Tag Archives: citizen days

Happy Birthday–March 20

Bill Cammeyer (1821)
Mike Griffin (1865)
Joe McGinnity (1871)
Bob Connery (1880)
Walter Schmidt (1887)
Vern Kennedy (1907)
Clyde Shoun (1912)
Hank Izquierdo (1931)
George Altman (1933)
Pat Corrales (1941)
Rick Langford (1952)
Steve McCatty (1954)
Paul Mirabella (1954)
Si-jin Kim (1958)
Chris Hoiles (1965)
Manny Alexander (1971)

Bill Cammeyer was involved in the early days of professional baseball.  He is credited as a pioneer who put a fence around his ballpark so he could charge admission.  He built a clubhouse, graded the diamond, created a very primitive set of stands for fans, and put a saloon inside the fence.

Bob Connery is the scout credited with discovering Rogers Hornsby and Tony Lazzeri.

Paul Mirabella was drafted by Minnesota in the sixteenth round in 1975, but did not sign.

Si-Jin Kim was a top pitcher in the first decade of Korean professional baseball.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to AMR’s daughter.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 20

Happy Birthday–March 18

Nixey Callahan (1874)
Johnny Cooney (1901)
Al Benton (1911)
Hi Bithorn (1916)
Elbie Fletcher (1916)
Eddie Lake (1916)
Bob Broeg (1918)
Hal White (1919)
George Plimpton (1927)
Charley Pride (1938)
Pat Jarvis (1941)
Dwayne Murphy (1955)
Geronimo Berroa (1965)
Corky Miller (1976)
Tomo Ohka (1976)
Scott Podsednik (1976)
Fernando Rodney (1977)

Hi Bithorn was the first Puerto Rican to play in the major leagues, making his first appearance for the Cubs in 1942.

Sportswriter Bob Broeg covered the St. Louis Cardinals for forty years and was on the Hall of Fame Board of Directors for twenty-eight years.

Author George Plimpton introduced the world to Sidd Finch in 1985.

Country singer Charley Pride pitched in the minor leagues for parts of three seasons from 1953-1960.  He also played in the Negro Leagues for a couple of seasons as those leagues were nearing the end of their existence.

We would also like to wish a happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Rhubarb_Runner.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 18

Happy Birthday–March 17

Fred Pfeffer (1860)
Oscar Stanage (1883)
Joe Fitzgerald (1897)
Charlie Root (1899)
Sammy Baugh (1914)
Hank Sauer (1917)
Pete Reiser (1919)
Vic Voltaggio (1941)
Cito Gaston (1944)
Kurt Russell (1951)
Tim Lollar (1956)
Frank Wren (1958)
Danny Ainge (1959)
John Smiley (1965)
Dan Masteller (1968)
Bill Mueller (1971)
Raul Chavez (1973)
Scott Downs (1976)
Robb Quinlan (1977)
Chris Davis (1986)

Joe Fitzgerald had a long association with the Minnesota/Washington franchise, serving as bullpen catcher from 1945-1947, coach from 1948-1956, and scout from 1957 until he passed away in 1967.

Hall of Fame quarterback Sammy Baugh was an infielder in the minors for St. Louis in 1938, batting .200 in the American Association and the International League.

Vic Voltaggio was an American League umpire from 1997-1996.

Actor Kurt Russell spent three years in the low minors (1971-1973), batting .292 in 356 at-bats.

Frank Wren has been the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves.

