Happy Birthday–December 3

Billy McLean (1835)
Bennie Tate (1901)
Joe Collins (1922)
Harry Simpson (1925)
Ray Bellino (1932)
Minnie Mendoza (1934)
Clay Dalrymple (1936)
Chico Salmon (1940)
Jerry Johnson (1943)
Wayne Garrett (1947)
Pat Putnam (1953)
Gene Nelson (1960)
Damon Berryhill (1963)
Darryl Hamilton (1964)
Paul Byrd (1970)
Chad Durbin (1977)
Andy Oliver (1987)
J. T. Chargois (1990)

Billy McLean was the umpire in the first National League game ever, April 22, 1876.  He umpired in the National League through 1890.

Shortstop Ray Bellino played and managed in the Twins minor league system and also was a scout for them.

If I ever write a novel, I think I'll call one of the characters "Dalrymple".

Andy Oliver was drafted by Minnesota in the seventeenth round in 2006, but did not sign.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to DK.

Infielder Cristobal Rigoberto (Carreras) Mendoza played 2,240 games in the minor leagues and 16 games in the majors, all with the Twins in 1970. He was born in Cieba Del Agua, Cuba, went to high school in Havana, and was signed by Cincinnati as a free agent in 1954. Five of his first six years were spent in Class C and B leagues. He was released by Cincinnati before the 1958 season, and signed with the Washington Senators. In 1959, he hit .357 with Class C Missoula, which finally got him promoted to Class A. He spent two years with Charlotte, posting solid averages, although with little power. Promoted to AAA Vancouver in 1962, his first full year of AAA at age 28, he hit .260, but with few walks and again little power. He then went back to Charlotte, which was by then a AA city. He stayed there for six years. He hit .291 over that stretch, but never even got another cup of coffee at AAA until he was promoted there in 1969, at age 35. He hit .333 that year, and in 1970, at age 36, Minnie Mendoza made his major league debut with the Twins. He stayed for about two months, being used strictly as a pinch-hitter/pinch runner/defensive replacement. He played in 16 games, got 16 at-bats, and hit .188. Mendoza spent the rest of the season with AAA Evansville, went back to Charlotte for two years, and then retired at age 38. He then became a long-time coach and manager. Most recently, Minnie Mendoza was the Latin American field coordinator for the Cleveland Indians and at last report was an advisor to the Cleveland Guardians.

First baseman Patrick Edward Putnam played briefly with the Twins in 1984, at the end of his major league career. Born in Bethel, Vermont, he attended high school in Ft. Myers, Florida, where his family had moved when he was eight. He went to Miami Dade North Community College, then transferred to the University of South Alabama, and was drafted by Texas in the first round of the secondary phase of the 1975 draft. He had a big year in 1976 at Class A Asheville, hitting .361 with 24 homers and 33 doubles. After the season, his manager, Wayne Terwilliger, said Putnam was the best hitter he had ever seen. He was then jumped to AAA, where he hit over .300 each of the next two seasons, with a total of 36 home runs and 56 doubles. He played briefly in the majors each of those two years, but made the majors to stay in 1979. While he was not terrible, he never really became the major league player it looked like he would be. In fact, in his four years with the Rangers, he seemed to get a little worse every year. He went from hitting .277 with 18 homers in 1979 (finishing fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting) to .266 with 8 homers in 1981. In 1982, Putnam was hitting only .210 with two home runs when he was sent to AAA in late May. He again hit well in AAA, but when he returned in September he did not hit particularly better for the Rangers. Texas gave up on him after that season, trading him to Seattle. Putnam was decent in 1983, hitting .269 with 19 homers, but slumped in 1984. The Twins picked him up in late August for their pennant drive, sending Carson Carroll to Seattle. Putnam failed to contribute, however, going 3-for-38 (.079) as a Twin with no home runs and four RBIs before tearing a ligament in his finger. A free agent after the season, Putnam signed with Kansas City, but after a mediocre 1985 in AAA Omaha he signed with the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan. He played two seasons there, played in 1989 in the Seniors league, and then retired from baseball for good. After his playing career ended, Pat Putnam returned to Ft. Myers, where he owned the Home Environment Center, a business which specialized in air and water purification.

Right-hander Jon Thomas Chargois appeared in twenty-five games for the Twins in 2016.  Born and raised in Sulphur, Louisiana, he attended Rice University and was drafted by Minnesota in 2012.  He pitched well for Elizabethton in 2012, but missed all of 2013 and 2014 due to Tommy John surgery.  He had a fine 2015 season split between Fort Myers and Chattanooga.  He started 2016 in Chattanooga, went up to Rochester, made one terrible appearance in Minnesota in June, and came up to the Twins for the remainder of the season in mid-August.  His numbers don't look very good:  1-1, 4.70, 1.61 WHIP.  But if you throw out that one outing in June, his numbers are 1-1, 2.82, 1.43 WHIP.  He made two appearances for Rochester in 2017 and then missed the rest of the season due to an elbow injury.  The Twins gave up on him and waived him in February of 2018.  The Dodgers claimed him and he was in the majors for about two-thirds of the season, going 2-4, 3.34, 1.27 WHIP in 39 appearances (32.1 innings).  He started the 2019 season in the majors but he wasn't there long, sent back to AAA after two appearances.  He pitched well in AAA and came back to the Dodgers in late June, but continued to struggle at the major league level and went back down in mid-August.  He was released after the 2019 season and played in Japan in 2020.  He came back to the United States in 2021, signing with Seattle, and was doing quite well for them when he was traded to Tampa Bay at the July deadline.  He had a fine season and a half with the Rays, then was traded to Miami after the 2022 season.  He had another good season with them in 2023.  He turns thirty-three today.  He got started late and didn't establish himself in the majors until he was thirty, but it certainly appears that J. T. Chargois will be a solid major league reliever for at least the next few seasons.

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