Happy Birthday–February 22

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

Bill Klem (1874)
Clarence Mitchell (1891)
Roy Spencer (1900)
Charles O. Finley (1918)
Stubby Greer (1920)
Ryne Duren (1929)
Sparky Anderson (1934)
Steve Barber (1938)
Tom Griffin (1948)
Gerry Davis (1953)
John Halama (1972)
J. J. Putz (1977)
Kelly Johnson (1982)
Brian Duensing (1983)
Casey Kotchman (1983)

Bill Klem was a National League umpire from 1905-1941.  He was the first umpire to indicate his calls with arm signals, and was also the first umpire to wear an inside chest protector.  He umpired in eighteen World Series and also umpired the first all-star game.

Charles O. Finley was the owner of the Kansas City and Oakland Athletics from 1960-81.

Stubby Greer played in the minors from 1940-1958 with a career batting average of .330.  He never played in the major leagues.

Sparky Anderson was born in Bridgewater, South Dakota.

Gerry Davis has been a major league umpire since 1982.

J. J. Putz was drafted by Minnesota in the seventeenth round in 1998, but did not sign.

Left-hander Brian Matthew Duensing pitched for the Twins from 2009-2015.  He was born in Marysville, Kansas, went to high school in Omaha, and attended the University of Nebraska.  He was drafted by the Twins in 2005.  He pitched well in his first few years in the minors and had a fine season in 2007, when he went a combined 15-6, 3.07 with a WHIP of 1.19 in nine starts at AA New Britain and 19 starts in AAA Rochester.  He pitched for the U. S. Olympic team in Beijing in 2008.    He also pitched in Rochester in 2008 and 2009 and seemed to be getting worse, posting higher ERAs and WHIPs each season.  Despite that, however, he made his major league debut in 2009, making one start in April and then being brought up in early July and staying the rest of the season.  He pitched better than one might have expected, going 5-2, 3.64 with a WHIP of 1.37 in 84 innings.  He made twenty-four appearances, nine of them starts.  He started 2010 in the Twins bullpen but again ended it as a starter, moving into the rotation in late July.  In 2011 he was in the rotation all season (other than when injured), and it did not go well.  In 2012 he appeared in 55 games, 11 of them starts, and did no better.  Moved to the bullpen in 2013, he was better, but it would be a stretch to say that he actually pitched well, a fact that did not prevent him from appearing in 73 games.  He continued to improve in 2014, posting his best numbers since 2010.  In 2015, however, he took a step backward, as his ERA, WHIP, and walks per nine innings all went up substantially while his strikeout rate declined. As a Twin, Brian Duensing was 41-37, 4.13, 1.38 WHIP in 649.1 innings.  He made 354 appearances, 61 of them starts.  He was significantly better as a reliever and was also significantly better against left-handed batters.  He signed with Kansas City for 2016, was released in late March, re-signed with the Royals a few days later, went to AAA, and was released again in mid-May.  He signed with Baltimore a couple weeks later, was with the Orioles for about three weeks in June, and came back as a September call-up, not doing badly in fourteen appearances.  He was a free agent after the season and signed with the Cubs.  Somewhat surprisingly, he turned in a fine season, posting a 2.74 ERA and a WHIP of 1.22 in 68 appearances (62.1 innings).  He started 2018 very well, but had shoulder problems in June and appears to have never been healthy after that, pitching sporadically and ineffectively the rest of the season.  He turns thirty-six today, but if he's healthy he certainly could be an effective pitcher again.

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