Happy Birthday–May 11

Charlie Gehringer (1903)
Rip Sewell (1907)
Eddie Chiles (1910)
Jack Lang (1921)
Nestor Chylak (1922)
Milt Pappas (1939)
Frank Quilici (1939)
Jerry Martin (1949)
Dane Iorg (1950)
Mark Huismann (1958)
Walt Terrell (1958)
Trent Hubbard (1964)
Bobby Witt (1964)
Kerry Ligtenberg (1971)
Francisco Cordero (1975)
Miguel Sano (1993)

Eddie Chiles was the owner of the Texas Rangers from 1980-1989.

Jack Lang was a long-time sportswriter in New York and was the secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers Association of America from 1966-1988.

Nestor Chylak was an American League umpire from 1954-1978.

Infielder/manager/broadcaster Francis Ralph Quilici was associated with the Twins for many years.  He was born and raised in Chicago, attended Loras College of Dubuque, Iowa, one of two major league players that school has produced (Red Faber), then transferred to Western Michigan.  Quilici signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 1961.  He was not a great batter in the minors, but had a decent season at AA Charlotte in 1964 and was hitting .277 in AAA Denver when he was called up to the majors in mid-July of 1965.  He only hit .208 in Minnesota that year but started in the World Series in place of the injured Jerry Kindall.  Quilici was back in Denver for all of 1966 and was a seldom-used reserve in 1967.  In 1968 he got the most playing time of his career, starting 34 games at second and 24 at third and getting 229 at-bats.  He didn’t do much with the playing time, and by 1969 he was essentially Harmon Killebrew’s late-inning defensive replacement at third.  In 1970, he was given another chance at second when Rod Carew was out, but he didn’t do much with it and was released in April of 1971.  That ended Quilici’s playing career; he hit .214/.281/.287 in 682 at-bats.  He became a coach with the Twins in 1971, and when Bill Rigney was fired in July of the following year Quilici became the youngest manager in the major leagues.  He remained the manager through the 1975 season, when he was replaced by Gene Mauch.  Quilici then joined the Twins’ broadcasting crew, calling games for the team on radio from 1976-1977, 1980-1982 and on television in 1987.  Quilici was nominated as a candidate for the College World Series Legends Team.  He retired to Burnsville, Minnesota, was a member of the board of directors of the Twins Community Fund, and participated in Twins’ fantasy camps.  In August of 2011, a baseball field in North Minneapolis was renovated and re-named “Frank Quilici Field” in his honor.  It serves as home to the North Minneapolis RBI program.  He was also involved in charitable work encouraging organ donation.  Frank Quilici passed away on May 14, 2018, after suffering from a kidney disease.

Infielder Miguel Angel (Jean) Sano was with the Twins from 2015-2022.  He was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic and signed with the Twins as a free agent in 2009.  He dominated throughout the low minors, posting an OPS of over .900 every year but 2012, when it was .893 for Class A Beloit.  His batting averages were not always high, but he always drew a lot of walks and always hit for power.  He reached AA in 2013, missed 2014 due to injury, but came back strong in 2015, when he jumped from AA to the majors in early July.  He made an immediate impact, hitting .269/.385/.530 in a half-season.  Used mostly as a designated hitter, he was moved from his natural position, third base, to right field in 2016 in what can only be described as a lame-brained decision.  He was a liability in the outfield, then got hurt, and had a year that, while it wasn't all that bad (25 homers, an OPS of .781), was not a step forward in his development.  Back at third base where he belonged in 2017, he improved in the field and had a fine year at the plate, hitting 28 home runs and posting an OPS of .859).  He was off to a slow start in 2018, dealt with a variety of injuries, and never really did get going.  An injury delayed the start of his 2019 season, but once he started he had his best season, clouting 34 home runs with an OPS of .923.  He was unable to build on that in the next couple of seasons, however--he continued to hit home runs, but posted batting averages so low that, although he drew a decent number of walks, his OBP was still nothing to shout about.  He was off to an awful start in 2022 when he tore his meniscus and missed the rest of the season.  He became a free agent after the season, went unsigned, and did not play at all in 2023.  He played winter ball that off-season, however, and signed with the Angels for 2024.  At this writing he is batting .262/.352/.361--raising his batting average and cutting down his strikeouts but not hitting for power.  It should be pointed out that this is just sixty-one at-bats.  He turns thirty-one today, so if he can produce he could still have some years left.  Whether he can produce, however, is still very much an open question.

Leave a Reply