Happy Birthday–December 16

Sammy Strang (1876)
Tony Kaufmann (1900)
Neil Chrisley (1931)
Adolfo Phillips (1941)
Mike Flanagan (1951)
Rick Sofield (1956)
Tom Gorman (1957)
Billy Ripken (1964)
Jeff Granger (1971)
Charles Gipson (1972)
Matt Kinney (1976)
Alcides Escobar (1986)
Hector Santiago (1987)

The reason Neil Chrisley is listed is because his given name is Barbra O’Neil Chrisley. No explanation for this name could be found, but it seems reasonable to assume that he’s the only man to play major league baseball whose first name was Barbra.

Jeff Granger was drafted by Minnesota in the fourteenth round in 1990, but did not sign.

Outfielder Richard Michael Sofield played for the Twins from 1979-1981. Born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, he attended high school in Morristown, New Jersey and was drafted by the Twins with the 13th pick in the 1975 draft, turning down a football scholarship at Michigan. He struggled early, but broke through in 1977, hitting .325 with 27 homers for Class A Visalia. Sofield never had a year like that again; his next highest minor-league average was .281 in 1978 with AA Orlando, and his next highest minor-league home run total was five. Still, he began 1979 as the Twins' starting right fielder. He did not keep the job--in mid-May he was hitting .241, had only one extra base hit, and was sent to AAA. He was called back in September, though, and hit .400 (14-f0r-35), which was enough for him to regain the starting right fielder job for the Twins in 1980. It was not only his only full year as a big-league regular, it was his only full year in the big leagues. He hit .247 with nine homers. He started 1981 in Minnesota, but did poorly and went back to Toledo, never to return. He began 1982 with Toledo, finished in Denver in the Texas system, and then was done, out of baseball at age 25. After leaving baseball, he enrolled at the University of South Carolina intending to play football, but was declared ineligible after it was revealed that he had briefly attended the University of Minnesota in 1975. He instead became an assistant baseball coach for South Carolina, was head coach at Utah from 1988-1994, and then went into coaching at the professional level with a variety of organizations. In 2007, Rick Sofield was hired as the first baseball coach of the University of South Carolina--Beaufort, a position he held through 2011.  He managed Class A West Virginia in the Pittsburgh organization in 2012 and was a coach for the major league club from 2013-2016, but was let go after the 2016 season.  He was apparently out of baseball in 2017, became the head baseball coach at Hilton Head Preparatory School in South Carolina in 2018, but left that position after just one season.  No information about what Rick Sofield is up to now was readily available, and it's certainly possible that he is retired.

Left-hander Thomas Patrick Gorman did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system in 1987. He was born in Portland, Oregon, attended Gonzaga University, and was drafted by Montreal in the fourth round in 1980. Pitching mostly in relief, he was started in AA and had two fine seasons in Memphis, making his major league debut as a September call-up in 1981. He struggled in AAA in 1982 when he was converted to starting, and was traded to the Mets in mid-August. He righted himself in 1983, and after a strong start at Tidewater came up to the Mets in late June. He was excellent out of the Mets bullpen through 1984, but struggled in 1985 and was released at the end of 1986 spring training. Philadelphia signed him and he pitched very well in AAA Portland, but not so well when brought to the majors for a month. He was released again after the season and signed with San Diego for 1987, but when he continued to struggle he was traded to Minnesota in June for right-hander Dave Blakely. He did well in limited innings, going 1-4, 3.02, 1.39 WHIP in 44.2 innings. The Twins let him go after the season. He made one appearance in AAA with Oakland in 1988, then his playing career was over.  The third most famous Tom Gorman in baseball history (behind the former umpire and the 1950s relief pitcher), at last report this Tom Gorman was an instructor with Metro Baseball Academy in Clackamas, Oregon.

Right-handed pitcher Matthew John Kinney began his major-league career with the Twins, pitching for them in 2000 and 2002. He was born in Bangor, Maine, and went to high school there. He was drafted by Boston in the sixth round in 1995. He pitched well in the low minors, but was still in Class A on July 31, 1998 when he was traded to Minnesota with Joe Thomas and John Barnes for Orlando Merced and Greg Swindell. He flopped in a promotion to AA in 1999, but did better there in 2000. Kinney also pitched fairly well when promoted to AAA in 2000, and reached the Twins briefly that year, making eight starts at the end of the season. He had a bad year at AAA Edmonton in 2001, but was still placed in the starting rotation for a couple of months in the beginning of 2002. It did not go well, and it did not go well for him in the minors that year, either, although he appears to have been injured part of the year. That off-season, Kinney was traded with Javier Valentin to Milwaukee for Gerry Oakes and Matt Yeatman. He was in the Brewers rotation all of 2003 despite not pitching very well, was sent to the bullpen in 2004, continued to not pitch well, and was placed on waivers in August. Kansas City selected him, he finished out the year there, and then became a free agent. Kinney signed with San Francisco and was in the starting rotation for AAA Fresno for the next three years, getting a September call-up in 2005 but not in 2006 or 2007. He pitched in Japan in 2008, but came back to the United States in 2009, again with Fresno. He was injured much of 2010, making only seven appearances for Fresno. Near the end of the season, he received a fifty-game suspension for testing positive for adderall, an amphetamine. Kinney stated it was a drug he had taken since 2005 to treat his ADHD, but he had not filed the proper paperwork to get permission to use it in 2010. As a Twin, Matt Kinney was 4-9 with a 4.82 ERA in 22 games, 20 of them starts.  His playing career ended with the 2010 suspension.  At last report, Matt Kinney was the baseball coach of Hermon High School in Bangor, Maine.

Left-hander Hector Felipe Santiago pitched for the Twins in 2016-2017.  He was born in Newark, went to high school in Bloomfield, New Jersey, attended Okaloosa-Walton College in Niceville, Florida (one of nine major leaguers the school has produced), and was drafted by the White Sox in the thirtieth round in 2006.  His numbers in the minors are okay, but nothing really eye-popping.  He was a relief pitcher throughout his minor league career other than 2011, when he made 23 starts.  He made his major league debut that year, appearing in two games of relief, and came up to stay as a reliever for the White Sox in 2012.  He went back to starting in 2013 and did well enough.  After the season he went to the Angels in a three-team deal.  He was a starter for the Angels for two and a half seasons, then was traded to the Twins on August 1, 2016 with Alan Busenitz for Alex Meyer, Ricky Nolasco, and cash.  He stayed with the Twins through 2017 but did not pitch after July 2 due to a shoulder injury.  He had some good starts but struggled overall, going 7-14, 5.61, 1.43 WHIP in 26 appearances (25 starts).  He was allowed to be a free agent after the 2017 season, and while it was nothing personal no one was all that sad to see him go.  He signed with the White Sox for 2018 and was arguably somewhat better but not much, going 6-3, 4.41, 1.58 WHIP in 49 appearances (7 starts).  He signed with the Mets for 2019, pitched poorly, was released in mid-June, signed with the White Sox two days later, continued to pitch poorly, and became a free agent after the season.  He signed with Detroit for 2020, but was released shortly before the season started.  He turns thirty-three today.  Teams are always looking for pitching, and he is left-handed, so it's at least possible that he'll get an invitation for spring training.  But it seems more likely that it's time for Hector Santiago to decide what the next phase of his life will be.