Happy Birthday–May 18

Babe Adams (1882)
Arndt Jorgens (1905)
Gil Coan (1922)
Jack Sanford (1929)
Carroll Hardy (1933)
Brooks Robinson (1937)
Reggie Jackson (1946)
Osamu Higashio (1950)
Eric Gregg (1951)
Dennis Leonard (1951)
Jim Sundberg (1951)
Andre David (1958)
Jim Bowden (1961)
Erik Hanson (1965)
Eric Young (1967)
Rich Garces (1971)
Joakim Soria (1984)
Randy Rosario (1994)

Pitcher Osamu Higashio is a member of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.

Eric Gregg was a National League umpire from 1975-1999.

Jim Bowden was the general manager of Cincinnati and of Washington and is currently a broadcaster for MLB Network Radio.

Two players who share a name with Minnesota Twins players, Scott Baker (1970) and Roy Smith (1976), were also born on this day.

Outfielder Carroll William Hardy played in 11 games for the Twins in 1967.  Born and raised in Sturgis, South Dakota, Hardy attended the University of Colorado and signed with Cleveland as a free agent in 1955.  Hardy began his minor league career that season with Class A Reading; he also played running back for the San Francisco 49ers that season.  He stuck with baseball after that, and was having a fine season at AAA in 1956 when he entered the military.  That cost him the rest of that season and all of the 1957 campaign.  He started 1958 in Cleveland and was doing fairly well in a reserve role when he was injured and missed a month.  He did not do well upon his return and ended the season in AAA.  He was in Cleveland at the start of 1959 as well, but was seldom used and again ended the season in AAA.  Once again a seldom-used major leaguer at the start of 1960, Hardy was traded to Boston in mid-June and finally got to play a little.  His best season was 1961, when he hit .263 as a part-time player.  He got his most playing time in 1962, when he batted 362 times, but he only .215 (although with 54 walks).  That off-season, the Red Sox traded him to Houston for Dick Williams.  He started 1963 with the Astros, but was sent down after a month and did not come back until July of 1964.  He again did not hit, and he was traded to Minnesota just before the start of the 1965 season for Joe Christian.  He spent three years in AAA Denver; his best year was the first one, when he hit .300 with 14 homers.  He got a September call-up and played in 11 games.  His slash line as a Twin is pretty impressive--.375/.444/.750--unfortunately, it is in only 8 at-bats.  He did hit a home run off the Yankees' Fritz Peterson.  Hardy played in one game in Denver in 1968 and then his playing career came to an end.  He managed at Class A St. Cloud the rest of the 1968 season.  Carroll Hardy is the answer to at least two trivia questions:  he is the only player to pinch-hit for Ted Williams (he also pinch-hit for Roger Maris and Carl Yastrzemski), and he is the only player to break a scoreless tie with a walk-off grand slam in the twelfth inning or later.  He worked for twenty years in the front office of the Denver Broncos.  He is a member of the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.  Carroll Hardy passed away in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on August 9, 2020, from complications from dementia.

Outfielder Andre Anter David played in parts of the 1984 and 1986 seasons.  He was born in Hollywood, went to high school in Chatsworth, California, and then attended Cal State--Fullerton.  He was drafted by Minnesota in the eighth round in 1980.  He hit .324 that season in Class A, but struggled on his first try at AA.  He eventually got things going again, hitting in the .290s in consecutive years at AAA Toledo before getting his first shot at the majors in 1984.  He came up in late June and stayed the rest of the year.  David was used mostly as a pinch-hitter, playing in 33 games but batting only 48 times.  He didn't do badly given his sporadic playing time, hitting .250 with 7 walks and a home run.  The home run came in his first major league at-bat, and was his only home run in the majors.  He was back in AAA in 1985, but after hitting ,328 there in 1986 he got a September call-up.  He again did not get a chance to play, however, going 1-for-5.  As a Twin, Andre David hit .245/.349/.340 in 53 at-bats.  He was allowed to become a free agent after the 1986 season and signed with the Mets.  He was in AAA for them for two seasons, then moved on to the Brewers' organization for 1989 before his playing career ended.  He remained in baseball, serving as a minor league coach and manager for the Mets and Royals organizations.  He was a major league hitting coach for the Royals for parts of 2005 and 2006 and has also been their minor league hitting coordinator.  He has also been the batting coach for the AZL Royals, the Royals' entry in the Arizona Summer League.  Andre David had been a roving minor league batting instructor for the Royals, but has returned to the AZL Royals in 2021 and will be their bench coach in 2022.