NBA star Danny Ainge was a third baseman for Toronto from 1979-1981.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to AMR's sister.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 17

Happy Birthday–March 11

Bobby Winkles (1930)
Dock Ellis (1945)
Cesar Geronimo (1948)
Phil Bradley (1959)
Bryan Oelkers (1961)
Steve Reed (1965)
Salomon Torres (1972)
Bobby Abreu (1974)
Rich Hill (1980)
Dan Uggla (1980)
Frank Mata (1984)

Bobby Winkles was the head baseball coach at Arizona State from 1959-1971, winning three College World Series titles. He also managed and coached in the major leagues.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to Zack.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 11

Happy Birthday–March 7

Ed Willett (1884)
Dave Danforth (1890)
Andy Phillip (1922)
Bobo Holloman (1923)
Red Wilson (1929)
Galen Cisco (1936)
Jimmie Hall (1938)
J. R. Richard (1950)
Jeff Burroughs (1951)
Albert Hall (1958)
Joe Carter (1960)
Jose Cano (1962)
German Gonzalez (1962)
Mauro Gozzo (1966)
Jeff Kent (1968)
Tyler Ladendorf (1988)

A member of the basketball Hall of Fame, Andy Phillip played minor league baseball in 1947, 1949, and 1952, batting .281 in 123 games.

Bobo Holloman is sometimes referred to as the worst pitcher ever to throw a major league no-hitter.

The father of Robinson Cano, Jose Cano appeared in six games for Houston in 1989.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to strategery's son.

Outfielder Jimmie Randolph Hall played for the Twins from 1963-1966.  He was born in Mount Holly, North Carolina and went to high school in Belmont, North Carolina.  He then was signed by Washington as a free agent in 1956.  He hit .385 his first year at Class D Superior, but then had some less impressive years.  He really struggled upon reaching AAA, batting only .227  there in 1960.  He then apparently suffered from injuries, as he totalled only 141 minor league at-bats in 1961-1962.  The Twins saw something in him, though, because in 1963 he became a regular outfielder for the Twins.  Hall started mostly in center field, although he would often be shifted to left late in games to replace Harmon Killebrew there, with Lenny Green taking over in center.  He hit .260 with an amazing 33 home runs (his highest home run total in the minors had been 17 in 1958), setting a rookie record for homers and finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting behind Gary Peters and Pete Ward.  He made the all-star team the next two years and finished 13th in MVP voting in 1965.  He hit in the .280s with a home run total in the twenties both years.  He played full-time in center field both of those years.  In 1966, the acquisition of Ted Uhlaender moved Hall to left.  The move did not go well, as Hall dropped to .239, although he again hit twenty home runs.  After the season, Hall was traded to California with Pete Cimino and Don Mincher for Dean Chance and a player to be named later (Jackie Hernandez).  He was the regular right fielder for the Angels in 1967, hitting .249 with sixteen homers, which in 1967 was not as bad as it might sound today.  It still wasn't good enough, however;  Hall became a part-time player, was traded to Cleveland in June of 1968, moved on to the Yankees in April of 1969, to the Cubs in September, to Atlanta in June of 1970, and was released after the 1970 season.  He hit for neither power nor average in any of those years.  Hall played at AAA for San Diego in 1971, then ended his playing career.  As a Twin, Jimmie Hall hit .269/.334/.481 with 98 home runs in four seasons.  Some sources attribute his drop-off to a time when he was hit in the head with a pitch, but this happened in 1964 and he had a fine season in 1965, so it seems unlikely.  After his playing career ended, Hall moved back to Mount Holly, North Carolina, where he was still living at last report.

Right-handed reliever German Jose (Caraballo) Gonzalez pitched for the Twins in parts of two seasons, 1988 and 1989.  His career contains more questions than answers.  Born in Rio Caribe, Venezuela, he signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 1986.  Gonzalez was obviously playing baseball somewhere before that, but no information is readily available about it.  He pitched very well in the Twins' minor league system, posting a 2.51 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in Class A Kenosha in 1987 and a 1.02 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in AA Orlando in 1988.  He came up to Minnesota in early August of 1988 and pitched well, with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 21.1 innings.  He bounced back and forth between AAA and the majors in 1989, coming to the Twins on three separate occasions.  He wasn't great, but he wasn't awful, either, going 3-2, 4.66 in 29 innings.  After that, however, the trail comes to an abrupt halt; he never appeared in organized baseball after 1989.  One assumes that he continued pitching somewhere for a while, as he had done well enough to warrant more chances, but this could not be confirmed, nor was any information readily available about what he has done since.

