Happy Birthday–September 26

Gus Schmelz (1850)
Bob Coleman (1890)
Bobby Shantz (1925)
Mel McGaha (1926)
Dave Duncan (1945)
Jim Gideon (1953)
Rich Gedman (1959)
Steve Buechele (1961)
Dave Martinez (1964)
Brian Shouse (1968)
Brian Looney (1969)
Sean Doolittle (1986)

Gus Schmelz managed several teams in the late 19th century.  He is one of the few who became a manager without having played professionally.

Bob Coleman managed in the minor leagues for thirty-five years.  He had the most wins as a minor league manager when he retired, 2,496, a mark since passed by Stan Wasiak.

Former Knicks player Mel McGaha was the manager of the Kansas City Athletics from 1964-1965.

Right-hander James Leslie Gideon did not play for the Twins, but he was in their minor league system for a few years. He was born in Taylor, Texas, went to high school in Bellaire, Texas, and attended the University of Texas. He was then drafted by Texas in the first round of the 1975 draft. He had two starts in rookie ball, where he pitched sixteen innings and allowed just three hits and no runs. He then was jumped to AAA, where he did not pitch well. Despite that, he was brought to the majors for one start in mid-September. He lasted 5.2 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on seven hits and five walks. He started 1976 in AAA for Texas but was traded to Minnesota on June 1 along with Mike Cubbage, Bill Singer, and Roy Smalley for Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson. He had a poor year in 1976 and then started to suffer injuries. He pitched badly in 1977, missed all of 1978, and was able to pitch only 43 innings of AA in 1979. The Twins released him after that season. He tried to make a comeback with the Rangers in 1982, but did not do well in AA and his playing career ended. The one start he made in September of 1975 turned out to be his only major league appearance. Still, he did get one, which is one more than most of us get.  He was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. Jim Gideon was an employee benefits broker at William Gammon Benefits and with Higginbotham Associates, both in Austin, Texas, until his retirement.

Left-hander Brian James Looney did not pitch for the Twins, but he was in their minor league system in 1997. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, went to high school in Cheshire, Connecticut, attended Boston University, and was drafted by Montreal in the tenth round in 1991. Most of his first two years in the minors were spent in Class A, where he pitched very well. He made eight starts in AA in 1993, then was jumped to the majors for a September call-up, pitching six innings over three games. He had a fair-to-middling year in AAA in 1994, making one big league appearance in early June. The Expos then apparently gave up on him, sending him to Boston after the 1994 season “as part of a conditional deal”. He pitched decently, but no more in AAA for the Red Sox for two years, but pitched poorly in three appearances in the majors in 1995. After the 1996 season, Boston sent him to Minnesota as the player to be named later for Pat Mahomes. He was apparently injured part of the 1997 season, as he made only 17 relief appearances and pitched a total of 24.2 innings for AAA Salt Lake. He did well in the innings he pitched, but was let go after the season. He then bounced around the minors for several more years, but never made it back to the big leagues. He was in AAA with the Yankees in 1998, with Detroit and Philadelphia in 1999, with Florida and Cleveland in 2000, was back in the Yankees’ system in 2001, was with Pittsburgh and Baltimore in 2002, and with Colorado in 2003. He then pitched in the Atlantic League through 2005. It is unclear where he went after that, but he pitched in Italy in 2008.  At last report, Brian Looney was the owner of Hamden Yards, a baseball instructional facility in Hamden, Connecticut.

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