Happy Birthday–November 16

Mike McGeary (1850)
Joe Quest (1852)
Cristobal Torriente (1893)
Henry Spearman (1909)
Paul Foytack (1930)
Frank Bolling (1931)
Harry Chiti (1932)
Don Hahn (1948)
Herb Washington (1951)
Glenn Burke (1952)
Curt Wardle (1960)
Dwight Gooden (1964)
Chris Haney (1968)
Pete Rose (1969)
Julio Lugo (1975)
Juan Centeno (1989)

Sprinter Herb Washington played for Oakland for two seasons as a pinch-runner.  He appeared in 105 games but did not play in the field and did not bat.  He stole 31 bases in 48 attempts and scored 33 runs.

Left-hander Curtis Ray Wardle pitched for the Twins in 1984 and 1985. He was born in Downey, California, went to high school in Norco, California, attended San Bernardino Valley College and Cal-Riverside, and was drafted by the Twins in the third round in 1981. He alternated between starting and relieving for his first two seasons, but then went to the bullpen full time in 1983. He had very good years in 1983 and 1984 as a reliever, the former with Class A Visalia and the latter with AA Orlando. Wardle pitched in two games for the Twins at the end of August, 1984, and was in the big leagues for all of 1985. He did not pitch particularly well for the Twins, and on August 1 he was traded to Cleveland with Jay Bell, Jim Weaver, and Rich Yett for Bert Blyleven. As a Twin, Wardle was 1-3 with a 5.43 ERA in 37 appearances and 53 innings. Placed in the starting rotation for the Indians, he did not do any better, going 7-6, but with a 6.68 ERA. He was known as a slow worker, and given his numbers, that may be understandable. Wardle had an unspectacular year at AAA in 1986, and was traded to Oakland in 1987 spring training. The Athletics sent him to AA Huntsville, he pitched poorly there in six starts, and then his career was over. At last report, Curt Wardle was living in Moreno Valley, California.

Catcher Juan Carlos Centeno was with the Twins for most of the 2016 season.  Born and raised in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, he was drafted by the Mets in the thirty-second round in 2007.  His minor league record is rather mixed, but he started young and did much better when he repeated a level.  He has never had much power or drawn very many walks, so most of his offensive contribution can be found in his batting average.  He hit .305 in AAA in 2013, which got him four games with the Mets as a September call-up.  He hit .291 in AAA in 2014, which got him ten more games, six in May and four in September.  He was waived after the season and was chosen by Milwaukee, for whom he hit .295 in AAA.  It got him ten more games in the majors, all but one in May.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Minnesota.  This time he hit only .245 in AAA, but he came up to the Twins in early May and stayed the rest of the season, backing up Kurt Suzuki.  He didn’t do a bad job as a backup, batting .261/.312/.392.  He became a free agent and signed with Houston for 2017.  He spent much of the season in the minors, but played in a couple of games in the majors in May and came up for the rest of the season in early August.  He did about what you’d expect him to do, batting .231 with an OPS of .632 in 52 at-bats.  The Astros waived him after the season and he was claimed by Texas.  He again spent much of the season in the minors, but did get ten games in the majors.  He signed with Boston for 2019 and it was pretty much the same story:  mostly in the minors but with seven big-league games.  He was with the Red Sox for all of 2020 but did not play for them.  He signed with Detroit for 2021 and spent the summer in AAA Toledo.  He signed with Arizona for 2022 and hit very well in AA and AAA, but did not get another shot at the majors.  He was back in AA for Arizona in 2023 and had another good season there.  He turns thirty-four today and is currently playing winter ball.  Teams are always looking for catchers, so one would expect him to at least get a spring training invitation from someone.  If not, there's probably a good chance he can be a coach for somebody.  Failing that, well, parts of seven seasons in the majors is still pretty good for a thirty-second round draft choice.

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