomer, Greg Hansell, Jose Parra, and a player to be named later (Chris Latham).  He finished out 1995 with the Dodgers, then became a free agent.  He played for the White Sox in 1996, had a decent but unspectacular year, and then became a free agent again, signing with the Cubs.  Tapani was a Cub for five years, and while he was not a star he was a solid contributor to their rotation.  He became a free agent after the 2001 season and decided to retire.  As a Twin, Kevin Tapani was 75-63, 4.06 with a WHIP of 1.27 in 180 starts (1,171 innings).  He is a member of the Central Michigan University Athletics Hall of Fame.  At last report, Kevin Tapani was the head baseball coach at Providence Academy in Plymouth, Minnesota.  His son, Ryan Tapani, has pitched in the low minors for Washington since 2018.

Infielder Jamey Blake Carroll played for the Twins in 2012-13.  He was born in Evansville, Indiana, went to high school in Newburgh, Indiana, attended the University of Evansville, and was drafted by Montreal in the fourteenth round in 1996.  He was always fairly good in the minors, but never had the kind of numbers that would really get anyone’s attention.  He never hit .300 in the minors, nor did he ever hit double-digit home runs.  His best year in the minors was probably 1999, when he hit .292 for AA Harrisburg at age 25.  He made his major league debut as a September call-up in 2002, had his first full season in the majors in 2003, and with the exception of a rehab assignment in 2009 he has never been back to the minors.  His numbers in the majors have been similar to his numbers in the minors:  fairly good, but nothing that really gets anyone’s attention.  His career numbers are .276/.354/.344 and he has averaged 119 games and 337 at-bats per season.  He has generally either been a utility player or a semi-regular.  He has started over a hundred games in a season only three times (2006, 2011, and 2012) and has only once started over a hundred games in a season at one position (second base in 2006).  He was with Montreal until it moved to Washington, was a National for one season, then was sold to Colorado in February of 2006.  He was with the Rockies for two seasons, then was traded to Cleveland in December of 2007.  After two seasons there, he became a free agent and signed with the Dodgers.  He was there for two more seasons, became a free agent again, and signed with Minnesota for 2012.  He saw regular playing time, but at three positions, playing 66 games at second, 44 at third, and 37 at shortstop.   He was used less in 2013, appearing in only 59 games, and was sold to Kansas City in mid-August.  As a Twin, he hit .257/.327/.301 in 661 at-bats.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Washington for 2014 but was released in spring training, ending his playing career.  At last report, Jamey Carroll was a special assistant to the baseball operations staff of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Catcher Chad Edward Moeller started his rather lengthy major league career as a member of the Minnesota Twins in 2000.  He was born in Upland, California, went to high school there, and then went to USC.  He was drafted by the Twins in the seventh round in 1996.  He had a couple of good years at Class A, stumbled some when promoted to AA, but was having a pretty good year in AAA in 2000 when he made his major league debut for the Twins in mid-June.  He was part of the revolving door the Twins had at catcher that year, along with Danny Ardoin, Marcus Jensen, Matthew LeCroy, and A. J. Pierzynski.  Other than Pierzynski, none of them stood out that year, and five catchers was a bit much even for the Twins, so they traded Moeller in March of 2001 to Arizona for Hanley Frias.  He was with the Diamondbacks for three years, splitting the first two between AAA and the majors before getting his first full major league season in 2003.  After the 2003 season, Moeller was traded to Milwaukee, where he was a part-time catcher for all of 2004 and 2005.  He didn't hit, was sent to the minors for part of 2006, and then became a free agent.  He bounced around a lot after that:  he signed with Cincinnati for 2007, was sold to the Dodgers in August, signed as a free agent with Washington for 2008, was released during spring training, signed with the Yankees, was released after the season, and was with Baltimore for 2009.  All of those years were split between AAA and the majors, with Moeller averaging about 80 major league at-bats each year.  As a Twin, Moeller hit .211/.261/.273 in 128 at-bats.  Chad Moeller signed a minor league contract with Baltimore for 2010, was released at the end of spring training, and signed with the Yankees again, appearing in nine major league games in two stints with the big club.  A free agent again after the 2010 season, he signed with Colorado for 2011 but was released in spring training and his playing career came to an end.  He is now living in Scottsdale, Arizona and operates Chad Moeller Baseball, which conducts clinics and offers baseball instructional videos, and Scottsdale Batting Cages, at which he offers individual and group instruction.

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