Category Archives: Keeping Track

Happy Birthday–December 6

Jocko Conlan (1899)
Tony Lazzeri (1903)
Stan Hack (1909)
Dan Dobbek (1934)
Tony Horton (1944)
Larry Bowa (1945)
Tim Foli (1950)
Chuck Baker (1952)
Gary Ward (1953)
Juan Carlos Oliva (1954)
Steve Bedrosian (1957)
Larry Sheets (1959)
Kevin Campbell (1964)
Kevin Appier (1967)
Jose Contreras (1971)
Chris Basak (1978)
Jason Bulger (1978)
Adam Eaton (1988)

Jocko Conlan played two seasons of major league baseball, but is best known as a National League umpire from 1941-1965.

The younger brother of Tony Oliva, Juan Carlos Oliva was a star pitcher in Cuba and later became a successful pitching coach there.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 6

Happy Birthday–December 5

Billy Shindle (1860)
Patsy Tebeau (1864)
Frank Bowerman (1868)
Pink Hawley (1872)
Gus Mancuso (1905)
Bobby Mattick (1915)
Chico Ruiz (1938)
Yoshiharu Wakana (1953)
Gary Roenicke (1954)
Luis Casanova (1956)
Alan Cockrell (1962)
Cliff Floyd (1972)
Hanley Frias (1973)
Justin Smoak (1986)
A. J. Pollock (1987)
Christian Yelich (1991)
Trevor Megill (1993)

Yoshiharu Wakana was a six-time all-star in Japan, playing from 1974-1991.

Luis Casanova was a star slugger in Cuba, playing from 1978-1994.

We also want to wish a Happy Birthday to CarterHayes’ mother.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 5

Happy Birthday–December 4

Jesse Burkett (1868)
Shano Collins (1885)
Bob Shawkey (1890)
Harvey Kuenn (1930)
Mike Couchee (1957)
Lee Smith (1957)
Stan Jefferson (1962)
Bernardo Brito (1963)
Jerome Williams (1981)
Matt Fox (1982)
Carlos Gomez (1985)
Jake Cave (1992)

Mike Couchee was drafted by Minnesota in the second round of the January Secondary draft in 1978, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 4

Happy Birthday–December 3

Billy McLean (1835)
Bennie Tate (1901)
Joe Collins (1922)
Ray Bellino (1932)
Clay Dalrymple (1936)
Chico Salmon (1940)
Jerry Johnson (1943)
Wayne Garrett (1947)
Pat Putnam (1953)
Gene Nelson (1960)
Damon Berryhill (1963)
Darryl Hamilton (1964)
Paul Byrd (1970)
Chad Durbin (1977)
Andy Oliver (1987)
J. T. Chargois (1990)

Billy McLean was the umpire in the first National League game ever, April 22, 1876.  He umpired in the National League through 1890.

Shortstop Ray Bellino played and managed in the Twins minor league system and also was a scout for them.

If I ever write a novel, I think I'll call one of the characters "Dalrymple".

Andy Oliver was drafted by Minnesota in the seventeenth round in 2006, but did not sign.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to DK.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 3

Happy Birthday–December 1

Ed Reulbach (1882)
Willie Mitchell (1889)
Walter Alston (1911)
Calvin Griffith (1911)
Cookie Lavagetto (1912)
Marty Marion (1917)
Cal McLish (1925)
George Foster (1948)
Dan Schatzeder (1954)
Greg Harris (1963)
Larry Walker (1966)
Reggie Sanders (1967)
Kirk Rueter (1970)

As everyone reading this knows, Calvin Griffith was the long-time owner of the Minnesota Twins.  He had served in a variety of positions for the Washington Senators, including batboy, minor league player-manager, and working in the front office.  His managing career lasted from 1937-1941.  He also played for Class B Charlotte from 1939-1941.  No records of his playing career are available from 1939-1940, but in 1941 he got a hit in his only at-bat.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 1

Happy Birthday–November 30

Mordecai Davidson (1845)
Frank Killen (1870)
Josh Billings (1891)
Firpo Marberry (1898)
Clyde Sukeforth (1901)
Steve Hamilton (1935)
Craig Swan (1950)
Juan Berenguer (1954)
Dave Engle (1956)
Steve Shields (1958)
Bob Tewksbury (1960)
Bo Jackson (1962)
Gary Wayne (1962)
Mark Lewis (1969)
Ray Durham (1971)
Matt Lawton (1971)
Shane Victorino (1980)
Rich Harden (1981)
Luis Valbuena (1985)

Mordecai Davidson was the owner of the Louisville Colonels in the late 1880s.  Under financial pressure, he tried to save money in a variety of ways, including fining players each time the team lost.  As a result, he is credited with inspiring the first baseball players' strike.  Nobody ever seems to name their kid "Mordecai" any more.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 30

Happy Birthday–November 29

Tom Hughes (1878)
Irv Noren (1924)
Minnie Minoso (1925)
Vin Scully (1927)
George Thomas (1937)
Dick McAuliffe (1939)
Bill Freehan (1941)
Otto Velez (1950)
Mike Easler (1950)
Rick Anderson (1956)
Joe Price (1956)
Dennis Burtt (1957)
Howard Johnson (1960)
Bob Hamelin (1967)
Mariano Rivera (1969)
Brian Wolfe (1980)
Guillermo Quiroz (1981)
Craig Gentry (1983)

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 29

Happy Birthday–November 28

Heinie Pietz (1870)
Frank O'Rourke (1894)
Jerry Gardner (1920)
Wes Westrum (1922)
Sixto Lezcano (1953)
Dave Righetti (1958)
Walt Weiss (1963)
John Burkett (1964)
Matt Williams (1965)
Pedro Astacio (1969)
Robb Nen (1969)
Jose Parra (1972)
Carlos Villaneuva (1983)
Miguel Diaz (1994)

Jerry Gardner spent most of his life in baseball as a minor-league player and manager and as a scout.

We would like to wish a very happy birthday to Mom Runner.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 28

Happy Birthday–November 27

Bullet Joe Bush (1892)
Johnny Schmitz (1920)
Billy Moran (1933)
Jose Tartabull (1938)
Dave Giusti (1939)
Dan Spillner (1951)
Mike Scioscia (1958)
Randy Milligan (1961)
Tim Laker (1969)
Ivan Rodriguez (1971)
Willie Bloomquist (1977)
Jimmy Rollins (1978)

No players with connections to the Minnesota Twins appear to have been born on this day. The closest we come is Billy Moran, who was part of a three-team trade involving Minnesota, Cleveland, and the Los Angeles Angels. Minnesota acquired Frank Kostro and Jerry Kindall and sent Lenny Green and Vic Power to Los Angeles. Billy Moran was sent from the Angels to Cleveland in that trade.