Happy Birthday–November 13

Johnny Kling (1875)
Buck O'Neill (1911)
Jackie Price (1912)
Ted Wilks (1915)
Jim Delsing (1925)
Steve Bilko (1928)
Wes Parker (1939)
Mel Stottlemyre (1941)
Gene Garber (1947)
John Sutton (1952)
Dan Petry (1958)
Pat Hentgen (1968)
Jason Simontacchi (1973)
Gerald Laird (1979)
Asdrubal Cabrera (1985)
Wade Miley (1986)
Luke Bard (1990)

Jackie Price played one season in the major leagues, but was better known as a baseball entertainer.  He is sometimes called a “baseball clown”, but that’s not really accurate, because he really performed tricks more than actually clowning.

Right-hander Johnny Ike Sutton played for Minnesota in the second half of 1978. Born in Dallas, he attended the University of Plano (a school which no longer exists) and was chosen by Texas in the third round of the January draft of 1974. He was a starting pitcher his first year in the minors, but switched almost exclusively to the bullpen after that. He did well his first two minor league seasons but after a poor 1976 season at AAA he was traded to St. Louis for Mike Wallace. He pitched the first and last months of 1977 for the Cardinals, and did fairly well, although in only 24.1 innings: he had an ERA of 2.59 and a WHIP of 1.52. He had a good year for AAA New Orleans as well, but was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft and claimed by Minnesota. The Twins apparently worked something out with St. Louis, because Sutton started the season in AAA. He did a decent job in Toledo, and was called up to the majors in early July. He did a decent job in Minnesota, too, posting a 3.45 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. The highlight of his time there was a game on August 7 in Seattle, when he pitched nine shutout innings of relief, giving up only five hits, in what turned out to be a 14-inning loss to the Mariners. The Twins apparently let him go after the season, however; in 1979 he was in AAA for San Diego and Oakland. He had a poor year, and was out of baseball in 1981. He tried to come back, pitching three games in the Philadelphia system in 1982 and working in the Mariners’ organization in 1983, but it was not to be.  No current information about John Sutton was readily available.

Right-hander Jason William Simontacchi did not play for the Twins, but he was in their farm system in 2001. He was born in Mountain View, California, went to high school in Sunnyvale, California, attended Albertson College and San Jose State, and was drafted by Kansas City in the twenty-first round in 1996. He pitched poorly in Class A with the Royals and was released on July 30, 1997. He pitched for Springfield in the independent Pioneer League in 1998, had an excellent year there, and signed with Pittsburgh for 1999. He did all right in Class A that year, but was still released after the season. Simontacchi pitched in Italy in 2000, signing with the Twins on September 27 of that year. The Twins sent him to AAA Edmonton, where he went 7-13, 5.34, 1.50 WHIP in 143.1 innings. He became a free agent after the 2001 season and signed with St. Louis. He got off to a hot start at AAA Memphis, going 5-1, 2.34 in six starts, and amazingly, by May 4, found himself in the Cardinals’ starting rotation. Even more amazingly, he did pretty well, going 11-5, 4.02, 1.31 WHIP in 143.1 innings (24 starts). He got his only full season in the majors in 2003 but could not sustain his success, being dropped from the starting rotation at mid-season and seeing his ERA go to 5.56 and his WHIP to 1.54. He went back and forth between AAA and the majors in 2004, doing decently at AAA but not well in the majors. He was released by St. Louis after the season and has been in and out of baseball ever since. He missed 2005 with a torn labrum. He pitched for independent Bridgeport in 2006, made it back to the majors for thirteen not-very-good starts for Washington in 2007, went to independent Long Island in 2008, and to independent Lancaster in 2010 before finally ending his playing career.  According to howmanyofme.com, there is only one Jason Simontacchi living in the United States.  He was a part-time baseball analyst on St. Louis sports talk radio, then became the pitching coach of the Peoria Chiefs in 2013, then moved up to the Springfield Cardinals from 2015-2017.  He was the Kansas City Royals assistant pitching coordinator in 2018-2019 and became the head pitching coordinator in 2020.  He was let go in September of 2022, however, and no information about what Jason Simontacchi has been doing since that time was readily available.

Right-hander Luke Francis Bard did not play for the Twins, but he was in the farm system (mostly) from 2012-2018.  Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, he was drafted by  Minnesota in the first round in 2012.  He pitched very little through 2014 due to injuries.  Finally healthy in 2015, he went 7-1, 2.58, 1.15 WHIP out of the bullpen in Cedar Rapids.  He was not that good in high-A in 2016, but was still fairly decent.  He went 4-3, 2.58, 1.34 WHIP in AA in 2017.  He was turning twenty-seven by then, however, so the Twins left him unprotected and the Angels claimed him in the Rule 5 draft.  He made eight appearances (11.2 innings) out of the Angels bullpen, going 0-0, 5.40, but with a 1.29 WHIP and thirteen strikeouts.  He gave up four home runs, which accounts for the high ERA.  At any rate, the Angels were not impressed and sent him back to the Twins at the end of April.  He went to Rochester and did not do well.  He became a free agent and returned to the Angels for 2019.  He made the big club out of spring training and was with them most of the season.  He pitched well at times and again had a low WHIP, but he was 3-3 with a 4.78 ERA.  He appeared in six games for the Angels in 2020 and did not get much accomplished.  He was still in their organization in 2021, but did not pitch due to injury and became a free agent after the season.  He signed with Tampa Bay.  He went to AAA, came up to the majors for two stints that added up to a month, and actually pitched pretty well.  Still, he was waived in early August and claimed by the Yankees.  He was at AAA for them but did make one successful appearance in the majors in late August.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Toronto for 2023, but pitched poorly and was released in June and did not sign with anyone.  This is the part where we mention that teams are always looking for pitching, so it's possible that he'll go to spring training with someone in 2024.  However, as a thirty-two year old with no real record of major league success, and not much record of AAA success, it does not seem likely.