Happy Birthday–June 29

Wilbert Robinson (1863)
Harry Frazee (1880)
Bobby Veach (1888)
Ollie Carnegie (1899)
Ken Blackman (1911)
Dizzy Trout (1915)
Cal Drummond (1917)
Bob Shaw (1933)
Katsuya Nomura (1935)
Harmon Killebrew (1936)
John Boccabella (1941)
Larry Stahl (1941)
Bruce Kimm (1951)
Rick Honeycutt (1954)
Pedro Guerrero (1956)
John Wehner (1967)
Trey Hodges (1978)
Dusty Hughes (1982)
Brooks Raley (1988)
Jose Miranda (1998)

Harry Frazee was the owner of the Red Sox from 1916-1923 and is best remembered for selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Ollie Carnegie is the all-time home run king of the International League with 258.  He started his minor league career at age 32.

Ken Blackman was a minor league player, college coach, minor league executive, and major league scout.

Cal Drummond was an American League umpire from 1960-1969.

Katsuya Nomura hit 657 home runs in Japan during his twenty-five-year career.

An original Twin, Harmon Clayton Killebrew was with the Twins through the 1974 season.  Born and raised in Payette, Idaho, he was signed by Washington in 1954 under the “bonus baby” rules, which required him to be on the major league roster for two full years.  While he obviously overcame it, one has to think that slowed his development, as he got only 93 at bats in his first two major league seasons.  He got 34 more at bats through June of 1956, then his two years finally expired and he got regular playing time in the minors, coming back as a September call-up.  He hit around .280 in the minors in 1957 and 1958, hitting a total of 48 home runs, and got brief time in the majors both years.  Finally, in 1959, Killebrew reached the majors to stay.  He had been exclusively a third baseman in the minors, and he was the regular third baseman for Washington in 1959.  He responded by hitting 42 home runs, driving in 105 runs, making his first of eleven all-star teams, and finished fifteenth in MVP voting.  He played both first and third in 1960, had another fine year, and came to Minnesota with the team in 1961 as its first star player.  He played mostly first base in 1961, then moved to the outfield for 1962-1964.  He kept hitting, belting between 45 and 49 homers each season, posting an OPS over .900 every year, finishing in the top eleven in MVP voting, and making the all-star team every year except 1962 (an odd omission, since he led the league in homers and RBI that year).  He was injured part of 1965, when he was moved back to the infield, but still finished fifteenth in MVP balloting as he helped lead the Twins to the World Series.  He bounced back to play in every game in 1966 and 1967, playing primarily at third in 1966 and almost exclusively at first in 1967.  He hit a total of 83 homers with 234 walks in those seasons and finishing in the top four in MVP voting each year.  In 1968, Killebrew was having a bad year when he was famously injured in the all-star game, not coming back until September.  It was a bad year for Harmon, but he came back to play in every game in 1969, mostly at third but a substantial number at first, and leading the league in homers, RBIs, walks, and OBP and winning his only MVP award.  He remained at third in 1970 and had another fine year.  Shifted to first in 1971, Killebrew continued to play well, but signs of decline began to show; his OPS that season was the lowest of his career to that point other than in 1968.  He slipped a little more in 1972 and became a part-time player after that.  Killebrew became a free agent after the 1974 season.  The Twins thought he was finished, but he thought he wasn’t, so he signed with Kansas City.  Unfortunately, the Twins were right:  Killebrew hit only .199 with fourteen homers as a Royal, and his playing career came to an end.  It was a tremendous career, though.  As a Twin/Senator, he hit .258/.278/.514, with 559 homers, giving him a total of 573 home runs for his career.  He made eleven all-star teams, including nine in a row from 1963-1971.  He was in the top ten in MVP voting seven times and in the top fifteen ten times.  Harmon Killebrew was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984, the first Twin to be so honored.  Despite denials from major league baseball, Killebrew is widely thought to be the model for the MLB logo.  He was a television broadcaster for the Twins from 1976-1978, with Oakland from 1979-1982, with California in 1983, and back with the Twins from 1984-1988.  Harmon Killebrew retired to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he was the chair of the Harmon Killebrew Foundation, which is dedicated to enriching the quality of life by promoting positive and healthy participation in sports.  He also founded the Danny Thompson memorial golf tournament, which has raised millions of dollars for leukemia research.  Sadly, Harmon Killebrew passed away from esophageal cancer on May 17, 2011.

