Happy Birthday–November 2

Dutch Zwilling (1888)
Chief Hogsett (1903)
Travis Jackson (1903)
Johnny Vander Meer (1914)
Al Campanis (1916)
Ron Reed (1942)
Tom Paciorek (1946)
Scott Boras (1952)
Paul Hartzell (1953)
Greg Harris (1955)
Willie McGee (1958)
Sam Horn (1963)
Orlando Merced (1966)
Travis Miller (1972)
Orlando Cabrera (1974)
Sidney Ponson (1976)
Wilson Betamit (1981)
Yunel Escobar (1982)
Daryl Thompson (1985)

Dutch Zwilling held the record for last major leaguer in alphabetical order until Tony Zych came along.

Al Campanis was the general manager of the Dodgers from 1969-1987.

Scott Boras has been a player agent for many years.

Right-hander Paul Franklin Hartzell was in the Twins' starting rotation for one season (1979). He was born in Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania and attended Lehigh University. Hartzell was drafted by the Angels in the 10th round in 1975. He spent only one season in Class A, mostly pitching out of the bullpen, and was jumped to the majors in 1976. He was a "swing man" for the Angels for three seasons, and pitched pretty well. Hartzell posted a 3.27 ERA for the Angels, with a 1.28 WHIP and a 111 ERA+ in 132 games, 50 of them starts. On February 3, 1979, he was traded to the Twins along with Dave Engle, Brad Havens, and Ken Landreaux for Rod Carew. Maybe it was a different park, maybe it was the pressure of being traded for Carew, maybe it was a worse defense, but for whatever reason, Hartzell's career went straight downhill after that. He was 6-10 with a 5.36 ERA for Minnesota and was released the following April. He signed with Baltimore and had a good year at AAA, but flopped in six outings in the majors. The Orioles released him after the season, and he moved on to the Brewers. He was released by them after a poor 1981 at AAA. He tried to come back in 1984, and had another good year at AAA, but pitched poorly in a September call-up and his career was over. Paul Hartzell has had what appears to be an excellent business career, and is the co-founder of True Digital Dossier, a data scurity company.  He was General Manager of The Perfect Pitch, which has nothing to do with baseball--it's a company that helps analyze markets and train sales teams.  He's also on the board of Game Theory Group, which helps athletes transition from high school to college to the work force.  Paul Hartzell is a member of the Lehigh University Hall of Fame.

Outfielder/first baseman Orlando Luis (Villanueva) Merced played for the Twins for four months in 1998. He had a longer career than you might remember, as he played in parts of 13 seasons in the big leagues. Born in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, he went to high school in San Juan and was signed by Pittsburgh as a free agent in 1985. He started very slowly in the minors, possibly due to injuries. He began his career as an infielder, then moved to first base and the outfield. His minor league numbers are not all that impressive, but after a stint as a pinch-hitter in 1990, Merced became the more-or-less regular first baseman for the Pirates in 1991, finishing second in the Rookie of the Year balloting to Jeff Bagwell. He remained a more-or-less regular first baseman/outfielder for Pittsburgh through 1996. He never put up eye-popping numbers, but he was a steady, solid contributor, hitting for a decent average, drawing a good number of walks, and providing occasional power. Traded to Toronto prior to the 1997 season, he continued to be a steady, solid contributor for the Blue Jays. He became a free agent after that season, and signed with the Twins in January of 1998. Merced continued to produce at about the same rate for the Twins, but his playing time was cut down. The 1998 Twins were going nowhere, so at the end of July, Merced and Greg Swindell were traded to Boston for Joe Thomas, John Barnes, and Matt Kinney. The Red Sox really didn't have a spot for Merced, and released him on September 1. The Cubs picked him up for their September playoff drive, but allowed him to become a free agent after the season. Signing with Montreal, Merced again had a solid season as a part-time player, but he again was allowed to become a free agent. Merced went to Japan for most of 2000, but signed with Houston on August 15. He did not play for the Astros that year, but spent 2001-2003 with them. He again had a couple of solid seasons as a part-time player. He had a down year in 2003, which may have had as much to do with sample size as anything, but he was now 36, and no one was willing to give him another chance. As a Twin, Orlando Merced hit .289/.345/.422, numbers which are quite close to his career numbers. After his playing career ended, Merced did some minor-league coaching, most recently with the Billings Mustangs in 2017.  He is currently the owner of the Orlando Merced Seven Tools Baseball Training Center in Kissimmee, Florida and is also a coach for the Puerto Rican National Team.

