Happy Birthday–November 21

Bobby Mathews (1851)
Charlie Bennett (1854)
Billy Clingman (1869)
Andy High (1897)
Freddie Lindstrom (1905)
Paul Richards (1908)
Stan Musial (1920)
Warren Hacker (1924)
Tom McCraw (1940)
Bill Almon (1952)
Rick Peters (1955)
Mike Mason (1958)
Mark Eichhorn (1960)
Dick Schofield (1962)
Ken Griffey (1969)
Todd Erdos (1973)
Brian Meadows (1975)
Hank Blalock (1980)
Ryan LeMarre (1988)

Rick Peters was drafted by Minnesota in the eighteenth round in 1973, but did not sign.

Left-hander Michael Paul Mason made five appearances for the Twins in 1998, at the end of his major league career. A native Minnesotan, he was born in Faribault and went to high school at Benilde-St. Margaret's of Minneapolis. He then attended Oral Roberts University. He was drafted by Texas in the first round of the secondary draft in June of 1980. Mason moved quickly through the Rangers' system and made his major league debut as a September call-up in 1982. He began 1983 in the Rangers' bullpen, but after three lackluster appearances he was returned to AAA, where he spent the rest of the season until another September call-up. Mason made the Rangers' rotation in 1984, and stayed there for over three years. 1984 was his best year: he posted a 3.61 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 184 innings, although his record was only 9-13. That was his only year with an ERA under four, however, and when Mason got off to a poor start in 1987 he was traded in May to the Cubs for a player to be named later. He did little for the Cubs and was let go after the season. Minnesota signed him in April of 1988. He made five appearances with the Twins, pitching 6.2 innings and giving up eight runs. He went to Portland, but did not pitch well there. Mason's career was effectively over after that season, although he made sporadic minor-league appearances through 1996. He has been a pitching coach most of the time since 1991, serving as pitching coach of the Iowa Cubs from 2008-2013.  In 2014, Mike Mason became the assistant minor league pitching coordinator for the Chicago Cubs.  He is still with the Cubs, but it appears that in 2020 his title was changed to assistant coordinator for pitching performance.

Right-hander Todd Michael Erdos did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system in 2003 and early 2004. He was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, went to high school in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and was drafted by San Diego in the ninth round in 1992. Initially a starter, he pitched very well in rookie ball in 1992 and low A in 1993, but flopped when promoted to high A midway through 1993. He then missed all of 1994 with an injury. When he returned in 1995, he was in the bullpen. He did pretty well there in Class A in 1996 and AA in 1997. He made his big-league debut in the latter season, coming up for a week in June and then getting a September call-up. He was left unprotected in the expansion draft and chosen by Arizona. He went to spring training with the Diamondbacks, then was traded to the Yankees in March of 1998. He did not pitch well in AAA in either 1998 or 1999, but got cups of coffee in the majors both seasons. In 2000, he made the big club and stuck all season, his only full year in the majors. It wasn’t all with the Yankees, though; they put him on waivers in mid-July and he was selected by San Diego, where he finished the season. It was not a good season, as he posted an ERA of nearly six, and he became a free agent after the season, signing with Boston. He had a fine year in Pawtucket and came up to the Red Sox in mid-August, finishing the season there. He again had a good AAA season in 2002, but this time he did not get a call to the majors and became a free agent after the season. Minnesota signed him and sent him to Rochester. He did nothing to attract anyone’s attention in 2003 and in late April of 2004 was sold to Milwaukee. He pitched poorly in AAA Indianapolis and was released. Erdos then pitched three seasons for the independent Long Island Ducks and also played briefly in Taiwan before ending his playing career after the 2007 season. At last report, Todd Erdos was a financial advisor for Edward Jones in the Pittsburgh area.

Right-hander Matthew Brian Meadows did not play for the Twins, but went to spring training with them in 2002. He was born in Montgomery, Alabama, went to high school in Troy, Alabama, and was drafted by Florida in the third round in 1994. He pitched well in the low minors, but struggled some when he reached AA in 1997. Still, he made the Marlins at the start of 1998 and was a major league rotation starter for three full seasons despite never posting an ERA below five or a WHIP below 1.5. The Marlins traded him to San Diego after the 1999 season, and the Padres traded him to Kansas City at the end of July of 2000, but he still remained in the rotation. He began 2001 in the starting rotation, too, but after ten starts in which he posted an ERA of nearly seven he was finally sent to AAA. Meadows was a free agent after that season and signed with Minnesota for 2002, but was released at the end of March. Pittsburgh picked him up and sent him to AAA, where he pitched fairly decently, getting called up to the majors in August. He was in the Pirates’ bullpen for most of 2003 and all of 2004 and 2005 and had the only major league “success” of his career, putting up an ERA of 4.28 and a WHIP of 1.32. He was a free agent after the season, signed with Los Angeles for 2006, was released in spring training, signed with Tampa Bay, but had a bad year in the bullpen. He went to spring training with Cincinnati in 2007, but was released in spring training and his playing career was over.  For his career, he was 47-62, 5.05, 1.46 WHIP. When you see guys who succeed in the minors for years but can never get a shot, it’s hard to understand how Brian Meadows was able to make 122 starts in the major leagues. At last report, it appeared that Brian Meadows was involved in doing a variety of charitable work in Alabama.

Outfielder Ryan M. LeMarre appeared in fifty-seven games for the Twins from 2018-2019.  He was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, went to high school in Jackson, Michigan, attended the University of Michigan, and was drafted by Cincinnati in the second round in 2010.  He really didn't do anything in the minors to distinguish himself--he was never terrible, but he was never particularly good, either.  He'd usually have a batting average around .270 with an OPS around .700 to .750.  He did show some speed, stealing fifty-five bases in 2011 and thirty in 2012.  He made his major league debut with Cincinnati in late August of 2015.  He's never gotten a full season in the majors, but has managed to get there for at least a few games in every season since.  He was a free agent after the 2015 season and signed with Boston for 2016  He got about a week with the Red Sox that year.  He signed with the Angels for 2017 but was traded to Oakland in late April.  He was with the Athletics for three games, went to the minors, and was released in late June.  He signed with Minnesota for 2018, had a tremendous spring training, and made the club, staying in the majors as a reserve outfielder for most of the first half of the season.  The Twins waived him in early July and he was claimed by the White Sox.  After the season he signed with Atlanta.  He had spent all of 2019 in the minors, but in early September the Twins found themselves short of outfielders and purchased him on September 8.  As a Twin, he has batted .254/.319/.344 in 135 plate appearances, numbers which are slightly better than his career numbers.  He signed with Tampa Bay for 2020, was released shortly before the season started, and signed with the Cubs a few days later.  He did not play for them, however, and was released in September.  He turns thirty-two today and is again a free agent.  He's perfectly acceptable AAA roster filler, and if you have injuries he's someone you can bring up who'll not look totally out of place in a big league outfield.  One assumes he'll go to spring training with someone in 2021.

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