Happy Birthday–December 22

Connie Mack (1862)
Matty Alou (1938)
Elrod Hendricks (1940)
Steve Carlton (1944)
Hiroyuki Yamazaki (1946)
Charley Taylor (1947)
Steve Garvey (1948)
Tom Underwood (1953)
Ken Landreaux (1954)
Lonnie Smith (1955)
Glenn Wilson (1958)
George Wright (1958)
Jeff A (1958)
Andy Allanson (1961)
Mike Jackson (1964)
Jason Lane (1976)
Zack Britton (1987)

Second baseman Hiroyuki Yamazaki was a five-time all-star in Japan over a twenty-year career.

Charley Taylor was a minor-league pitching coach for over thirty years in the Houston Astros organization.

Steve Garvey was drafted by Minnesota in the third round in 1966, but did not sign.

Left-hander Steven Norman Carlton pitched for the Twins in 1987 and 1988.  He is a very deserving Hall of Famer, but there was little chance he would go in wearing a Twins hat.  He was born in Miami and attended North Miami High School.  Carlton was then signed as a free agent by St. Louis in 1963.  He pitched very well in the Cardinals system in 1963 and 1964.  He reached the majors for the first time in 1965, but pitched only 25 innings in 15 games.  He appears to have been injured that season, as he went two months in the middle of the season without pitching.  Even though he pitched well in limited duty, he was sent back to the minors for most of 1966, not getting back to St. Louis until the end of July.  In 1967, however, Carlton began the year as a rotation starter at the age of 22.  He would remain one for many years.  Carlton remained with the Cardinals through 1971, making the all-star team three times.  His best season as a Cardinal was 1969, when he went 17-11 with an ERA of 2.17.  He won 20 games for the first time in 1971.  In February of 1972, he was traded to Philadelphia for Rick Wise, and while Rick Wise was a fine pitcher, it's safe to say St. Louis came out on the short end of the trade.  Carlton was the ace of the Phillies rotation for the next thirteen years.  His best year in Philadelphia was probably his first one, when he went 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA, winning his first Cy Young award.  He had many other fine years as a Phillie:  he led the league in wins four times won twenty games five times, led the league in complete games three times (in his first eleven seasons in Philadelphia, he averaged sixteen complete games per season), led the league in innings and strikeouts five times, won the Cy Young award four times and was in the top four two other times, finished in the top five in MVP voting three times, in the top ten two more times, and in the top fifteen once more, and made seven all-star teams.  Just for good measure, he also won a Gold Glove.  He was still pitching well in 1985, at age 40:  he had an ERA of just 3.33, but a record of 1-8 due to lack of run support, when he was injured in mid-June.  He never really came back from that.  After a poor start in 1986, the Phillies released Carlton in June.  He signed with the Giants in early July, but was released again in early August.  He finished out the season with the White Sox and actually pitched pretty well in ten starts, becoming a free agent after the season.  Carlton then went to Cleveland and was traded to Minnesota at the end of July, 1987 for Jeff Perry.  He made nine appearances as a Twin, seven of them starts, and went 1-5.  He began 1988 with Minnesota but pitched poorly in four outings and was released, ending his playing career.  As a Twin, Steve Carlton was 1-6 with an 8.54 ERA.  For his career, however, Carlton won 329 games, pitched 254 complete games, had an ERA of 3.22, and was an easy choice for the Hall of Fame.  Carlton is a private person, refusing to talk to the media for much of his career.  That privacy continues to this day.  Despite his fame, there is little information about his current life.  The biographies one finds all end with the close of his playing career.  Even his website does not give any details, other than providing a recap of his playing career, some pictures of his playing days, the chance to buy some autographed merchandise, and a number to call to arrange personal appearances.  At last report, Steve Carlton was living in Durango, Colorado.