Right-hander Mauro Paul "Goose" Gozzo made two appearances for the Twins in 1992.  He was born in New Britain, Connecticut and went to high school in Berlin, Connecticut.  He was then drafted by the Mets in the 13th round in 1984.  The Mets kept him in Class A for three years, the last two of which were pretty good, although as a reliever he never pitched more than 78 innings in a season.  In March of 1987 Gozzo was traded to Kansas City in a trade that also involved Rick Anderson.  He had two pretty undistinguished years in AA Memphis and was left unprotected after the season.  He was chosen in the minor league draft by Toronto.  Something apparently clicked for him with the Blue Jays, as he had two fine years in their minor league system.  He was called up to the majors in early August of 1989 and was okay, going 4-1, 4.83 with a 1.39 WHIP.  He was back in the minors in 1990 and had another strong season, but Toronto traded him to Cleveland in September.  He finished the season in the majors, but again was back at AAA in 1991.  Gozzo was mostly a starter in AAA with the Indians and did not pitch very well.  He became a free agent after the season and signed with Minnesota for 1992.  He both started and relieved at AAA Portland, did pretty well, and got a September callup.  Mauro Gozzo pitched a total of 1.2 innings for the Twins, giving up five runs on seven hits.  He became a free agent after the season, signing with the Mets.  He was in the Mets' system for two years, splitting those years between AAA and the majors.  Gozzo pitched fairly well for the Mets when used out of the bullpen, though less well when tried as a starter.  He moved on to the Cubs' system in 1995, did not make the big leagues with them, and then ended his playing career.  Mauro Gozzo currently operates Goose's Major League Instruction, providing year-round baseball training and instruction, in Wallingford, Connecticut.  He is also the director of Goose’s Gamers, an AAU baseball league in Wallingford.  He has twin sons, Paul Gozzo and Sal Gozzo, who have played baseball for Tulane University.

Infielder/outfielder Tyler James Ladendorf did not play for the Twins but was in their farm system for two seasons.  He was born in Park Ridge, Illinois, went to high school in Des Plaines, Illinois, attended Howard College, and was drafted by Minnesota in the second round in 2008.  He hit very little in the GCL that year, hit a lot for Elizabethton in 61 at-bats in 2009, but did not do much for Beloit in 60 at-bats that same year.  He was sent to Oakland at the trade deadline in 2009 for Orlando Cabrera.  He did not reach AA until 2011 and did not get more than a few cups of coffee at AAA until 2014.  Surprisingly, he began 2015 in the majors but was injured after going 2-for-10 and was sent back to AAA when he came off the disabled list.  He got a September call-up and went 2-for-7, making him 4-for-17 on the season.  He spent much of 2016 with Oakland as a pinch-runner/defensive substitute and hit almost nothing, batting .083/.102/.083 in 48 at-bats (50 games).  He became a free agent after the 2016 season and signed with the White Sox.  He spent 2017 in AAA, and while he wasn't terrible he wasn't very good, either.  He became a free agent after the season and signed with Toronto for 2018, but was sold to Arizona in late May.  One assumes he was dealing with injuries, as he played in just forty-five minor league games.  He turns thirty-one today.  He has played every infield position except first base and has played every outfield position, so he offers position flexibility.  He offers little else, however.  In 1374 AA plate appearances he has batted .237/.321/.348.  In 888 AAA plate appearances he has batted .262/.331/.351.  He turns thirty-one today and is again a free agent..  He might get another chance, or he might sign with an independent league, but it also may be time for Tyler Ladendorf to figure out what he wants to do next in life.