Right-hander Richard Aron (Mendoz) Garces, Jr. appeared in eight games for the Twins, five in 1990 and three in 1993.  He was born and raised in Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela and signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 1987.  He was a reliever every year in the minors with the exception of 1989, when he made 24 starts for Class A Kenosha.  He pitched very well in the low minors and got his first taste of major league ball as a September call-up in 1990, at the age of 19.  He allowed one earned run on four hits in 5.2 innings, although he walked four.  Garces struggled in the high minors, however.  He next made the majors for about two weeks early in the 1993 season, pitching four scoreless innings.  Sent back to AAA Portland, that year was a disaster for him, as he posted an ERA over eight.  He pitched better in 1994 at AA Nashville, but the Twins gave up on Garces and released him after the season.  He signed with the Cubs, pitched very well at AAA Iowa, and came up to the majors in late June.  He pitched well in seven appearances, but was placed on waivers in August and selected by Florida.  He was a Marlin through the end of the 1995 season and then became a free agent.  He signed with the Red Sox, where he finally found a home.  A big man (6' 0", 250 lbs.), he was a fan favorite in Boston, acquiring the nickname "El Guapo".  Garces was with the Red Sox for parts of seven seasons.  Boston was patient with him, as he pitched very well at AAA but not so well in the majors his first couple of seasons with them.  He never pitched a lot of innings--his highest season in the majors was 74.2--but he was a consistently good relief pitcher for the Red Sox from 1998-2001.  In those years, he was 20-4, 3.16 with a WHIP of 1.20 in 228.1 innings.  His best season was 1999, when he was 5-1, 1.55 with a WHIP of 1.06 in 74.2 innings.  He pitched poorly in 2002, and his career was basically over at that point.  He tried some comebacks, however, pitching in the minors for the Red Sox in 2005 and in independent ball and the Mexican League in 2007-2008.  As a Twin, Rich Garces had a 0.93 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 9.2 innings spread over eight appearances.  He was the pitching coach for the Bridgeport Bluefish in the Atlantic League in 2017, but no information about what he has done since then was readily available.

Left-hander Randy Miguel (Luperon) Rosario appeared in two games for the Twins in 2017.  He was born in Nagua, Dominican Republic, and signed with the Twins as a free agent in August of 2010, when he was sixteen.  He spent three years in rookie ball and did quite well there.  He apparently was injured for most of 2014, as he made just three starts for Class A Cedar Rapids that season.  He did not play a full season in 2015 either, as he appeared in just thirteen games, most of them again in Cedar Rapids.  Apparently healthy again in 2016, he spent most of the year in high-A Fort Myers, where he was okay but nothing special.  He was still only twenty-two, however.  He moved to the bullpen in 2017 and was with AA Chattanooga most of the year, but made two appearances for the Twins in June.  There was no real reason to think he would be ready, and he wasn't:  he pitched 2.1 innings and gave up eight runs on seven hits.  The Twins placed him on waivers after the season and he was claimed by the Cubs.  Either the Cubs taught him something or he simply matured, because he had an excellent season in AAA Iowa and then came up to the majors shortly after his birthday in 2018.  He had a solid season for the Cubs.  He wasn't off to a bad start in 2019 other than one game, but that game bloated his ERA and the Cubs weren't willing to look past it, as they sent him back to AAA at the end of April, coming back to the majors for a couple of weeks in July.  The Cubs waived him in September and he was claimed by Kansas City, for whom he did well in six appearances.  He did not, however, pitch well in four appearances with the Royals in 2020.   He became a free agent after the season.  His ERA with the Twins was 30.86, but his career numbers are 6-1, 5.00 in 66.2 innings (69 games).  He turns twenty-seven today.  He has very good numbers against left-handed batters, and so could possibly play a role as a lefty specialist, but no one seems to have used him that way.  He played for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan in 2021 and is playing for Saltillo in the Mexican League in 2022.

Leave a Reply