Happy Birthday–May 25

Al Reach (1840)
Lip Pike (1845)
Tip O’Neill (1858)
Joe Judge (1894)
Martin Dihigo (1905)
Lindsey Nelson (1919)

Bill Sharman (1926)
Jim Marshall (1931)
W. P. Kinsella (1935)
Glenn Borgmann (1950)
John Montefusco (1950)
Bob Knepper (1954)
Kerwin Danley (1961)
Bill Haselman (1966)
Dave Hollins (1966)
Joey Eischen (1970)
Todd Walker (1973)
Miguel Tejada (1974)
Chris Young (1979)
Scott Hairston (1980)
Jason Kubel (1982)
Eric Young (1985)
Pat Dean (1989)
Neil Ramirez (1989)

Al Reach played major league baseball from 1871-1875.  He later founded the A. J. Reach Company, which was the largest sporting goods company in the United States at one time (it eventually merged with Spalding).  This company also published the Reach Guide, an influential baseball publication, from 1883-1927.

Martin Dihigo was a star in the Negro Leagues, winning 250 games as a pitcher and also winning two batting titles.

Lindsey Nelson was one of the most famous broadcasters in the country at one time.  He broadcast New York Mets games from 1962-1978 and San Francisco Giants games from 1979-1981.

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Sharman was a minor league outfielder from 1950-1953 and in 1955, reaching AAA with St. Paul.

W. P. Kinsella has written several books on baseball, most notably "Shoeless Joe" the book on which the movie "Field of Dreams" was based.

Kerwin Danley has been a major league umpire since 1998.

Catcher Glenn Dennis Borgmann played in part or all of eight seasons for the Twins, from 1972-1979.  He was born in Paterson, New Jersey and attended the University of South Alabama.  Minnesota drafted him in the first round of the June Secondary draft in 1971.  He advanced rapidly through the minors, and after hitting .336 with 12 homers at AAA Tacoma in 1972, he got his first taste of the majors, spending the second half of the 1972 as the Twins’ regular catcher.  He did not hit in the majors, though, and was back in Tacoma for most of 1973, getting only a September call-up.  Borgmann was back as the regular catcher in 1974-1975, hitting .252 in the former year but only .207 in the latter.  After that, a combination of injuries and the emergence of Butch Wynegar as the Twins’ catcher limited Borgmann’s playing time.  He caught in only 118 games total over the next four seasons.  Borgmann became a free agent after the 1979 season and signed with the White Sox.  He was in AAA most of the year, coming up to Chicago for the last two months.  In 1981, Borgmann signed with Cleveland, but he did not get back to the major leagues and his playing career ended after that season.  After leaving baseball, he worked in the auto parts industry.  At last report, Glenn Borgmann was living in Butler, New Jersey and was working for the Meadowlands race track, but that last report is several years old now.  It is my guess that he is probably retired.