Happy Birthday–March 5

Sam Thompson (1860)
Jeff Tesreau (1888)
Lu Blue (1897)
Elmer Valo (1921)
Del Crandall (1930)
Phil Roof (1941)
Katsuo Osugi (1945)
Kent Tekulve (1947)
Doug Bird (1950)
Mike Veeck (1951)
Mike Squires (1952)
Steve Ontiveros (1961)
Brian Hunter (1971)
Jeffrey Hammonds (1971)
Ryan Franklin (1973)
Paul Konerko (1976)
Mike MacDougal (1977)
Erik Bedard (1979)
Joe Benson (1988)

Katsuo Osugi was the first player to have a thousand hits in the Japanese Central League and the Japanese Pacific League.

The son of Bill Veeck, Mike Veeck is president of the Goldklang Baseball Group, which owns a variety of minor league teams, including the St. Paul Saints.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to brianS’ daughter.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to spookymilk’s father.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 5

Happy Birthday–February 21

Jouett Meekin (1867)
Dummy Taylor (1875)
John Titus (1876)
Tom Yawkey (1903)
Mark Scott (1915)
Joe Foy (1943)
Jack Billingham (1943)
Tom Shopay (1945)
Charley Walters (1947)
Rick Lysander (1953)
Alan Trammell (1958)
Franklin Gutierrez (1983)
The birthday list (2009)

Tom Yawkey was the owner of the Boston Red Sox from 1933 until his death in 1978.

Mark Scott was the host of “Home Run Derby”.

I've been doing this for ten years now.  How time flies.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 21

Happy Birthday–February 20

Sam Rice (1890)
John Wesley Donaldson (1892)
Muddy Ruel (1896)
Pete Monahan (1902)
Tommy Henrich (1913)
Frankie Gustine (1920)
Jim Wilson (1922)
Roy Face (1928)
Shigeo Nagashima (1936)
Clyde Wright (1941)
Bill Gullickson (1959)
Shane Spencer (1972)
Livan Hernandez (1975)
Ryan Langerhans (1980)
Justin Verlander (1983)
Jose Morales (1983)
Brian McCann (1984)
Johnny Field (1992)

John Wesley Donaldson pitched in the Negro Leagues and averaged nearly twenty strikeouts per game for the All Nations team in the 1910s.  He pitched three consecutive no-hitters in 1913.

Pete Monahan played in the minors from 1921-1940, batting .301 and collecting 2,462 hits, but never played in the major leagues.

Third baseman Shigeo Nagashima played for the Yomiuri Giants from 1958-1974 and is considered by some to be the greatest player in the history of Japanese baseball.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to CarterHayes' daughter.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 20

Happy Birthday–February 14

This is a reprint from last year which has not been updated.

Joe Gerhardt (1855)
Arthur Irwin (1858)
Pretzels Getzien (1864)
Morgan Murphy (1867)
Candy LaChance (1870)
Bob Quinn (1870)
Earl Smith (1897)
Mel Allen (1913)
Red Barrett (1915)
Len Gabrielson (1940)
Ken Levine (1950)
Larry Milbourne (1951)
Will McEnaney (1952)
Dave Dravecky (1956)
Alejandro Sanchez (1959)
John Marzano (1963)
Kelly Stinnett (1970)
Damaso Marte (1975)
Tyler Clippard (1985)

Bob Quinn was a long-time executive for the St. Louis Browns, the Boston Red Sox, and the Boston Braves.  He was later the director of the Hall of Fame.

Ken Levine has been a broadcaster for Baltimore, San Diego, and Seattle.  He has also worked on a number of television programs, notably including "Cheers" and "Frazier".

John Marzano was drafted by Minnesota in the third round in 1981, but he did not sign.

There have been seven major league players with the last name "Valentine".  The most recent was Joe Valentine, a reliever for Cincinnati from 2003-05.  The best was Ellis Valentine, who played from 1975-83 and 1985, mostly for Montreal.  One was a manager, Bobby Valentine.