Outfielder Kenneth Francis Landreaux played for the Twins in 1979 and 1980 and made his only all-star appearances as a member of the Minnesota Twins.  A cousin of Enos Cabell, Landreaux was born in Los Angeles and went to high school in Compton, California.  He then attended Arizona State and was drafted by the Angels with the sixth pick of the 1976 draft.  He never played lower than AA, hit .357 in a 1977 season split between AA and AAA, and was in the majors by the end of the season, never to return to the minors until the end of his career.  In his first full season, 1978, Landreaux was a reserve, used all over the outfield, and did not hit well, batting .223.  That off-season, he was traded to Minnesota with Dave Engle, Paul Hartzell, and Brad Havens for Rod Carew.  Landreaux responded to the trade with possibly his best season as a big leaguer:  he hit .305 with fifteen homers and twenty-seven doubles, putting together a 31-game hitting streak.  The next year, 1980, Landreaux made the all-star team for the only time in his career.  In March of 1981, he was traded again, going to the Dodgers for Kelly Snider, Matt Reeves, and Mickey Hatcher.  Landreaux would sepend the remainder of his major league career with Los Angeles.  He played well for the Dodgers for six years, never a star, but always a decent player.  In 1986, Landreaux missed a month due to injury.  The next year, he slumped to .203 and was reduced to part-time status.  He was done as a major league after that.  He played two more seasons at AAA, one with Baltimore and one with the Dodgers, but could not work his way back to the big leagues.  Landreaux retired after the 1989 season.  As a Twin, he hit .294/.341/.435 in two season.  Landreau has done some minor-league coaching, most recently with the Syracuse Sky Chiefs in 2001-2002.  At last report, Ken Landreaux was an instructor with Major League Baseball's Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California.

Second baseman Jeff A has been a Minnesota Twins fan all his life.  Born in Armour, South Dakota, he attended school in Delmont, South Dakota.  He began his playing career in 1966 with the Delmont Peewees.  He struggled initially, batting .000 his first season.  There was nowhere to go but up and he did, raising his average to .396 by 1969.  Promoted to the Delmont Midgets the next season, he hit his only home run in 1970, tying Al Newman, Jason Tyner, and Tom Kelly on the all-time list.  He reached the Delmont Teeners in 1972 and was a solid contributor to two district championship teams.  He went to the Delmont Legion team in 1976 and slipped into a reserve role.  He compensated for a lack of athletic ability by developing skills which don't require any, such as drawing walks and bunting.  He was particularly adept at the suicide squeeze, winning a couple of games with pinch-hit suicide squeeze bunts.  He also was a sure-handed fielder.  He had limited range, but caught whatever he could reach.  He retired as an active player after the 1977 season, but stayed active in baseball in other ways.  He was an umpire in the Sunshine League in 1978-1979 and was the public address announcer of the University of South Dakota Coyotes baseball team in 1981 while attending school there.  He was out of baseball for a few years while getting his law degree, but got back into the game in 1986 as the manager of the Sooper Dooper women's softball team in Pierre, South Dakota from 1986-1988, leading the team to the league title in 1987.  In 1993, he returned to public address announcing, becoming the voice of the Wessington Springs Owls from 1993-2008.  In 2008, he moved to the McCook Lake Area of North Sioux City, South Dakota and became the voice of the Dakota Valley Panthers baseball teams, a position he held through the spring of 2011.  In 2010, he was also the voice of the Dakota Valley girls' volleyball team.  In the summer of 2011, he moved to Gettysburg, South Dakota, eventually becoming the voice of the Potter County Battlers football, wrestling, and track teams, as well as occasionally filling in on basketball.  He is also the voice of the Sully Buttes Chargers track teams.  He reports on minor league teams for the WGOM, maintains the birthday list, and provides recaps of prior great Twins seasons in an annual "rewind" feature during the off-season.  The rest of the time, Jeff A is the pastor of the Wheatland Parish, which consists of the United Methodist churches of Gettysburg, Onida, and Agar.

