Happy Birthday–August 29

Pep Young (1907)
Joe Schultz (1918)
Billy Cox (1919)
Orval Grove (1919)
Dave Nicholson (1939)
Doug DeCinces (1950)
Bill Latham (1960)
Jeff Kellogg (1961)
Henry Blanco (1971)
Steve Lomasney (1977)
Aaron Rowand (1977)
Roy Oswalt (1977)
Anthony Recker (1983)
Mark Rzepczynski (1985)
Noah Syndergaard (1992)

Bill Nicholson is the one nicknamed "Swish", but Dave deserved the nickname more.  In the one season in which he played more than a hundred games (126 in 1963), he struck out 175 times.  He did hit 22 homers.  In 1964 he had 294 at-bats and struck out 126 times while hitting 13 homers.  Come to think of it, that sounds like what Adam Brett Walker II's major league career might have been if he'd gotten a chance.  It's also about what Miguel Sano has done so far this year.

Jeff Kellogg was a major league umpire from 1993-2019.

Left-hander William Carol Latham played for the Twins in 1986.  Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, he was signed out of Auburn University as a free agent by the Mets in 1981.  He did well in the minors, winning 13 games in both 1984 and 1985 with an ERA under 3.00 both years, mostly at AAA Tidewater.  Latham started 1985 with the Mets and did not do badly, posting an ERA of 3.97 and a WHIP of 1.24 in 22.2 innings, starting three games and relieving four.  In the off-season, the Mets traded him along with Billy Beane and Joe Klink to the Twins for Pat Crosby and Tim Teufel.  Latham pitched well in AAA Toledo, and appeared in seven games for the Twins in 1986, two of them starts, going 0-1 with a 7.31 ERA in 16 innings.  He started poorly in 1987 with AAA Portland and was traded back to the Mets in May for Jayson Felice.  He spent the rest of 1987 and all of 1988 in the Mets’ minor-league organization, and then his playing career came to an end.  At last report, Bill Latham was a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers after having done that job for several years for the Red Sox.  He also enjoys woodworking and apparently uses his talents to put up an awesome Christmas display at his home in Trussville, Alabama.

Catcher Henry Ramon Blanco played for the Twins in 2004.  He was born in Caracas, Venezuela, went to high school in Miranda, Venezuela, and was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent in 1989.  He did not hit much in the minors, but slowly moved up, making his AAA debut in 1995.  A .313 average at AAA Albuquerque in 1997 earned him a cup of coffee with the Dodgers, but he was back in Albuquerque for all of 1998.  Blanco became a minor-league free agent after that season, and was signed by the Rockies.  His first full year in the majors came in 1999 for Colorado, but it was his only season there, as he was traded to the Brewers as part of a three-team deal that also included future Twin Jeff Cirillo.  Blanco spent two seasons as a part-time player in Milwaukee, and then was traded to Atlanta in spring training of 2002.  After two years in Atlanta, he became a free agent.  Minnesota signed him during the 2003-04 off-season to back up Joe Mauer, but when Mauer was hurt Blanco became the regular, playing 114 games, the most he has ever played in a season.  He had never hit well in the majors and did not do so in Minnesota, batting .206/.260/.368 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs, but he gave the Twins good defense behind the plate.  The Twins let him go after that season, and Blanco moved on to the Cubs, where he spent four years as a part-time catcher.  Let go by the Cubs after 2008, he signed with the Padres for 2009, moved on to the Mets for 2010, was with Arizona in 2011-2012, signed with Toronto for 2013, was released in mid-June, signed with Seattle three days later, and signed with Arizona for 2014, but retired shortly before the season started and became a coach for the Diamondbacks.  He is currently the bullpen coach for the Washington Nationals.  Henry Blanco threw out 43 percent of opposing base stealers for his career, throwing out 58 percent in 2000 and twice leading the league in that category.  Needless to say, the Twins still miss him.

Catcher Steven James Lomasney did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system for about four months in 2006.  He was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, went to high school in Peabody, Massachusetts, and was drafted by Boston in the fifth round in 1995.  He was not too bad in the low minors, hitting 20 homers or more in consecutive seasons in 1998-1999.  In 1999, after hitting .259 with twenty home runs in a season split between Class A and AA, Lomasney got a September call-up.  He made his major league debut in the last game of the season, replacing Jason Varitek in the fifth inning.  He went 0-for-2, striking out against B. J. Ryan and Brian Falkenborg.  Unfortunately, that was Lomasney’s major league swan song as well, as he never got back to the major leagues.  He struggled when he got to AAA, posting a batting average of .220 and an OPS of .590 with seven home runs in 631 career AAA at-bats.  He suffered a serious eye injury near the end of 2001 when he was struck by a batted ball and his eyesight never fully recovered, which partly explains his struggles in the high minors.  He became a free agent after the 2002 season and signed with Baltimore for 2003.  After one year in their farm system, he moved on to the Cincinnati chain for 2004-2005.  He signed with Minnesota for 2006, spending most of the season at New Britain with ten at-bats in Rochester.  The Twins released him in August 3, bringing his playing career to an end.  At last report, Steve Lomasney owned The Show, a baseball academy in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  He is also the coach of an under-fifteen baseball team which won the New England championship in 2010 and finished second in the national AAU championship for under-sixteen (there was no under-fifteen division).

Catcher Anthony Vito Recker did not play for the Twins, but was in Rochester for about six weeks in 2017.  He was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, went to high school in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, attended Alvernia College in Reading Pennyslvania (one of three major leaguers to have attended that school), and was drafted by Oakland in the eighteenth round in 2005.  He hit fairly well as he worked his way up the Athletics system, reaching AA in 2008, AAA in 2009, and making his major league debut in 2011, playing in five games.  He started 2012 in Oakland but didn't get much chance to play, appearing in only thirteen games in two months.  He was then sent back to AAA and traded in late August to the Cubs.  He played in nine games for them and was put on waivers, claimed by the Mets.  He was with the Mets from 2013-15, spending most of that time in the majors but not getting to play much.  He didn't do much with the playing time he did get, batting .190/.256/.350 in 389 at-bats spread over three seasons.  He was a free agent and signed with Cleveland for 2016, but after spending a month in AAA he was sold to Atlanta.  The Braves started him in AAA but brought him up for the second half of the season.  He had a good season for them, batting .278 with an OPS of .828, but in just 90 at-bats.  He started 2017 in Atlanta but was sent to AAA after two weeks.  On July 24 he was traded to Minnesota with Jaime Garcia for Huascar Ynoa.  The Twins kept him in AAA and he did well there, batting .286/.333/.414 in seventy at-bats.  He signed with Arizona for 2018 and had another good season in AAA.  He always hit in AAA:  his line there is .268/.353/.474 in 1826 at-bats.  In the majors, however, his line is .199/.283/.348 in 552 at-bats.  He never had more than 174 at-bats in a major league season.  I have no idea what his defense is like, but he hit well enough in AAA to make one think he could've hit in the majors if he'd been given a real chance.  It didn't happen, though, and it's too late now.  At last report, Anthony Recker was a television analyst for the New York Mets.