There has been one major league player with the last name "Ash":  Ken Ash, who played in 1925 and from 1928-1930, mostly with Cincinnati.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to Mother 6.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 14

Happy Birthday–February 11

This is a reprint from last year which has not been updated.

Jimmy Ryan (1863)
Kenjiro Tamiya (1928)
George Alusik (1935)
Downtown Ollie Brown (1944)
Ben Oglivie (1949)
Tom Veryzer (1953)
Todd Benzinger (1963)
Scott Pose (1967)
J. R. Towles (1984)

Kenjiro Tamiya is a member of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, playing from 1949-1963.  He began as a pitcher, and came within one out of pitching the first perfect game in Nippon Pro Baseball history.  A shoulder injury required him to switch to the outfield in 1952.  He was a seven-time all-star.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to Moss.  Live Moss.

Outfielder Scott Vernon Pose did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system in 1995.  He was born in Davenport, Iowa, went to the University of Arkansas, and was drafted by Cincinnati in the thirty-fourth round in 1989.  He hit for high averages with quite a few walks in the minors, reaching AA in 1991.  He hit .342 in AA Chattanooga in 1992, but was left unprotected after the season and was chosen by Florida in the Rule 5 draft.  He was the starting center fielder in the first game the Marlins ever played, but quickly lost the job and was back in the minors by late April.  He stayed in AAA for several years.  He was released by the Marlins in March of 1994 and signed with Milwaukee.  A free agent after the season, he signed with the Dodgers for 1995 but was released in mid-April.  The Twins signed him on June 1 and sent him to Salt Lake, where he hit .310/.395/.364 in 203 at-bats.  He was a free agent again after the season, signed with Cleveland for 1996, but was traded to Toronto during spring training.  He was once again a free agent after the season and signed with the Yankees for 1997.  He actually spent most of that season in the big leagues as a reserve outfielder, hitting .218 in 87 at-bats.  He stayed in the Yankees’ organization in 1998, then moved on again, this time to Kansas City.  He spent two full seasons in the majors with the Royals, his only two full seasons in the majors, but was basically a defensive replacement, appearing in 133 games but getting only 185 at-bats.  He was in AAA for Houston in 2001 and for Texas and the Dodgers in 2002, after which his playing career ended.  At last report, Scott Pose was a baseball analyst for the Big Ten Network and for the Durham Bulls.  He was also a regional sales manager for Coloplast, which develops products and services that make life easier for people with very personal and private medical conditions.

Catcher Justin Richard (J. R.) Towles did not play for the Twins, but was in their minor league system in 2012.  Born and raised in Crosby, Texas, he attended Collin College in Dallas and North Central Community College in Gainesville, Texas before being drafted by Colorado in the twentieth round in 2004.  He hit very well in Class A in 2005 but for some reason, possibly having to do with defense, he was made to repeat Class A in 2006.  He had another fine year and continued to hit well when promoted to AA in 2007 and made his major league debut that year as a September call-up.  He began 2008 as the Astros starting catcher but did not hit, getting sent back to AAA in early June.  That was the pattern for the rest of his time with the Astros:  he would hit well in the minors, but do nothing in the majors.  He became a free agent after the 2011 season, signed with Minnesota, and was sent to Rochester.  The Red Wings had quite the catching crew that year:  Towles, Drew Butera, and Rene Rivera, with a few games by Danny Lehmann thrown in.  If you can't rise to the top among that crew, it's not a good sign for your career, and Towles couldn't:  he hit .214/.280/.315 in 168 at-bats.  He bounced around after that, playing in AAA for St. Louis and Los Angeles in 2013, starting 2014 with Bridgeport, signing with Texas in late August, and becoming a free agent after the season.  He did not sign with anyone, bringing his playing career to an end.  His major league stats all came in his five partial seasons with Houston, ending in 2011:  he hit .187/.267/.315 in 428 at-bats.  At last report, J. R. Towles was a catching and batting instructor for Premier Baseball in Tomball, Texas, which is near Houston.