Left-hander Travis Eugene Miller pitched for the Twins from 1996-2002. He was born in Dayton, went to high school in New Paris, Ohio, and attended Kent State University. The Twins drafted him in the first round in 1994. A starting pitcher in the minors, his numbers were not all that impressive, but this was the late '90s Twins--anyone who looked like he might possibly be a pitcher was given a chance. Each year, from 1996 to 1998, Travis Miller was given a chance. He made the Twins to stay in May of 1999, and was a not-awful left-handed bullpen option for the Twins for the next three seasons. He never developed into anything more than that, however, and after spending most of the 2002 at AAA Edmonton, the Twins let Travis Miller go. He moved on to the Cubs, Indians, Reds, and Brewers organizations, but never got back to the big leagues. He was out of baseball after 2003. In his big league career, Travis Miller made 203 appearances and pitched 267.1 innings. He had a 5.05 ERA, a 1.66 WHIP and an ERA+ of 97. At last report, he was the athletic director for Eaton Community Schools in Eaton, Ohio.

The brother of former big-leaguer Jolbert Cabrera, shortstop Orlando Luis Cabrera played for the Twins for two months in 2009. Born and raised in Cartagena, Colombia, he was signed by Montreal as a free agent in 1993. His minor-league record is somewhat mixed, but on the whole appears to be fairly average, although he started somewhat young. He made his debut with Montreal in 1997, and was in the majors to stay by June of 1998. He was a part-time player in 1998, but was the regular shortstop for the Expos from 1999 until the end of July of 2004. As an Expo, he hit about the way he has hit his entire career: a decent but unspectacular batting average, not a lot of walks, a little power but not significant power. On July 31, 2004, Cabrera was traded to Boston as part of a four-team trade that saw Doug Mientkiewicz also go to Boston. This is apparently when Cabrera began learning how to win, because he certainly didn't learn it with the Expos. He became a free agent after the 2004 season and signed with the Angels, where his education in winning continued. He had some good years with the Angels: he hit over .300 for the only time in his career in 2007, a year in which he finished 15th in the MVP balloting and won his second Gold Glove (his first came in 2001). He was traded to the White Sox after the 2008 season, signed with Oakland as a free agent for 2009, and was traded to Minnesota on July 31 for Tyler Ladendorf.  As a Twin, he hit .289/.313/.430 in 242 at-bats. A free agent after the season, Cabrera signed with Cincinnati, batting .263 for the Reds.  A free agent again after the 2010 campaign, he signed with Cleveland for 2011, then was traded to San Francisco just before the July deadline. Cabrera was an extremely durable player: he played in over 160 games four times, and in over 150 games three more times.  He had the worst year of his career in 2011, however, batting just .238 with an OPS of .573. He retired after that season.  He holds the record for most career doubles (459) by a player who never made an all-star game roster.  At last report, Orlando Cabrera was living in Windham, New Hampshire.

Sir Sidney Alton Ponson made seven starts for the Twins in 2007. Born and raised in Noord, Aruba, he is one of four major league players to be born in Aruba and is the most successful of the four. Baltimore signed him as a free agent in 1993. He did not have a lot of success in the minors, but came to the majors in April of 1998 and stayed there. He finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1998, and was a durable rotation starter for the Orioles through July of 2003, consistently posting ERAs in the fours. Near the end of his contract, Ponson was traded to the Giants on July 31, 2003, and finished out the season with them. 2003 was Ponson's best year: he won 17 games, posting an ERA of 3.75. He returned to Baltimore as a free agent in 2004, but his ERA went over five, and then over six the next year. The Orioles released him on September 1, 2005, and Ponson began bouncing around. He was with St. Louis and the Yankees in 2006, the Twins in 2007, Texas and the Yankees again in 2008, and Kansas City in 2009. His stint with the Twins in 2007 consisted of seven games, all starts. He was 2-5 with a 6.93 ERA and a 1.89 WHIP. He played briefly for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League in 2010, but was placed on the retired list in mid-June. It appears that he owns some property in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but it could not be determined if he was actually living there at last report.

Right-hander Daryl Marcelus Thompson did not play for the Twins, but he was in their organization for part of 2012.  Born and raised in LaPlata, Maryland, he was drafted by Montreal in the eighth round in 2003.  He had not gotten out of Class A in 2007, and was now in the Cincinnati organization, having been traded after the 2006 season.  In 2008, though, he made ten excellent starts at AA, seven fine starts in AAA, and ended the season in the majors, where he went 0-2, 6.91.  He was injured much of 2009, making only seven minor league starts, and made only fifteen minor league starts in 2010.  The Reds thought enough of him to send him to the Arizona Fall League, though, and in 2011, even though he wasn't pitching that well in the minors, they brought him back to the majors for one relief appearance.  After that season, though, the Reds released him.  He signed with Minnesota for 2012 and was sent to Rochester, where he went 1-5, 4.71 in nine starts.  The Twins released him on the first of June.  He didn't give up, though.  He had a fine year in the Atlantic League in 2013 and signed with the Mets after the season, but was released before 2014 spring training.  He continues to pitch in the Atlantic League and actually had a fine season for Southern Maryland in 2019, earning Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year Honors.  He also was the pitching coach for the Blue Crabs, which may be the start of his future career.  He appears to still be working for the Blue Crabs.  He turns thirty-four today.  His career major league record is 0-3, 8.31 in 17 innings.  If coaching is his future, we wish him well.