Infielder David Michael Hollins was with the Twins for most of the 1996 season.  He was born in Buffalo and attended the University of South Carolina.  Hollins was drafted by San Diego in the sixth round in 1987.  He was in the Padres’ organization for three seasons, hitting for a good average with moderate power.  He advanced a level at a time, but was left unprotected after the 1989 campaign and was taken by Philadelphia in the Rule 5 draft.  He was with the Phillies all of the 1990 season but played sporadically and not very well, hitting .184.  He started 1991 in Philadelphia, still playing sparingly, and was sent down in late April to get some playing time.  He came back in mid-July and this time was ready to stay a while.  He was the regular third baseman the rest of the way and hit .298.  He never hit that high in a full season, but he stayed in the .270s as a Phillie, and developed power, hitting 27 home runs in 1992 before settling in consistently in the teens for homers.  Hollins moved to first base in 1995 to make room for Charlie Hayes and was traded to Boston in late July.  He played in only five games for the Red Sox before missing the rest of the season with an injury.  A free agent after the season, Hollins signed with Minnesota and went back to third base.  He was decent but unspectacular as a Twin, hitting .242/.364/.396 in 422 at-bats.  Hollins was traded to Seattle in late August for a player to be named later (David Arias, n/k/a David Ortiz, a true player to be named later).  He became a free agent after the season and moved to Anaheim, where he stayed for two seasons.  The first was a good one, the second not so much, and he was traded to Toronto late in spring training of 1999.  He got off to a slow start and was released by the Blue Jays in late June.  The White Sox signed him, but kept him in AAA the rest of the season.  In 2000, Hollins signed with Tampa Bay in January, was released in May, signed with Baltimore in July, was released in August, and signed the same day with Cleveland.  All of that season was spent in the minors as was all but two games of 2001.  He signed back with Philadelphia in 2002 and was in AAA with them most of the next two years, getting 17 at-bats in the majors.  His playing career ended after the 2003 campaign.  He has remained in baseball, serving as a coach at Binghamton in 2005 before becoming a scout for the Phillies.  He is also a spokesman for Chronic Care Solutions, a diabetes medical supply company based in Clearwater, Florida.  Dave Hollins is a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.  His son, also named Dave but going by the nickname Bubba, played in twelve games for Batavia in the Miami organization in 2017.

Infielder Todd Arthur Walker played for the Twins in parts of five seasons from 1996-2000.  He was born in Bakersfield, California, went to high school in Bossier City, Louisiana, and then attended LSU.  He was drafted by the Twins with the 8th pick of the 1994 draft.  He hit very well in the minors, with his best year coming in 1996 when he hit .339 with 28 homers for AAA Salt Lake, getting called up at the end of August.  He started 1997 as the Twins’ starting third baseman, but was sent down in late May after hitting .194.  He came back in late August, played well in September, and replaced Chuck Knoblauch as the Twins’ second baseman in 1998.  He had a strong season, hitting .316 with 12 homers.  He was decent, although not as good, in 1999.  His defense was considered less than adequate, as was his attitude, and when he got off to a slow start in 2000 he was sent back to AAA and then traded to Colorado with Butch Huskey for Todd Sears and cash.  As a Twin, he hit .285/.341/.413 in 1,374 at-bats.  Walker resurrected his career in Colorado, batting over .300 in about a year, but was traded again in mid-season, this time to Cincinnati.  He continued to hit, but again did not stay long, this time becoming a free agent and signing with the Cubs prior to the 2004 season.  He was a Cub for two and a half years, continued to hit decently, and was traded to San Diego in late July.  The Padres released him in late March of 2007.  Walker signed with Oakland and didn’t hit badly for a bench player, but he was released in mid-May, ending his playing career.  Todd Walker was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in July of 2009, was named to the College World Series legends team in 2010, and was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.  He also had his uniform number retired at LSU.  He was the head baseball coach at Calvary Baptist Academy, a private high school in Shreveport, Louisiana, from 2012-2015.  At last report, he was a baseball analyst for the SEC network.

Outfielder/DH Jason James Kubel has been with the Twins in 2004, from 2006-2011, and in 2014.  He was born in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, attended high school in Palmdale, California, and was drafted by Minnesota in the twelfth round in 2000.  He hit very well throughout the minors.  His best year was 2004, when he started by hitting .377 with 6 homers in 138 at-bats in New Britain and followed that by hitting .343 with 16 homers in 350 at-bats in Rochester.  He made his major league debut on August 31 of that year and continued to hit, batting .300 with two home runs in 60 at-bats.  Unfortunately, he then tore up his knee in the Arizona Fall League.  Kubel missed all of 2005, started 2006 in the majors, was sent back to AAA for a month, and all-in-all had a poor year, leading some to believe he might not make it back.  He proved those people wrong in 2007 and was a good major league player through 2012.  2009 was his best so far, as he hit .300 with 28 home runs and finished 24th in MVP voting.  He had a down year in 2010, but still hit 21 homers and drove in 92 runs.   He hoped to rebound in 2011, but battled injuries and played in only 99 games.   He became a free agent after the season and signed with Arizona, for whom he had a solid season in 2012.  He was hampered by injuries again in 2013, had a poor season, and was traded at the August deadline to Cleveland, for whom he continued to play poorly.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Minnesota for 2014.  Twins fans hoped it would be a successful reunion, but it was not to be and he was released in mid-June, ending his playing career.  It was a solid career, though:  as a Twin, Jason Kubel hit .269/.334/.449 with 105 home runs in 798 games.  His brother-in-law, Michael Tonkin, is currently in the Twins' organization.  At last report, Jason Kubel was living in southern California and was helping coach youth baseball.

