Happy Birthday–December 13

Jack Taylor (1873)
Hank Majeski (1916)
Larry Doby (1923)
Shotgun Shuba (1924)
Carl Erskine (1926)
Billy Loes (1929)
Bubba Morton (1931)
Lindy McDaniel (1935)
J. C. Martin (1936)
Ron Taylor (1937)
Ferguson Jenkins (1942)
Paul Boris (1955)
Dale Berra (1956)
Mike Mordecai (1967)
Matthew LeCroy (1975)
Ricky Nolasco (1982)

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to spookymilk's mom.

Right-handed pitcher Paul Stanley Boris appeared in twenty-three games for Minnesota in 1982, which was all of his major league career. He was born in Irvington, New Jersey, went to Rutgers, and was signed by the Yankees as a free agent in 1978. A reliever, he pitched very well in four years in the Yankees farm system, spending two years in Class A and one each in AA and AAA. Boris was taken by the Twins in the Rule 5 draft in December of 1981, but was returned on April 2. A week later, Boris was traded to Minnesota, along with Ron Davis and Greg Gagne, for Roy Smalley. Boris was sent to AAA Toledo, did okay, and was promoted to the Twins in late May. He was used in long relief, and by Twins standards of 1982 he was actually pretty decent: a 3.99 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 49.2 innings. Something happened to him after that, though. He failed to make the team in 1983, pitched poorly in Toledo, was sent to AA, continued to pitch poorly, and was released after the season. He signed with Atlanta for 1984, but pitched only seven games for AAA Richmond before being released again, his career over. It seems likely that an injury was involved, but this could not be confirmed. At last report, Paul Boris was a specialty broker for Professional Risk Solutions, wholesale insurance brokers based in New Jersey.  His biography says he "may be the only major-league pitcher to become an expert in executive liability insurance".

Catcher/DH Matthew Hanks LeCroy was with Minnesota from 2000-2005 and again in 2007, which was nearly all of his major league career. He was born in Belton, South Carolina and went to high school there. He then attended Clemson and was drafted by the Twins in the first round in 1997. He showed quite a bit of power early on, hitting 53 home runs in his first two minor league seasons. He got brief shots at AAA in each of his those years, but was essentially jumped from Class A to the majors at the start of 2000. Understandably, he was not ready, and was sent to AA in mid-June after hitting .170. Le Croy did not get a full season in AAA until 2001, when he hit .328 with 20 homers for Edmonton. That got him a September call-up, and in 2002, he was in the majors. By this time, LeCroy was seldom used as a catcher, getting most of his at-bats as a designated hitter. He was never more than a part-time player--his highest at-bat total was 374--but he was a solid contributor to the Twins from 2002 through 2005. After the 2005 season, LeCroy became a free agent and signed with Washington. There was no reason to think this would go well--there is, of course, no DH in the National League, and LeCroy's defensive abilities, which were always suspect, had been taken away by injuries. Used primarily as a pinch hitter, he hit .239 with two home runs in 67 at-bats. The Twins re-signed him in 2007, but he had a poor year for Rochester. LeCroy was given a last hurrah that September, and then his career was over. As a Twin, he hit .261/.324/.444 with 58 homers. Matthew LeCroy was the manager of the Class AA Harrisburg Senators in the Washington organization in 2012 and 2013, was the Nationals' bullpen coach in 2014 and 2015, and was back in Harrisburg, once again as manager, from 2016-2019.  He was to be their minor league quality control coordinator in 2020, but of course there wasn't really very much for him to do in that position in 2020.  He managed the Rochester Red Wings in 2021 and appears to still be in that job for 2022.

Right-hander Carlos Enrique "Ricky" Nolasco joined the Twins in 2014.  He was born in Corona, California, went to high school in Rialto, California, and was drafted by the Cubs in the fourth round in 2001.  A starter for his entire minor league career, he pitched very well in the low minors, fairly well at AA in 2004, and very badly in nine starts at AAA in 2004.  Left in AA for all of 2005, he had an outstanding year, going 14-3, 2.89, 1.22 WHIP with 173 strikeouts in 161.2 innings.  After that season, however, he was traded with two other players to the Marlins for Juan Pierre.  He made his major league debut in 2006 and stayed with the Marlins all season, not doing particularly well but not being totally overmatched at age twenty-three, either.  He was injured much of 2007, but came back in 2008 and was a solid rotation starter for several years.  In his six seasons prior to joining the Twins, he averaged 31 starts, 192 innings, and a 4.30 ERA.  He did not do that well for the Twins in 2014, making 27 starts, pitching 159 innings, and posting a 5.38 ERA.  Many times he did not look that far away from being a good pitcher, but he could never get the corner turned.  He was injured most of 2015 and did not pitch well when he did pitch.  He continued to not pitch well in 2016, so on August 1 the Twins traded him along with Alex Meyer to the Angels for Hector Santiago and Alan Busenitz.  He did quite well for them in eleven starts that season, but struggled again in 2017.  He turns thirty-five today.  As a Twin, Ricky Nolasco was 15-22, 5.44, 1.47 WHIP in 321 innings (57 games, 56 starts).  He signed with Kansas City for 2018 but was released in spring training.  He did not play in 2018 but signed with Arizona for 2019 and made eleven minor league appearances, not doing very well.  He did not sign with anyone for 2020 and his playing career came to an end.  At last report, Ricky Nolasco was living in Los Angeles.