Happy Birthday–March 2

Horace Fogel (1861)
Moe Berg (1902)
Woody English (1906)
Jack Knott (1907)
Mel Ott (1909)
Mort Cooper (1913)
Jim Konstanty (1917)
Jim Nettles (1947)
Pete Broberg (1950)
Larry Wolfe (1953)
Terry Steinbach (1962)
Ron Gant (1965)
Jay Gibbons (1977)
Glen Perkins (1983)
Bud Norris (1985)

Horace Fogel was a sportswriter who became manager of the New York Giants in 1902.  His time as Giants manager is best remembered for his attempt to move Christy Mathewson to first base.  He was fired 41 games into the season and replaced by Heinie Smith, who put an end to such nonsense.  Instead, he tried to move Mathewson to shortstop.

We assume everyone reading this knows Ron Gant's connection to the Minnesota Twins.

The brother of Graig Nettles, outfielder James William Nettles played for the Twins from 1970-1972.  Born in San Diego, he attended high school there and then went to San Diego State.  Minnesota drafted him in the fourth round in 1968.  He hit for decent averages in the minors, not a lot of power, but a good number of walks.  His best minor league year was 1970, when he hit .317/.400/.452 in AAA Evansville.  He got a September call-up that year.  Nettles started 1971 in the minors, but was called up by mid-May and spent the rest of the season in Minnesota.  Nettles was the Twins' regular center fielder for the month of July, one of three players the Twins tried in that role, but he hit only .242 and could not hold the job.  1972 was his first full season in the big leagues; Nettles hit only .204 as a part-time player.  He went back to the minors for 1973 and was traded to Detroit after the season for Paul Jata.  He started 1974 in the minors but was called up in mid-July and stayed the rest of the season as a reserve.  It would be five years before he got to the majors again.  Nettles played in Japan in 1975 and in Mexico in 1976.  He came back into organized ball in 1977, playing in AAA for Pittsburgh.  He moved on to the Royals' organization for 1978 and 1979, and in the latter year he got a September call-up.  He moved to the Yankees' AAA team for 1980 and to Oakland in 1981.  He made one last major league appearance in 1981, getting a September call-up again and coming to the plate once (a successful sacrifice bunt).  He played briefly at AAA for Oakland in 1982, and then his playing career came to an end.  As a Twin, Jim Nettles hit .225/.309/.333 in 423 at-bats.  After his playing days, he was a minor league manager from 1983-1996, managing in the Oakland, Seattle, and Toronto organizations along with one year of independent ball.  He was last in baseball as a coach for the Spokane Indians in 2005 and 2006.  His daughter, Shara, is the wife of Mike Sweeney.  At last report, Jim Nettles was an instructor with the Northwest Prospects Academy in the Tacoma, Washington area and was also a coach with the Mike Sweeney Catholic Baseball Camp (his daughter Shara is married to Mike Sweeney).  Those last reports, however, are several years old now.

Third baseman Laurence Marcy Wolfe played for the Twins from 1977-1978.  He was born in Melbourne, Florida, but went to high school in Rancho Cordova, California.  He attended Sacramento City College, and then was drafted by Minnesota in the ninth round in 1973.  He began his minor league career as a shortstop, but was quickly moved to third base.  His best years in the Twins' system was 1974, when he hit .303 at Class A Wisconsin Rapids, and 1977, when he hit .304 at AAA.  He got a September call-up that year.  Wolfe's first full year in the majors came in 1978.  He was platooned at third with Mike Cubbage and hit .234 in 235 at-bats.  Wolfe was traded to Boston prior to the 1979 season for Dave Coleman.  He was with the Red Sox all year, but was used primarily as a defensive replacement for second baseman Jerry Remy.  Wolfe batted only 78 times all season, hitting .244.  He started 1980 in the minors, but was brought up in July, again used mainly as a defensive replacement.  Let go by Boston after the season, he was in AAA with Cincinnati in 1981, went to Japan for 1982, and then his playing career was over.  He was inducted into the Sacramento City College Hall of Fame in 2013.  In 2015 Larry Wolfe was the manager of the Sacramento Stealth of the Great West League, a collegiate summer league.  At last report, Larry Wolfe was living in Fair Oaks, California.

Catcher Terry Lee Steinbach played for the Twins from 1997-1999, at the end of his career.  He was born in New Ulm and went to high school there, then attended the University of Minnesota.  He was drafted by Oakland in 1983 in the ninth round.  Steinbach hit pretty well at every level of the minors; his best year was 1986, when he hit .325 with 24 homers and 33 doubles at AA Huntsville.  That got him a September call-up, and the next year Steinbach skipped AAA and went to Oakland, never to return to the minors.  Steinbach was essentially the regular catcher for the Athletics from 1987-1996, but only in four of those years did he start more than 100 games behind the plate, and only twice did he start more than 110 games there.  He does not seem to be platooned, nor does he seem to have been injury-prone.  Rather, he simply was given quite a few days off, as well as making occasional starts at third base, first base, corner outfield, and designated hitter.  Steinbach was an all-star three times with Oakland, and received minor consideration for MVP in 1996.  1996 was his best year:  he hit .272 with 35 homers, almost as many homers as he had hit in the previous three years combined (his next highest home run total was 15).  A free agent after the 1996 season, he signed with  Minnesota.  He was 35 years old by then, and could not duplicate his previous season, but was still a decent backstop for the Twins.  As a Twin, Terry Steinbach hit .256/.321/.399 in about 1,200 at-bats.  He retired after the 1999 season.  He was the bench coach and catching instructor for the Twins from 2013-2014, but was let go after the 2014 season.  His son, Jake, played baseball for the University of St. Thomas.  He was living in Medina, Minnesota continued to be active in helping raise money for ALS research at last report.

Left-hander Glen Weston Perkins played for the Twins from 2006-2017.  He was born in St. Paul and went to high school in Stillwater, Minnesota.  He was drafted by Minnesota in the first round in 2004.  He pitched fairly well throughout his minor league career, getting a September call-up in 2006 after posting a 3.91 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in AA New Britain.  He missed time in 2007 due to injury, making 19 relief appearances in the majors and eight in the minors.  He made six starts in Rochester in 2008 before being called back to the Twins in mid-May.  He was 12-4 with Minnesota that year, but with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.  He was injured again for part of 2009, with his major league campaign ending in early August.  He stayed healthy in 2010 but didn’t get much accomplished, pitching poorly in Rochester as well as for the Twins when he was called up in mid-August.  In 2011, however, he was moved to the bullpen and had by far his best season to date, posting a 2.48 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP, and striking out 65 batters in 61.2 innings.  He began 2012 in a setup role, but became the Twins closer when Matt Capps was removed from the role due to injury and ineffectiveness.  Perkins had a fine 2012 season and followed that up with an even better 2013 campaign.  His numbers in 2014 were not quite as good but were still quite good.  He was pitching very well through July of 2015, not as well in August, then missed about three weeks in September.  He missed almost all of 2016 due to injury.  He tried to come back in 2017, making eight appearances for the Twins in September, but it was not to be, and he retired.  As a Twin, Glen Perkins was 35-25, 3.88 with a 1.29 WHIP in 409 games (624.1 innings).  As a reliever he was 17-13, 3.09, 1.16 WHIP with 120 saves in 374.1 innings (365 games).  At last report, he was still living in the Twin Cities area, was a part-time analyst for Fox Sports North, and was enjoying his hobby of woodworking.

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