Happy Birthday–April 22

Bob Smith (1895)
Taylor Douthit (1901)
Ray Benge (1902)
Lew Riggs (1910)
Mickey Vernon (1918)
John Orsino (1938)
Steve Jones (1941)
David Clyde (1955)
Moose Haas (1956)
Dave Schmidt (1957)
Terry Francona (1959)
Jimmy Key (1961)
Jack Savage (1964)
Mickey Morandini (1966)
George Williams (1969)
Tyson Ross (1987)
Dee Strange-Gordon (1988)

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to rowsdower.

Left-hander Steven Howell Jones did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system from 1962-1963.  He was born in Huntington Park, California, attended high school in Bell, California, went to Whittier College, and signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 1962.  He was in the Twins’ organization for two years, one at Class D Erie and the other at Class A Wilson, and was nothing special.  The White Sox apparently saw something in him, though, as they chose him in the minor league draft following the 1963 season.  They promoted him to AA, where he was nothing special for two more years.  In 1966, however, Jones had a pretty good year in AA.  He had another good year in 1967 at AAA Indianapolis, and was in the majors by mid-August.  He did okay in 25.2 innings, but was sent to Washington before the 1968 campaign as part of a multi-player deal.  He had a fine season at AAA Buffalo and sent about two weeks in the majors with the Senators.  Jones was left unprotected in the expansion draft and was chosen by Kansas City.  He began the season with the Royals, lasting two and a half months and not pitching all that badly before he was sent down.  He got a September call-up that same year, but then his major league career was over.  He was in the minors for two more years, playing in AAA for the Kansas City, Baltimore, and Cleveland organizations before his playing career came to an end after the 1971 season.  His brother, Gary, also played in the major leagues, pitching for the Yankees in 1970-1971.  He is a member of the Whittier College Hall of Fame.  After baseball, he had a long career in accounting and finance.  At last report, Steve Jones was living in retirement in Knoxville, Tennessee.  He was also helping coach high school baseball, calling himself "the chaplain, encourager and oldest batboy in the Knoxville Interscholastic League".

Right-hander John Joseph Savage made 17 appearances with the Twins in 1990.  He was born in Louisville and attended the University of Kentucky before being drafted by the Dodgers in the eighth round in 1985.  A reliever for nearly all of his career, Savage had an excellent year in rookie-level Great Falls in 1985.  He stumbled at Class A in 1986, but had another good year in AA in 1987.  Savage got a September call-up that season, making three appearances for the Dodgers.  After the season, however, he was sent to the Mets in a three-team trade that also included Kevin Tapani and Jesse Orosco.  He had two solid years for AAA Tidewater, but did not get a chance in the majors.  After the 1989 campaign, Savage was sent to Minnesota as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, Kevin Tapani, and David West to the Twins for Frank Viola.  He threw twenty solid innings out of the Portland bullpen and was promoted to Minnesota in late June.  Savage was seldom used and did not pitch well when he was used–he gave up at least one run in 13 of his 17 appearances.  As a Twin, Jack Savage went 0-2, 8.31 in 26 innings.  He spent one more season in the Twins’ minor league system and then his playing career ended.   It's a pity that someone with a great name like "Jack Savage" didn't have more major league success, but such is life. At last report, Jack Savage had returned to his home town of Louisville and was working for the Louisville Slugger company, where he was vice president and chief security officer.  However, that last report is several years old now.

Catcher George Erik Williams did not play for the Twins, but he was in their farm system for most of 1999.  He was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, attended the University of Texas—Pan American, and was drafted by Oakland in the twenty-fourth round in 1991.  He had some solid years in the minors, averaging around .300 with double-digit homers from 1992-1995.  He was called up to the majors in mid-July of 1995 and spent the next year and a half backing up Terry Steinbach.  He shared the catching position with Brent Mayne in 1997 and hit .289, but that was as good as it got for him.  He missed nearly all of 1998 with an injury, was allowed to become a free agent, and signed with Minnesota for 1999.  He was sent to AAA Salt Lake and did well there, hitting .303/.424/.467, but was traded to Houston in early August for Josh Dimmick.  He finished out the season in AAA for the Astros, became a free agent again, and signed with San Diego for 2000.  He got back to the majors in mid-August, but that would be his swan song.  He played briefly in AAA for Boston in 2001 and then his career was over.  In the majors, he hit .243/.362/.367 in 428 at-bats over four seasons.  He coached at the University of Wisconsin--La Crosse from 2002-2004.  There are, of course, lots of people in the world named "George Williams", so no further information about our George Williams was readily available.

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