Happy Birthday–February 11

Due to personal time constraints, this is a reprint from last year which has not been updated.

Jimmy Ryan (1863)
Kenjiro Tamiya (1928)
George Alusik (1935)
Downtown Ollie Brown (1944)
Ben Oglivie (1949)
Tom Veryzer (1953)
Todd Benzinger (1963)
Scott Pose (1967)
J. R. Towles (1984)

Kenjiro Tamiya is a member of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, playing from 1949-1963.  He began as a pitcher, and came within one out of pitching the first perfect game in Nippon Pro Baseball history.  A shoulder injury required him to switch to the outfield in 1952.  He was a seven-time all-star.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to Moss.

Outfielder Scott Vernon Pose did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system in 1995.  He was born in Davenport, Iowa, went to the University of Arkansas, and was drafted by Cincinnati in the thirty-fourth round in 1989.  He hit for high averages with quite a few walks in the minors, reaching AA in 1991.  He hit .342 in AA Chattanooga in 1992, but was left unprotected after the season and was chosen by Florida in the Rule 5 draft.  He was the starting center fielder in the first game the Marlins ever played, but quickly lost the job and was back in the minors by late April.  He stayed in AAA for several years.  He was released by the Marlins in March of 1994 and signed with Milwaukee.  A free agent after the season, he signed with the Dodgers for 1995 but was released in mid-April.  The Twins signed him on June 1 and sent him to Salt Lake, where he hit .310/.395/.364 in 203 at-bats.  He was a free agent again after the season, signed with Cleveland for 1996, but was traded to Toronto during spring training.  He was once again a free agent after the season and signed with the Yankees for 1997.  He actually spent most of that season in the big leagues as a reserve outfielder, hitting .218 in 87 at-bats.  He stayed in the Yankees’ organization in 1998, then moved on again, this time to Kansas City.  He spent two full seasons in the majors with the Royals, his only two full seasons in the majors, but was basically a defensive replacement, appearing in 133 games but getting only 185 at-bats.  He was in AAA for Houston in 2001 and for Texas and the Dodgers in 2002, after which his playing career ended.  At last report, Scott Pose was living in the Raleigh-Durham area.  He was a baseball analyst for the Big Ten Network and for the Durham Bulls.  He was also a regional sales manager for Coloplast, which develops products and services that make life easier for people with very personal and private medical conditions.

Catcher Justin Richard (J. R.) Towles did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system in 2012.  Born and raised in Crosby, Texas, he attended Collin College in Dallas and North Central Community College in Gainesville, Texas before being drafted by Colorado in the twentieth round in 2004.  He hit very well in Class A in 2005 but for some reason, possibly having to do with defense, he was made to repeat Class A in 2006.  He had another fine year and continued to hit well when promoted to AA in 2007 and made his major league debut that year as a September call-up.  He began 2008 as the Astros starting catcher but did not hit, getting sent back to AAA in early June.  That was the pattern for the rest of his time with the Astros:  he would hit well in the minors, but do nothing in the majors.  He became a free agent after the 2011 season, signed with Minnesota, and was sent to Rochester.  The Red Wings had quite the catching crew that year:  Towles, Drew Butera, and Rene Rivera, with a few games by Danny Lehmann thrown in.  If you can't rise to the top among that crew, it's not a good sign for your career, and Towles couldn't:  he hit .214/.280/.315 in 168 at-bats.  He bounced around after that, playing in AAA for St. Louis and Los Angeles in 2013, starting 2014 with Bridgeport, signing with Texas in late August, and becoming a free agent after the season.  He did not sign with anyone, bringing his playing career to an end.  His major league stats all came in his five partial seasons with Houston, ending in 2011:  he hit .187/.267/.315 in 428 at-bats.  J. R. Towles was a catching and batting instructor for Premier Baseball in Tomball, Texas, which is near Houston, but he is not listed on that organization's website.  Thus, no information about what J. R. Towles is doing now was readily available.

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