Right-hander Trey Allen Hodges did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system for a month in 2005.  He was born in Houston, went to high school in Spring, Texas, attended LSU, and was drafted by Atlanta in the seventeenth round in 2000.  He had an outstanding year in 2001 in Class A, followed that with a fine season in AAA in 2002, and reached the majors as a September call-up in 2002.  He was with the Braves for all of 2003, his only full season in the majors.  A starter in the minors, he was used out of the bullpen that season and struggled with his control, something that had not been a problem for him in the minor leagues, and had a mediocre year, going 3-3, 4.66, 1.52 WHIP.  He was back in AAA in 2004 and having another mediocre year when he was released in late June, finishing the season in Japan.  He signed with the Twins for 2005 and was sent to Rochester, where he went 0-0, 5.62, 1.69 WHIP in nine relief appearances (16 innings).  The Braves re-signed him a couple weeks later, but he continued to not pitch well and was released again a month later.  Hodges was out of baseball in 2006 but decided to give it another try in 2007.  Atlanta gave him another chance, and he stayed in AAA all season, but he really was no better than he had been before.  He moved to the Texas AAA team in 2008 and played for independent Lancaster in 2009, then his playing career came to an end.  At last report, Trey Hodges was a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Left-hander Dustin Robert Hughes appeared in fifteen games for the Twins in 2011.  He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, went to high school in Horn Lake, Mississippi, attended Delta State University, and was drafted by Kansas City in the eleventh round in 2003.  He pitched very well in the low minors through 2004, then had a terrible year in 2005 at Class A.  This may have been due to injury; he missed all of the 2006 season.  He pitched well in AA in 2007 and 2008, but less well when promoted to AAA in 2008.  He moved to the bullpen in 2009 and did well in AAA Omaha, earning a September call-up.  He was with the Royals for all of 2010, going 1-3, 3.83, but with a WHIP of 1.47 in 57 appearances (56.1 innings).  Kansas City wasn’t fooled and placed him on waivers.  The Twins claimed him and he started the season in Minnesota.  He was mostly bad; in 15 appearances (12.2 innings) he went 1-0, 9.95, 2.13 WHIP, giving up 19 hits and 8 walks.  Sent back to AAA, he was better, but not particularly good.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Atlanta for 2012 and was fairly mediocre in AAA for them as well.  He re-signed with Atlanta for 2013 but was released on May 10 and later announced his retirement.  At last report, Dusty Hughes was a physical education teacher in Horn Lake, Mississippi.  He was also the owner of the Royal Baseball Traning Academy in the Memphis area.

Left-hander Brooks Lee Raley did not play for the Twins, but he was in their farm system for about a month in 2014.  He was born in San Antonio, went to high school in Uvalde, Texas, attended Texas A&M, and was drafted by the Cubs in the sixth round in 2009.  There's really nothing particularly impressive about his minor league career.  He sometimes had some decent ERAs, but it was generally with a high WHIP.  He was a starter throughout his minor league career with the Cubs, reaching AA in 2011 and AAA in 2012.  He made five big-league starts with the Cubs in August of 2012, going 1-2 but with an ERA of 8.14.  He got a September callup in 2013 and did better pitching out of the bullpen, but still was not very good, posting an ERA of 5.14.  The Cubs put him on waivers after the season and he was selected by the Twins.  He made eight appearances in Rochester, pitching 14.2 innings.  He was 0-1, 3.68, but with a WHIP of 1.91.  The Twins waived him in early May of 2014 and he was selected by the Angels.  They sent him to AAA, where he pitched poorly again.  He moved on to Korea for 2015 and  pitched there through 2019.  He did fairly well there, with 2017 being his best season.  He signed with Cincinnati for 2020, but was traded to Houston in August.  He stayed there through 2021, then moved on to Tampa Bay for 2022, where he so far is having an astonishingly good season.  He turns thirty-four today.  We don't know if he learned something, if he developed a new pitch, or if it's a small sample size fluke, but if the improvement is real, Brooks Raley will be in the majors for a few more years yet.

First baseman Jose Francisco Miranda came up to the Twins in 2022.  He was born in Manati, Puerto Rico, went to high school in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and was drafted by the Twins in the second round in 2016.  His minor league record is somewhat mixed, but it should be pointed out that he was generally young for his league.  He reached high-A in 2018, AA in 2019, did not play in 2020, and then had an awesome year in 2021, batting .344/.401/.572 with thirty home runs in a year split between AA and AAA.  There was no noticeable drop when he came up to AAA, either.  He began 2022 in AAA, but came up to the majors in early May.  He got off to a horrible start, batting just .094 through fourteen games and .176 in the month of May.  In June, however, he is batting .298/.344/.474 at this writing.  He turns twenty-four today.  Predictions are hard, especially about the future, but there's no obvious reason that Jose Miranda cannot have a successful major league career.