Happy Birthday–February 12

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

Pants Rowland (1878)
Chick Hafey (1903)
Tom Parker (1912)
Dom DiMaggio (1917)
Joe Garagiola (1926)
Pat Dobson (1942)
Mike Martin (1944)
Ray Corbin (1949)
Lenny Randle (1949)
Don "Full Pack" Stanhouse (1951)
Cam Bonifay (1952)
Chet Lemon (1955)
Greg Johnston (1955)
Joe Bitker (1964)
Ryan Lefebvre (1971)
Chris Snyder (1981)
Cole De Vries (1985)
Todd Frazier (1986)

Clarence "Pants' Rowland spent his life in baseball.  A catcher, he went on to manage the Chicago White Sox to the World Championship in 1917.  He was an American League umpire from 1923-1927.  He was also a minor league manager and executive, and was president of the Pacific Coast League from 1944-1954.  He is a member of the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.

Mike Martin won over 2,000 games as the head coach of Florida State.

Cam Bonifay was the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1993-2001 and is currently working in the Cincinnati organization.

Ryan Lefebvre appeared in six minor league games for the Watertown Indians in 1993.  He was a Twins broadcaster in 1997 and 1998 before moving to Kansas City in 1999, where he has been a broadcaster for the Royals ever since.

Joe Bitker was drafted by Minnesota in the sixth round in the 1984 January draft, but he did not sign.

This is a great day for players with colorful nicknames.  In addition to those listed above, we have Sweetbread Bailey (1895), Kiddo Davis (1902), Dutch Dietz (1912), Monk Dubiel (1918), and Woody Main (1922).

Right-hander Alton Ray Corbin pitched for the Twins from 1971-1975 and spent his entire professional baseball career with them.  He was born and raised in Live Oak, Florida and was signed by the Twins as a free agent in 1967.  He was used as both a starter and reliever in his first couple of years in the minors, but became a full-time starter in 1969.  He pitched quite well throughout the minors, and after a good year at AA Charlotte in 1970, he skipped AAA and went right to the majors in 1971 at age 22.  He was briefly in the rotation in June, but was mostly used as a "swing man", starting eleven games and relieving in 41.  He struggled with his control that year, but got better as his career went on.  Corbin started the season in the bullpen in 1972, but joined the rotation in late June and had a fine year, winning only eight games but posting a 2.62 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.  He moved back to the bullpen for most of 1973, starting only seven games, and had another fine year, with an ERA of 3.03 and a WHIP of 1.24.  It went downhill after that, however; used as both a starter and a reliever again, he did not do well in either role.  He had another down year in 1975, was sent back to the minors in July, and was released in May of 1976.  For his career, Ray Corbin was 36-38, 3.84 in 652.1 innings.  He made 181 appearances, 63 of them starts.  One can't help but wonder if he might have had a longer career if the Twins had ever settled on a role for him.  At last report, it appeared that Ray Corbin was living in Franklin, North Carolina.

Outfielder Gregory Bernard Johnston played briefly for the Twins in 1980 and 1981.  Born in Los Angeles, he was drafted by San Francisco in the 12th round in 1975.  He advanced a level per year, reaching AAA in 1978.  He hit .296 with moderate power at AAA in 1979, resulting in a promotion to the majors in late July of that year.  He was used primarily as a pinch-hitter, batting .203 in only 74 at-bats.  At the start of the 1980 season, Johnston was purchased by Minnesota.  He again hit .296 with moderate power at AAA, getting  September call-up and hitting .185 in 27 at-bats.  Johnston began 1981 with the Twins, but was sent back to the minors at the end of April after getting only 16 at-bats and hitting .125.  He hit only .235 at AAA Toledo, and his career in the United States came to an end at the age of 26.  As a Twin, Greg Johnston hit .163 in 43 at-bats.  While in the minors, Johnston pitched three innings, giving up no runs and only one hit.  He played in Japan in 1982, but then his playing career ended.  No information about what he has done since then was readily available; in fact, there was a post at city-data.com several years ago in which one of his children was looking for him.

Right-hander Cole William De Vries played for the Twins in 2012-2013.  He was born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, went to high school in Eden Prairie, went to the University of Minnesota, and was signed as a free agent in 2006.  He pitched well in the low minors in 2007 and 2008 but struggled when promoted to New Britain in 2009.  He was shifted to the bullpen in 2010 and did even worse.  As an undrafted free agent who had struggled for two years at AA, his future did not look very promising.  The Twins stuck with him, though, and in 2011, still in the bullpen, he did very well in New Britain and did not do badly when promoted to Rochester.  He went back into the starting rotation for the Red Wings in 2012 and made twelve starts for them, going 3-5, 4.37 but with a 1.21 WHIP.  He then was promoted to Minnesota, and while he didn't blow anybody away he did fairly well.  In seventeen appearances, sixteen of them starts, De Vries went 5-5, 4.11, 1.21 WHIP in 87.2 innings.  In 2013, however, he battled injuries.  He made ten starts in Rochester, pitching poorly, and did not do well in a September call-up to the majors.  He was released after the season and elected to retire.  As a Twin, he was 5-7, 5.08, 1.33 WHIP in 102.2 innings.  At last report, Cole De Vries was living in the Twin Cities and was a realtor with Edina Realty.

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