Happy Birthday–July 9

Jack Powell (1874)
Buck Herzog (1885)
Glenn Myatt (1897)
Wally Post (1929)
Marty Springstead (1937)
Mike Andrews (1943)
Hal Haydel (1944)
Sonny Jackson (1944)
Steve Luebber (1949)
Willie Wilson (1955)
Miguel Montero (1983)
Steven Okert (1991)

Marty Springstead was an American League umpire from 1966-1986.  He later was a supervisor of umpires.

We would also like to extend our best birthday wishes to Pepper.

Outfielder Walter Charles Post had 47 at-bats for the Twins in 1963, near the end of a solid career.  He was born in St. Wendelin, Ohio and signed with Cincinnati as a free agent in 1946.  Perhaps because of his youth, he did not play much in the minors in his first few seasons, but as he got older he played more and played well.  He hit .306 with 21 homers for AAA Buffalo in 1951 and .289 with 33 homers for AAA Indianapolis in 1953.  He played briefly with the Reds each season from 1951-1953, then made the team for good at the start of 1954.  He was the starting right fielder for the Reds for three seasons; easily the best was 1955, when he hit .309 with 40 homers and 109 RBIs.  He finished twelfth in MVP voting that year, the only season in which he received MVP consideration.  It was also the only time he topped .300 in a season.  He was a solid, unspectacular player.  He was also strikeout-prone, leading the league in that category three times.  After an off year in 1957, Post was traded to Philadelphia for Harvey Haddix.  His playing time was reduced some, but he was still the mostly regular right fielder with the Phillies.  He continued to be a solid contributor, but in June of 1960 he was traded back to Cincinnati.  Post was a part-time player for the Reds through mid-May of 1963, when he was sold to Minnesota.  He stayed with the Twins the rest of the season but rarely played, hitting .191/.224/.362 in 47 at-bats.  The Twins released him after the season and he signed with Cleveland, but got only eight at-bats before being released in mid-May.  He played in AAA for Detroit, then his playing career came to an end.  He returned to Ohio after his playing career ended, working for the Minster Canning Company.  He is the grandfather of Ohio State and NFL quarterback Bobby Hoying.  He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1965.  Wally Post passed away from cancer on January 6, 1982, in St. Henry, Ohio.

Right-handed reliever John Harold Haydel appeared in 35 games for the Twins in 1970-1971.  Born and raised in Houma, Louisiana, he signed with the Milwaukee Braves as a free agent in 1962.  He had a decent first year in Class D Dublin and was chosen by Houston in the first-year player draft.  At the end of spring training, Houston sent Haydel to the Cubs.  He was a starter in the minors and did okay, progressing to AA in 1965 and spending two Phoenix for three years, not doing badly but not doing well enough to really attract anyone’s attention, either.  After the 1969 campaign, Minnesota chose Haydel in the Rule 5 draft.  Something must have been worked out, because Haydel was in AAA for most of 1970, coming to the Twins only as a September call-up.  In 1971 he came up to the Twins in late June and stayed the rest of the season.  His stint with the Twins was like most of his minor league career, neither great nor terrible.  As a Twin he was 6-2, 4.04 with a WHIP of 1.31.  He pitched 49 innings over 35 games, all in relief.  He had a bad year in AAA Tacoma in 1972, and then his playing career was over at age 27,  Hal Haydel moved back to Houma and was the general manager of Trapp Cadillac Chevrolet there.  He passed away on September 12, 2018.

Right-hander Stephen Lee Luebber pitched for the Twins in 1971-1972 and again in 1976.  He was born in Clinton, Missouri, went to high school in Joplin, Missouri, and was drafted by Minnesota in the thirteenth round in 1967.  Used mostly as a starter in the minors, he had some really good years, going 17-11, 1.78 in 237 innings at Class A Orlando in 1970 (as a 20-year-old), and 9-1, 1.97 at AA Charlotte in 96 innings at in 1971.  He was jumped from there to the big leagues in late June of 1971 and placed into the starting rotation at age 21.  He was not ready, going 2-5, 5.06 in 12 starts and six relief appearances.  He went to AAA in 1972 and had a solid year, working 215 innings, and got a September call-up.  He was apparently injured for part of 1973, working only 77 innings.  He resumed a heavy minor league workload the next season, throwing 176 innings in AA Orlando in 1974 and 224 innings in Orlando and AAA Tacoma in 1975.  Luebber was back with the Twins in 1976, his only full season in the majors.  Used in both starting and relief roles, he was not terrible, going 4-5, 4.00 in 119.1 innings.  The Twins sent him back to AAA in 1977, and released him after the season.  As a Twin, Steve Luebber was 6-10, 4.32 in 189.2 innings.  He appeared in 58 games, 24 of them starts.  He signed with the White Sox and was in AAA with them in 1978.  He moved on to Toronto in 1979, making one appearance in the majors with the Blue Jays.  He was released late in spring training in 1980, and signed with Baltimore.  He pitched well in AAA for them, making seven appearances with the Orioles in 1981.  He never made it back to the majors, but he hung around in the minors for a long time.  Luebber pitched in the Detroit and Texas organizations in 1983, for the Detroit and San Diego chains in 1984, and made appearances in the minors for San Diego from 1986-1988.  He also pitched for the Ft. Myers Sun Sox in the seniors league.  Luebber did not have much of a major league career, but one wonders what he might have done had he not thrown so many innings in the minors.  Since 1988, Luebber has been a minor league pitching coach, working in the San Diego, Baltimore, Texas, and Florida organizations.  From 2007-15, he was the pitching coach for the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Kansas City organization.  He was the pitching coach for AA Northwest Arkansas from 2016-18, returned to the Blue Rocks for the 2019 season, and was the pitching coach for High-A Quad Cities from 2021-2022.  He is currently the pitching coach for the Webb City Cardinals, a high school team in Webb City, Missouri.

Left-handed reliever Steven Chandler Okert has pitched for the Twins in 2024.  Born in Riverside, California, he went to high school in Rowlett, Texas, and attended Grayson College and the University of Oklahoma.  He was drafted three times:  in the 43rd round by Milwaukee in 2010, in the 33rd round by Milwaukee in 2011, and in the fourth round by San Francisco in 2012.  He reached AA in 2014 and AAA in 2015.  He spent the next three seasons bouncing between San Francisco and AAA Sacramento, pitching well sometimes and not so well other times.  He was in Sacramento all of 2019 and did not pitch well there.  He became a free agent after that season and did not pitch at all in the COVID season of 2020.  He signed with Miami for 2021, started the season in AAA, but finally reached the majors to stay in late June of that year.  He pitched very well in 2021 and 2022, had a down year in 2023, was traded to Minnesota for Nick Gordon for the 2024 season.  He's had a solid season for the Twins so far, going 2-0, 3.46, 1.31 WHIP, one save in twenty-six innings (30 games).  He turns thirty-three today.  He'll never be a star, but as a decent left-handed reliever, he might be around for several more years yet.

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