Happy Birthday–August 27

Hal Janvrin (1892)
Peanuts Lowrey (1917)
Joe Cunningham (1931)
Jim King (1932)
Ernie Broglio (1935)
Joe McCabe (1938)
Ed Herrmann (1946)
Buddy Bell (1951)
Mike Maddux (1961)
Brian McRae (1967)
Jim Thome (1970)
Jose Vidro (1974)
Jordy Mercer (1986)
A. J. Achter (1988)

Catcher Joseph Robert McCabe played for the Twins in 1964.  He was born in Indianapolis, went to high school in Lebanon, Indiana, and attended Purdue University.  He was signed as a free agent by the then Washington franchise in 1960.  He did not hit with power, even in the minors, but was up and down as far as batting average; for example, he hit .309 in 1962 in AAA Vancouver, but .216 in 1963 for AAA Dallas-Ft. Worth.  Despite that, McCabe began 1964 with Minnesota backing up Earl Battey.  He appeared in fourteen games, starting three of them.  He went 3-for-19 with two RBIs.  Sent to AA Charlotte for the remainder of the season, McCabe was traded to the new Washington franchise after the season for Ken Retzer.  He appeared in fourteen more games for the Senators in 1965 with similar results, although he did hit a home run.  His playing career ended after the 1965 season.  He then became an airline pilot and according to wikipedia is the only person to have both played in the major leagues and have piloted large commercial airlines for major carriers.  He was inducted into the Purdue Intercollegiate Hall of Fame in September of 2016.  At last report, Joe McCabe was living in Indianapolis.

First baseman/designated hitter James Howard Thome played for the Twins from 2010-2011.  He was born in Peoria, Illinois, went to high school in Bartonville, Illinois, and was drafted by Cleveland in the thirteenth round in 1989.  He did little in rookie ball that year (when he played shortstop), but then was shifted to third base and came on strong:  he hit .340 with 16 homers in a 1990 season split between rookie and Class A and batted .319 (although with only seven homers) in a 1991 campaign split between AA and AAA.  He made his big league debut as a September call-up in 1991 at age 21 and was in the majors for about two months in 1992.  In 1993 he hit .332 with 25 homers and an OPS of 1.026 at AAA Charlotte.  That was enough for him to leave the minors behind for good, but the Indians apparently still did not realize what they had, as Thome shared third base in 1994 with Alvaro Espinoza and Rene Gonzales.  He hit 20 home runs in 321 at-bats that season, the first of twelve consecutive years and sixteen of seventeen in which he hit at least twenty home runs.  He also had nine consecutive years and twelve out of thirteen in which he hit over thirty homers, and four consecutive years and five out of six in which he hit over forty home runs.  He became the regular third baseman for the Indians in 1995 and 1996, moving to first in 1997.  He remained a regular with Cleveland through 2002, making the all-star team three times, getting MVP consideration five times, and finishing in the top seven in MVP voting three times.  He became a free agent after that season and signed with Philadelphia for 2003.   He was with the Phillies for three seasons, getting MVP consideration in two of them and making another all-star team.  He was injured much of 2005 and was traded to the White Sox after the season.  Thome became a full-time DH in 2006 and continued to hit, making another all-star team and again receiving MVP consideration.  He started to slip in 2008, and in August of 2009 to the Dodgers.  A free agent after that season, he signed with Minnesota, where he was a part-time DH and pinch hitter.  He hit his six hundredth home run in 2011, and was a productive player for the Twins when healthy, hitting .266/.387/.562 in 482 at-bats.  He was traded to Cleveland on in late August of 2011 for a player to be named later.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Philadelphia.  Used mostly as a pinch-hitter there, he was still productive in limited playing time.  He was traded to Baltimore in late June, was used as a DH, and again was productive in limited playing time.  A free agent after the season, he did not sign with anyone.  He became a special assistant to the general manager for the White Sox in July of 2013 and is also an analyst for MLB Network.  His career numbers are .276/.402/.554, for an OPS of .956.  He hit 612 home runs.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.  He also has a statue outside the Cleveland Indians stadium and has been inducted into the Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame.  That the Twins, for whom he played less than two full seasons, held a night in his honor shows the high regard in which he is held.  We can safely say that Gentleman Jim had a Hall of Fame playing career and, from all reports, is a Hall of Fame person.

Right-handed reliever Adam Joseph Achter appeared in eighteen games for the Twins from 2014-2015.  He was born in Toledo, went to high school in Oregon, Ohio, attended Michigan State, and was drafted by the Twins in the forty-sixth round in 2010.  He was a starter in Beloit in 2011 but has been a reliever the rest of his career.  The move seemed to help him quite a bit--he was a pretty average starter, but has excelled as a reliever at every stop along the way.  He was promoted to Fort Myers at mid-season of 2012, started 2013 in New Britain, went to Rochester later that season, and got a September call-up in 2014.  He spent most of 2015 in Rochester, but was with the Twins for a couple of weeks in August and again got a September call-up.  The Twins waived him after the 2015 season, he was chosen by Philadelphia in November, was waived a month later, and was chosen by the Angels.  He was back-and-forth between AAA and the majors a few times in 2016, but did okay with the Angels when given the chance.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Detroit but did poorly in AA and was released in June.  He finished the season pitching for Somerset in the Atlantic League and then his playing career came to an end.  As a Twin, he was 1-1, 5.18, 1.44 WHIP in 24.1 innings (18 games).  He always pitched well in AAA, but was not able to translate that into major league success.  At last report, A. J. Achter was an assistant baseball coach for Eastern Michigan University.

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