Happy Birthday–February 1

Due to personal time constraints, this is a reprint from last year which has not been updated.

Billy Sullivan (1875)
Rosey Rowswell (1884)
Candy Jim Taylor (1884)
Frank Lane (1896)
Carl Reynolds (1903)
Paul Blair (1944)
Danny Thompson (1947)
Mark Souza (1954)
Ernie Camacho (1955)
Cecilio Guante (1960)
Tim Naehring (1967)
Kent Mercker (1968)
Rich Becker (1972)
Brett Anderson (1988)

Rosey Rowswell was a broadcaster for Pittsburgh from 1936-1954.  Bob Prince considered Rowswell his mentor.

Candy Jim Taylor was a star player and manager in the Negro Leagues for many years.

Frank Lane was the general manager of the White Sox (1948-55), St. Louis (1956-57), Cleveland (1958-60), Kansas City (1961), and Milwaukee (1971-72).

Infielder Danny Leon Thompson played for Minnesota from 1970-1976.  He was born in Wichita, attended high school in Capron, Oklahoma, and went to college at Oklahoma State.  Thompson was drafted by the Twins in the first round in 1968.  He had a couple of good years in the lower minors, hitting .302 at AA Charlotte in 1969.  He was hitting only .247 in 1970 at AAA Evansville when he was called up to the Twins, putting the minors behind him for good.  He became the Twins' regular second baseman, replacing an injured Rod Carew, but unfortunately he couldn't hit like Carew, batting only .219 that year.  Thompson became a reserve in 1971, but got another crack at starting in 1972.  He had his best year as a big leaguer, batting .276.  He even got minor consideration for the MVP award that year, finishing 23rd in the voting.  It would turn out to be the only year he got even 400 at-bats in the majors.  He was still the mostly-regular shortstop in 1973, but missed significant time to injuries and hit only .225.  Before the 1974 season, Thompson was diagnosed with leukemia.  He continued to play baseball, however, and remained the Twins' primary shortstop through 1975, although he lost significant time to players like Jerry Terrell, Luis Gomez, and Sergio Ferrer.  His batting gradually came back in those years, and after hitting .270 in 1975 Thompson regained the everyday shortstop job.  He was the still the regular in 1976 when he was traded on the first of June to Texas along with Bert Blyleven for Mike Cubbage, Jim Gideon, Bill Singer, Roy Smalley, and $250,000.  As a Twin, Danny Thompson hit .251/.289/.316 in just over two thousand at-bats.  Thompson was used as a utility player in Texas for the remainder of the year, and then his playing career was over.  Sadly, Danny Thompson passed away from leukemia on December 10, 1976.  The following year, Harmon Killebrew helped found the Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament, which is held in late August each year in Sun Valley, Idaho.  Since it's founding, the tournament has raised over ten million dollars for leukemia and cancer research.

Left-hander Kenneth Mark Souza did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system for two seasons.  He was born in Redwood City, California, and was drafted by Kansas City in the first round of the January draft in 1974.  He both started and relieved in his first pro season, but was primarily a relief pitcher after that.  He struggled in his first couple of pro seasons, but turned in a fine year in 1976 at Class A Waterloo when he was still only twenty-two.  The Twins chose him in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft and sent him to AA Orlando for 1977, where he went 5-4, 4.67, 1.41 WHIP in 28 appearances (81 innings).  He was apparently injured after that, because he missed all of the 1978 season, and after that season the Twins released him.  He signed with Oakland and was in their minor league system from 1979-1981, not pitching particularly well.  His best year with the Athletics was 1980, when he went 7-5, 3.35 in 41 appearances (86 innings) for AAA Ogden, but with a WHIP of 1.52.  He spent about a month in the majors that year, going 0-0, 7.71 in five appearances (seven innings) for Oakland.  At last report, Mark Souza was a district sales manager for Hyundai Motors America in Roseville, California.

Outfielder Richard Godhard Becker played for Minnesota in the mid-1990s.  He was born in Aurora, Illinois, and went to high school there.  He was drafted by the Twins in the third round in 1990.  He hit pretty well in the low minors, batting .316 with Class A Visalia in 1992, but also showed a propensity for striking out, doing so approximately 120 times each year in 1992 and 1993.  Despite that, he made his major league debut in September of 1993.  Becker started the 1994 season as the Twins' regular center fielder, but the Twins also had a guy named Puckett who could play center, so Becker was sent back to AAA at the end of April despite the fact that he was hitting .303.  He hit .316 at Salt Lake the rest of the season, and came back to the big leagues in September.  He started 1995 in Salt Lake, but was promoted to Minnesota in June and was once again the starting center fielder.  He didn't do much that year, but in 1996, Becker had his first full year in the majors and made the most of it, hitting .291 with 12 homers and 31 doubles.  It would be his best season:  in 1997, he dropped to .264 with 10 homers and 130 strikeouts, and that off-season he was traded to the Mets for Alex Ochoa.  The change did not do him good; placed in a reserve role, he batted only .190 and was placed on waivers in mid-June.  He was chosen by Baltimore and finished the season there, but did not do much better and was released.  He came back some after that, not doing too badly as a reserve outfielder for Milwaukee, Oakland, and Detroit during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.  Becker went back to the minors in 2001, playing AAA for Detroit and Florida, and played in the Northern League in 2002 before ending his career.  As a Twin, Rich Becker hit .267/.349/.379 in nearly fifteen hundred at-bats.  At last report, Rich Becker was working as a firefighter in North Fort Myers, Florida, but that last report is several years old now.