Right-handed reliever Michael Ray Jackson came to Minnesota in 2002, near the ned of a long and fairly successful major league career.  A native of Houston, he attended high school there and was drafted by Philadelphia in the second round of the secondary phase of the January draft in 1984.  A starting pitcher his first two years in the minors, he switched to the bullpen in 1986 and took to it immediately.  Jackson posted a 2.18 ERA in a 1986 season split between AA and AAA, reacing the Phillies by mid-August.  He was with Philadelphia all of 1987 but struggled with his control.  That off-season, Jackson was traded to Seattle.  He was a valuable set-up man for the Mariners for four season, picking up a handful of saves each year.  His only bad year with Seattle was 1990, when control trouble again bothered him.  After the 1991 season, Jackson was traded to San Francisco, where he again served as a very good set-up man for three season, leading the league in appearances in 1993.  A free agent after the 1994 campaign, he went to Cincinnati for 1995, to Seattle for 1996, and then to Cleveland for 1997.  It was in Cleveland, at the age of 33, that Jackson got his first chance to be a closer.  He made the most of it, posting 40 saves with a 1.55 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in 1998.  He had 39 saves in 1999, but was allowed to become a free agent after the season and went back to Philadelphia.  Jackson was injured for all of the 200 season, however, and was again a free agent after the season.  He went to Houston for 2001, where he returned to a set-up role.  Jackson became a free agent again after the season and signed with Minnesota for 2002.  He pitched quite well for the Twins, putting up a 3.27 ERA and a WHIP of 1.31 in 55 innings spread over 58 appearances.  After the season, Jackson once more became a free agnet, siging with Arizona, but was released at the end of spring training and did not play in 2003.  He made a comeback with the White Sox in 2004 but did not pitch well and was released in early September, bringing an end to a playing career in which he appeared in over 1000 games.  It is difficult to find current information about him; an internet search reveals that he shares his name with a man who was apparently once a singer of some note.  His son, also named Mike, pitched for Penn State and pitched for some independent teams.  At last report, Mike Jackson was an instructor for Team Houston Baseball.

Outfielder/pitcher Jason Dean Lane did not play for the Twins but went to spring training with them in 2013.  Born and raised in Santa Rosa, California, he went to Santa Rosa Junior College, then attended the University of Southern California before being drafted in the sixth round by Houston in 1999.  He was drafted as an outfielder and hit well throughout the minors, reaching the majors in 2002.  He was back in the minors most of 2003 but was in the majors from 2004-2006.  He mostly played right field.  He was a reserve in 2004 but was the Astros' regular right fielder in 2005, his only year as a regular.  He had a good year for them, hitting .267 with twenty-six home runs.  He was the regular right fielder at the start of 2006 but his hitting collapsed.  He lost the starting job half-way through the season and batted only .201, although he did hit fifteen home runs.  He was still a reserve for much of 2007 but was sold to San Diego shortly before the end of the season.  He then stayed in the minors and moved around a lot, playing for the Yankees and Boston organizations in 2008, Toronto in 2009, Toronto and Florida in 2010, back to Toronto in 2011, and Arizona in 2012.  He had made occasional pitching appearances throughout his minor league career, but while with Arizona he became a pitcher full-time.  A starter, he did not do very well for AAA Reno but did very well with independent Sugar Land, whom he joined in June.  The Twins signed him over the off-season, but released him near the end of spring training in 2013.  He went back to Sugar Land, continued to pitch well, and signed with San Diego near the end of the season.  He was in AAA and wasn't terrible, but wasn't particularly good, either.  Despite that, he was called up to the Padres for three appearances in June, his first major league games in seven years.  He actually pitched very well for them.  He pitched 4.1 scoreless innings of relief over two games and also made one start, allowing just one run on six hits and no walks in six innings.  He signed with San Diego for 2015, but pitched poorly for AAA El Paso and his playing career came to an end.  Jason Lane has been a coach for the Milwaukee Brewers since 2016, serving as assistant batting coach since 2019.

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