Happy Birthday–March 18

Nixey Callahan (1874)
Johnny Cooney (1901)
Al Benton (1911)
Hi Bithorn (1916)
Elbie Fletcher (1916)
Eddie Lake (1916)
Bob Broeg (1918)
Hal White (1919)
George Plimpton (1927)
Charley Pride (1938)
Pat Jarvis (1941)
Dwayne Murphy (1955)
Geronimo Berroa (1965)
Corky Miller (1976)
Tomo Ohka (1976)
Scott Podsednik (1976)
Fernando Rodney (1977)
Leury Garcia (1991)

Hi Bithorn was the first Puerto Rican to play in the major leagues, making his first appearance for the Cubs in 1942.

Sportswriter Bob Broeg covered the St. Louis Cardinals for forty years and was on the Hall of Fame Board of Directors for twenty-eight years.

Author George Plimpton introduced the world to Sidd Finch in 1985.

Country singer Charley Pride pitched in the minor leagues for parts of three seasons from 1953-1960. He also played in the Negro Leagues for a couple of seasons as those leagues were nearing the end of their existence.

We would also like to wish a happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Rhubarb_Runner, and a happy birthday to Mrs. zooomx.2.

One of the finest fourth-string catchers in the history of baseball, Abraham Philip "Corky" Miller played for the Twins at the beginning of 2005. Born and raised in Yucaipa, California, he attended the University of Nevada--Reno and was signed by Cincinnati as a free agent in 1998. He had an excellent year in 2001 split between AA and AAA, hitting .309 with 16 home runs in 314 at-bats. That got him a September call-up, and was the first of ten consecutive years in which Miller played at least part of the season in both the majors and the minors. The most playing time Miller got in a major league season came in 2002, when he played in 39 games and had 114 at-bats for Cincinnati. He was placed on waivers after the 2004 season and was claimed by Minnesota. He started 2005 with the Twins and played in five games, getting twelve at-bats. As a Twin, Corky Miller hit .000/.000/.000. Sent to AAA at the end of April, he hit .229 there and became a free agent after the season. He started 2006 with Seattle, was released in mid-April, and finished the campaign with the Red Sox, for whom he went 0-for-4 (for the three-year period from 2004 through 2006, Miller's major league average was .018 (1-for-55)). He was with Atlanta for 2007 and 2008, signed with the White Sox for 2009, and was traded to Cincinnati in late June. He remained there for 2010, splitting the season between AAA and the majors, and actually had one of his better seasons, hitting .243/.282/.392 in 74 major league at-bats. He could not sustain his success in 2011, hitting .200 (although with an OBP of .348) in 145 at-bats for AAA Louisville. He bounced back in 2012 for Louisville, hitting .235 with an OBP of .386. He split 2013 between Louisville and the Reds, spending nearly half the season in Cincinnati and improbably hitting .257 with an OPS of .766. Okay, it was thirty-five at-bats, but still. In eleven partial seasons in the majors, Miller hit under .200 six times and under .100 four times. His career major league numbers were .193/.277/.306 in 539 at-bats. He spent 2014 in the Cincinnati organization as well, spending the season in Louisville. That brought his playing career to an end. Corky Miller was a coach in the Cincinnati organization with the Class A Dayton Dragons from 2015-16, was the roving catching instructor with the Reds in 2017, and was their catching coordinator in 2018-2019. He manages the Joliet Slammers in 2020, but went back to the Reds as their minor league catching instructor in 2021.

Right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney was with the Twins for about four months in 2018. He was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, went to high school in San Pedro de Macoris, and signed with Detroit as a free agent in November of 1997. He was a reliever for almost his entire career, with the notable exception of ten starts in 2000 and ten more in 2001. He reached AA in 2001, got to AAA in 2002, and made his major league debut in May of 2002. It took him a while to get established--he split 2002 and 2003 between AAA and the majors, missed all of 2004, and finally came up to stay in 2005. He got a handful of saves with the Tigers, but Todd Jones was their closer through most of his stay with the team. Finally, in 2009, Rodney became the closer and got 37 saves, although his ERA was 4.40 and his WHIP was 1.47. He became a free agent after the 2009 season and signed with the Angels, who moved him into a setup role, although he again got a handful of saves. He signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent for 2012 and finally became a full-time closer. He had a tremendous season, saving 48 games while posting an ERA of 0.60 and a WHIP of 0.78. He allowed five earned runs in 74.2 innings. He made his first all-star team that year, finished third in Cy Young voting, and was thirteenth in MVP voting. He's obviously never matched that season, but he was a solid closer for the Rays in 2013 and for Seattle in 2014. Since then, he has pitched quite well at times and quite badly at other times. He was having a bad year with the Mariners in 2015 but pitched very well in September for the Cubs, to whom Seattle traded him. He signed with San Diego for 2016 and pitched very well for them, too, but then struggled when he was traded to Miami at the end of June. He signed with Arizona for 2017, then signed with Minnesota for 2018, and while he wasn't Mariano Rivera he mostly got the job done, going 3-2, 3.09 with twenty-five saves. The Twins traded him to Oakland in early August for Dakota Chalmers. He was used in a set-up role with the Athletics and was not particularly good, going 1-1, 3.92 with a 1.60 WHIP. He started 2019 with Oakland, but did not do very well and was released in late May. He signed with Washington a week later and did much better, making a solid contribution to the Nationals' bullpen. He signed with Houston in late July of 2020, but did not appear in the majors and was released in early September. He pitched for Tijuana in the Mexican League in 2021-2022 and pitched very well.  He has also pitched very well in winter ball.  He turns forty-six today. It's very doubtful that we'll ever see him in the majors again, but we suspect that if he got there he wouldn't be the worst pitcher there.

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