Happy Birthday–April 11

Pop Corkhill (1858)
Ossee Schrecongost (1875)
Matsutaro Shoriki (1885)
Sam Chapman (1916)
Barney McCosky (1917)
Jim Hearn (1921)
Bob Casey (1925)
Sid Monge (1951)
Bret Saberhagen (1964)
Turner Ward (1965)
Sean Bergman (1970)
Robin Jennings (1972)
Jason Varitek (1972)
Trot Nixon (1974)
Todd Dunwoody (1975)
Kelvim Escobar (1976)
Mark Teixeira (1980)
Andres Blanco (1984)
Alejandro De Aza (1984)
Kenta Maeda (1988)

Matustaro Shoriki is known as the father of Japanese baseball.

Bob Casey was the Twins' public address announcer from 1961 until his death in March of 2005.

Jason Varitek was drafted by the Twins in the first round in 1993, but did not sign.

Right-hander Sean Frederick Bergman made fifteen appearances for the Twins in 2000.  Born and raised in Joliet, Illinois, Bergman attended Southern Illinois University and was drafted by Detroit in the fourth round in 1991.  His minor league record is rather mixed.  He had an excellent half-season for Class A Lakeland in 1992 and pitched well for AAA Toledo in 1994, but did not do so well in 1991 or 1993.  Bergman was with the Tigers for about five weeks in 1993 and about two weeks in 1994, not pitching particularly well either time.  He had his first full year in the majors in 1995, making 28 starts, and continued to not pitch particularly well, going 7-10, 5.12.  In March of 1996 the Tigers traded Bergman to San Diego.  He began the year in the starting rotation but was moved to the bullpen in mid-June, where he was actually fairly effective the rest of the season.  He could not continue his bullpen success in 1997, and was not effective as a starter either, so after the season the Padres traded him to Houston.  Moved back to the rotation in 1998, he had what was easily his best year in the majors, going 12-9, 3.72 with a WHIP of 1.31.  He could not repeat his success in 1999 and was released at the end of August, finishing the year with Atlanta.  The Braves waived him after the season, and Minnesota selected Bergman for 2000.  He began the season in the Twins’ rotation and made 14 starts, two of which were fairly good.  As a Twin, Sean Bergman was 4-5, 9.66 with a WHIP of 2.12 in 68 innings.  The Twins released him in late June and he finished the season in AAA with Florida.  He signed with Tampa Bay for 2001, was released in spring training, and caught on with Colorado.  He got off to a good start at AAA Colorado Springs and was sold in April to the Kinetsu Buffaloes in Japan, where he pitched through 2002.  Returning to the United States in 2003, he pitched at AAA for Florida that year and for Baltimore in 2004 before ending his playing career.  Bergman had only one year with an ERA under four and only two with an ERA under five, but made 117 major league starts over eight seasons.  Sean Bergman was the pitching coach at the Division II University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, for a few years, and is currently the owner of Pitch Right, a company which produces pitching instructional videos.  He also teaches physical education at Hicksville Elementary School in Hicksville, Ohio.

