Happy Birthday–July 8

Hank O’Day (1862)
Ivey Wingo (1890)
Clint Brown (1903)
Salty Parker (1912)
Hector Lopez (1929)
Al Spangler (1933)
Darrell Brandon (1940)
Ken Sanders (1941)
Jim Ollom (1945)
Lerrin LaGrow (1948)
Alan Ashby (1951)
Terry Puhl (1956)
Bob Kipper (1964)
Jerome Walton (1965)
Bobby Ayala (1969)
Danny Ardoin (1974)
Jaime Garcia (1986)
Josh Harrison (1987)
Stephen Gonsalves (1994)

Hall of Fame umpire Hank O'Day was the home plate umpire in the first world series game in 1903.  He umpired in ten World Series.

Salty Parker was a long-time minor league manager and major league coach.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to AMR’s daughter, Moss’ son, and FTLT's daughter.

Right-hander Darrell “Bucky” Brandon made three appearances for the Twins in 1969.  Born and raised in Nacogdoches, Texas, he signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent in 1959.  He made only one appearance in Class D for the Pirates, went to St. Louis, made only five appearances in Class D for the Cardinals in 1960, was out of baseball in 1961 (pitching semi-pro ball and working as a milkman), then went to the Houston organization.  He toiled there for four years and pitched pretty well, slowly making his way up the minor league system.  He reached AAA in 1965, then was traded to Boston.  He both started and relieved for the Red Sox for two season, not doing great but not doing too badly, either.  He was back in AAA in 1968, where he had a very good year, and also made eight appearances in the majors.  He was left unprotected in the expansion draft and was chosen by Seattle.  He again was mostly in the minors, making eight appearances in the big leagues with the Pilots, and was sold to Minnesota in early July.  The Twins mostly kept him in AAA, too; he made three appearances with Minnesota, two in July and one in September.  He pitched 3.1 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks.  The Twins released him at the end of spring training of 1970, and he signed with the White Sox.  He spent another year in AAA, pitching 214 innings there and winning 15 games.  The White Sox traded him to Philadelphia after the season.  It was the best thing that could have happened to him:  he got three more years in the majors in the Phillies bullpen.  He had a poor year in 1973, was in AAA for 1974, then his playing career came to an end.  After that, he operated pitching schools, first in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, later in Hanover, Massachusetts (one of his pupils was Orel Hershiser).  At last report, Darrell Brandon was living in Plymouth, Massachusetts, after retiring from the insurance business in 2013.

Left-handed reliever Jim Ollom appeared in twenty-four games for the Twins from 1966-1967.  Born and raised in Snohomish, Washington, he signed with the Yankees as a free agent in 1963.  He played rookie ball for them for one year, then was chosen by Minnesota in the first-year player draft.  He did better at AAA than he had done in the low minors, including winning 20 games for Denver in 1966, when he pitched 247 innings.  He made his major league debut with the Twins that year as a September call-up and was with them for all of 1967.  He was seldom used, however, appearing in only 21 games and working only 35 innings.  As a Twin, he was 0-1, 5.00 with a WHIP of only 1.13 in 45 innings.  He went back to the minors for 1968-1969, did not pitch well, and his playing career came to an end.  His lack of a major league career has been explained by saying that he had a major-league fastball but little else, as he could not consistently throw any breaking pitches for strikes.  At last report, Jim Ollom was living in Everett, Washington, and was a regional sales manager for a baking products company until his retirement.  He was also very active in youth baseball in that area.  He was inducted into the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame, along with former Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson and others, in 2023.

Left-hander Bob Kipper pitched for the Twins in 1992.  Born and raised in Aurora, Illinois, he was the eight pick of the draft in 1982, chosen by California.  He was in Class A for three years, but the third one, when he was still only 19, was a good one:  he went 18-8, 2.04 for Redwood.  He rose quickly after that, pitching well at every minor league stop.  He made the Angels out of spring training in 1985, but wasn’t ready and went back down after only two appearances.  In August, he was traded to Pittsburgh in a multi-player deal that included John Candelaria.  He was in the Pirates’ rotation most of 1986-1987, doing decently in 1986 and poorly in 1987.  He moved to the bullpen in 1988 and had some fairly good years as a middle reliever/set-up man.  His best year was 1989, when he had an ERA of 2.93 and a WHIP of 1.06 in 83 innings.  He had a weaker year in 1991, became a free agent, and signed with Minnesota.  He made 25 appearances with the Twins, going 3-3, 4.42 with a WHIP of 1.40 in 38.2 innings.  He was released at the end of July, and was not picked up by anyone.  He tried to make a comeback with the Mets in 1994, but abandoned it after pitching poorly in nine AAA outings.  Since then, he has been a minor league pitching coach, working mostly in the Red Sox’ organization.  Bob Kipper is currently the pitching coach of the Class A Greenville Drive.