Left-hander Patrick Michael Dean made his debut with the Twins in 2016.  He was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, went to high school in Naugatuck, Connecticut, attended Boston College, and was drafted by Minnesota in the third round in 2010.  He struggled when promoted to high-A in 2011 and had a rather undistinguished year there in 2012 as well.  He didn't do much in AA in 2013 or 2014 either.  His numbers would indicate that he had no business being promoted to AAA, but he was, and when he got there something clicked.  He went 12-11, 2.82, 1.15 WHIP in 2015 and was 1-1, 3.00, 1.11 WHIP there in 2016 when he was called up to the Twins in May.  It did not go well for him.  He made 19 appearances, nine of them starts, and went 1-6, 6.28.  He went to Korea for 2017-2018.  He didn't do all the well there, but the Twins re-signed him for 2019.  He didn't make it out of spring training, though, getting released in late March.  He pitched well in two starts for Southern Maryland in the Atlantic League, then signed with Colorado a couple of weeks ago.  He went to AAA, but it did not go well for him there, to put it kindly.  He became a free agent after the season and went unsigned, and so went back to the Atlantic League to pitch for Somerset.  He turns thirty-one today.  It seems extremely unlikely that we'll see him in a big league uniform again, but he is left-handed, and depending on if and how a 2020 season happens you could see teams desperate for pitching.  Stranger things have probably happened, although probably not a lot of them.

Right-hander Neil Andrew Ramirez made eight appearances for the Twins in 2016.  Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, he was drafted by Texas in the first round in 2007.  He was in Class A through 2010, not really doing very much, but he made six AA starts in 2011, did pretty well, and was promoted to AAA, where he did okay the rest of the season.  He had a poor 2012 but did well in 2013 back in AA.  He went to the Cubs as the player to be named later in the deal that sent ex-Twin Matt Garza to Texas.  He was promoted to the majors in late April of 2014 and had an outstanding season in the Cubs bullpen, going 3-3, 1.44, 1.05 WHIP.  He missed half of the 2015 season due to shoulder injuries, but pitched pretty well when healthy.  It's been all downhill since then, though.  He was waived by the Cubs in late May of 2016, claimed by Milwaukee, waived again two weeks later, and claimed by the Twins.  He did okay in his first five appearances for the Twins, but his last three were awful and he finished the season in Rochester.  As a Twin, he was 0-0, 6.14, 1.71 WHIP in 14.2 innings.  He signed with the Giants for 2017, was waived in early May, was claimed by Toronto, was released ten days later, and signed with the Mets two days after that, made twenty appearances for them, was released again, and finished the year in AAA for Washington.  In 2018 he signed with Cleveland, for whom he pitched well in AAA and was called up to the Indians in early May.  He was kind of okay for them, but certainly nothing special.  He was still with Cleveland at the start of 2019 but didn't get much accomplished and was released in early August.  Toronto signed him a few days later but released him in early August.  He signed with the Angels for 2020.  From 2014-2015 Neil Ramirez had an ERA of 1.87 and a WHIP of 1.11.  Since then his ERA is 5.68 and his WHIP is 1.57.  One suspects it's the shoulder, but whatever the reason, he is clearly not the same pitcher he once was.  He turns thirty-one today.  We wish him well, but it seems likely he about out of chances.

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