Outfielder Robin Christopher Jennings did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system for much of the 2000 season.  He was born in Singapore and holds the distinction of being the only major league player to have been born there.  He attended high school in Annandale, Texas, and was drafted by the Cubs in the thirty-third round in 1991.  He put up unspectacular but solid numbers in the minors, developing power in 1995 when he was at AA.  He opened 1996 in the majors but essentially wasted his time there, never starting a game and making fourteen pinch-hitting appearances before being sent to AAA in mid-May.  He had solid seasons in AAA in 1996 and 1997, getting a September call-up both years.  He missed some time with a broken hand in 1998, but came back in 1999 to hit .309 at AAA Iowa and spend about a week and a half with the Cubs.  Chicago never really gave him a chance, and when he became a free agent after the 1999 season he signed with Minnesota.  The Twins didn’t give him a chance, either:  despite hitting .310/.371/.536 in Salt Lake, they not only did not call him up to the majors, they released him in late July.  He signed with Cincinnati and finished out the season in AAA with them.  He divided 2001 among Oakland, Colorado, and Cincinnati, getting a handful of major league at-bats with each club.  Jennings was still in AAA with the Reds through 2003, but his moment had passed, and he was released after the 2003 season.  He signed with Tampa Bay for 2004, but was released at the end of spring training.  He appears to have been out of baseball for three years; if he was in Japan or in independent leagues or something, his record does not show it.  He tried to come back with Washington in 2007, dividing the season between AA and AAA.  He did okay, but no more, and was released in early June, ending his playing career for good.  At last report, Robin Jennings was the owner of Big Ash Bats and Tribal Clubs, which produces five-foot long novelty wooden bats with personalized engravings.  He was also the owner of Summit Coasters, which makes personalized coasters from reclaimed wood.  In addition, he was the director of baseball operations for the Skullcandy Crushers National Baseball program, whose sponsor, Skullcandy, is a global headphone company.  It should be noted, however, that our information on all those things is a few years old now.

Outfielder Todd Franklin Dunwoody did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system in 2004 and 2005.  Born and raised in the Lafayette, Indiana area, he was drafted by Florida in the seventh round in 1993.  He was young and took a while to get started, but the Marlins stuck with him and were rewarded when he started to hit at Class A Kane County in 1995.  He progressed fairly rapidly after that and reached the majors for about six weeks in 1997.  He got the most playing time of his career with the Marlins in 1998, spending most of the year with the club as their starting center fielder.  Unfortunately, he hit only .251 with an OPS of .672 and struck out 113 times.  He would never get extended time as a regular again.  He split 1999 between AAA and the majors and was traded to Kansas City after the season.  He came back to the majors in early June of 2000 and stayed the rest of the year, playing regularly for about six weeks.  He did not hit, though, and was again a free agent after the season.  The Cubs signed him for 2001 and he again split the season between AAA and the majors.  He moved on to Cleveland for 2002 where he got his last major league playing time, going 0-for-6.  He kept trying, though, going to the Cardinals organization for 2003 and back to the Cubs for 2004.  The Cubs traded him back to Cleveland in early April, but he was released in mid-May.  The Twins signed Dunwoody about a week later and sent him to AAA Rochester.  He hit .305 there, but did not get another chance at the majors.  He stayed with the Red Wings for 2005 but hit only .247 and his playing career came to an end.  He served as the hitting coach for the South Bend Silver Hawks for a while.  At last report, Todd Dunwoody has returned to his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana, and was the owner of On Deck Baseball/Softball School.

Right-hander Kenta Maeda has pitched for the Twins, since 2020.  He was born in Senboku-gun, Japan and began pitching for the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League in 2008.  He had six consecutive seasons with an ERA below 2.50, with a low of 1.53 in 2012.  He also had a WHIP below 1.10 in those six seasons, with three of them below 1.00.  He was with the Carp through 2015, compiling a record of 97-67, 2.39, 1.05 WHIP.  He signed with the Dodgers for 2016, and while he did not match his Japanese numbers he was still a solid starter for them for four seasons.  He went 47-35, 3.87, 1.15 WHIP in those years, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2015.  After the 2019 season, he was traded with Jair Camargo to Minnesota for Luke Raley, Brusdar Graterol, and future considerations.  He had an outstanding (though obviously shortened) 2020, going 6-1, 2.70, with a league-leading 0.75 WHIP, and finishing second in Cy Young balloting.  He was not nearly as good in 2021, missing a couple months of the season and posting an ERA of 4.66, although some of the decline may have been injury-related.  He had Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2022.  He has come back in 2023 and did very well in his first start.  He turns thirty-five today.  It's too early to say, but we can certainly hope that Kenta Maeda will come back strong in 2023.