Catcher Danny Ardoin appeared in fifteen games for the Twins in 2000.  He was born in Mamou, Louisiana, went to high school in Villa Platte, Louisiana, and attended McNeese State University.  He was drafted by Oakland in the fifth round in 1995.  He was in the minors with the Athletics for several years, not being horrible but not doing much to stand out, either, although he did hit sixteen home run at AA Huntsville in 1998.  In late July of 2000, Oakland traded Ardoin to Minnesota, where he became one of five catchers the Twins used that year (Matthew LeCroy, A. J. Pierzynski, Chad Moeller, Marcus Jensen).  He was with the Twins for about a month, hitting .125/.300/.250.  He was in AAA for the Twins in 2001, then was allowed to become a free agent.  He signed with Kansas City for 2002, was released in May, and signed with Texas.  He remained in the Rangers’ organization through 2004, making it back to the majors for three weeks in 2004.  He signed with Colorado for 2005 and spent much of the season with the Rockies, getting 210 at-bats in 80 games.  He was in the majors for much of 2006 as well, but was placed on waivers by the Rockies at the end of August and was selected by Baltimore.  He became a free agent after the season and signed with Washington for 2007, but was traded to Houston near the end of spring training.  He never got out of AAA there and was traded again in late August, this time to St. Louis.  A free agent after the season, he signed with the Dodgers, where he stayed through 2009.  He spent the majority of 2008 in the majors, although he was rarely used.  He did not sign with anyone in 2010, bringing his playing career to an end.  At last report, Danny Ardoin was living in Lake Charles, Louisiana and was in business development with The Broussard Group.

Left-hander Jaime Omar Garcia played in one game for the Twins in 2017.  He was born in Reynosa, Mexico, went to high school in Mission, Texas, and was drafted by St. Louis in the twenty-second round in 2005.  He came up quickly, reaching AA in 2007, AAA in 2008, and making ten appearances in the majors for the Cardinals in 2008.  He had injury problems in 2009, but spent the whole 2010 season in the St. Louis rotation and had a fine year.  He stayed with the Cardinals through 2016, and for the most part was a solid starting pitcher when he was able to pitch.  He often missed significant time due to injury, though, and averaged just twenty-one starts in those years.  He had a down year in 2016 and was traded to Atlanta after the season.  He was traded to Minnesota on July 24, when the Twins thought they would be buyers at the trade deadline.  Minnesota received Garcia, Anthony Recker and cash for Huascar Ynoa.  He made one good start for the Twins, striking out seven in 6.2 innings and giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks.  The Twins then decided they would be sellers and sent him to the Yankees for Dietrich Enns and Zack Littell.  He was not very good for the Yankees down the stretch, was allowed to become a free agent, and signed with Toronto for 2018, for whom he continued to be not very good while battling injuries.  The Blue Jays released him in late August.  He signed with the Cubs a couple of days later and finished out the season there.  He became a free agent after the season, made four appearances in winter ball, then announced his retirement.  He was a good pitcher when he was healthy.  At last report he was doing charitable work for Water Mission, a nonprofit Christian engineering organization that designs, builds, and implements safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions in developing countries.

Left-hander Stephen William Gonsalves appeared in seven games for the Twins in 2018.  Born and raised in San Diego, he was drafted by Minnesota in the fourth round in 2013.  He pitched very well throughout the minors but was brought along slowly, reaching Class A in 2014, AA in 2016, and AAA in 2017.  He spent the last six weeks of 2018 in Minnesota, making four starts and three appearances in which he was the "primary pitcher".  He did much better in the latter role, going 0-2, 11.68 as a starter and 2-0, 1.46 as a "primary pitcher".  He was injured most of 2019, making just eight minor league appearances.  The Twins waived him after the season and he signed with the Mets for 2020.  As a Twin he was 2-2, 6.57, 2.04 WHIP in 24.2 innings.  He did not play for the Mets in 2020, was waived in July, and was claimed by Boston, for whom he also did not play.  He was, however, in AAA with them in 2021 and made three big league appearances without great success.  He became a free agent after the season, signed with the Cubs, and made eight appearances in AAA.   He remained in the Cubs organization in 2023 and pitched poorly in AAA, still trying to come back from injuries.  He signed with the Dodgers in 2024 but again struggled in AAA, and was released in late May.  He signed with Colorado and is doing better in AAA for them.  He turns thirty today.  He had pitched very well in the minors prior to injury, but it has been a struggle for him since.  We wish him well, but it appears he will never be the pitcher he was before injuries took their toll.

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