Baseball History for June 7th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1856 Ike Benners
1861 Gene Bagley
1862 Phil Reccius
1863 Bones Ely

The Pirates shortstop in the years before Honus Wagner took the gig. Real name was Fred, but he was REALLY thin.

PA native – came up originally as a pitcher, bounced around for a couple of years in the minors and American Association as an outfielder before getting a regular gig with the St. Louis Browns as a shortstop – spent 14 seasons in the majors between 1884 and 1902 – then owned a minor league team in Portland.

1868 Mike Ryan
1877 Bill Popp
1878 Bob Lindemann
1882 Hub Perdue
1885 Dan McGeehan
1888 George Chalmers
1890 John Vann
1899 Lafayette Henion

Not enough guys named Lafayette in baseball. This one played one game for Brooklyn in 1919

His SABR Bio was written by Terry Bohn.

1900 Ed Wells
1901 Jerry Conway
1911 Ralph Buxton

Spent an eternity pitching for Oakland in the PCL. Before that, he got a few games in for the Athletics (1938) and after that he got a few games in with the Yankees (1949).

1917 Gene Thompson

Reds pitcher who hated his nickname, Junior, but helped the Reds win a pair of pennants.

I know of him because he helped cement coach Ben Tincup’s reputation for molding young pitchers.

Charles Faber wrote his bio for SABR.

1921 Bill McCahan
1926 Roy Jarvis
1933 Herb Score

Power pitcher, career halted by a line drive, but ended by a shoulder injury. The quintessential “What if?” guy… Grew up about thirty minutes north of me in Lake Worth, FL.

Joseph Wancho wrote this SABR Bio.

1944 Frank Reberger
1944 Roger Nelson
1945 George Mitterwald

I remember him with the Cubs – he came over from Minnesota to replace Randy Hundley. Had a three homer game, and then was just kind of there.

1947 Thurman Munson

Great Yankee catcher of the 1970s, tough, unpleasant to opponents, but the captain of the team until his death.

1947 Don Money

Fine fielding third baseman who could hit some, too. Signed by the Pirates originally, sent to Philadelphia in a trade for Jim Bunning.

Hit the first homer at Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia.

Still involved in player development for the Brewers…

1950 Richie Moloney

Appeared in one game for the White Sox in 1970. Returned to the minors, got absolutely slaughtered in AAA – might have been injured? – and was gone, never to be seen again.

1957 Marty Decker

Got four games with the Padres in 1983 – nothing suggests he shouldn’t have had a second chance though he did have control issues in the minors.

Of the few stories about him in The Sporting News, one said he had a good fastball and once had bone chips removed from his elbow . (Padres Notes, The Sporting News, 12 September 1983, Page 24.) He spent time in long relief, then became a starter in 1984, pitching his first complete game after just his seventh start in 191 appearances. To harness his control, Decker gave up on using a windup… (“Better Late Than Never”, The Sporting News, 6 August 1984, Page 44.)

And then he had that porn ‘stache.

1958 Tim Laudner

Missouri grad, spent his baseball life with the Twins.

Stew Thornley wrote his SABR Bio

1960 Jim Paciorek

Third outfielder of the Paciorek brothers – played for the Brewers in 1987 but didn’t stick.

1966 Heathcliff Slocumb

For a decade, a tolerable lefty reliever who was involved in more transactions than a share of Apple… Among the worst trades ever made – Slocum to the Mariners for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe – which helped make the Red Sox…

1966 Trevor Wilson

Lefty Giants pitcher who lost his fastball to a variety of injuries, now serving as a minor league pitching coach. Once fanned the side on nine strikes.

1969 Jeff Pierce

Got a month with the Red Sox in 1995 – and was never seen in the bigs again.

1971 Roberto Petagine

Baseball nomad – prospect with the Astros. Venezuelan native, played for six MLB teams and three Japanese teams – plus a stint in Korea…

1974 Chris Richard

Played for three colleges and three MLB teams. Hit a bit everywhere – the vast majority of it in AAA.

1976 Esix Snead

UCF Grad; Mets prospect who was loaded with speed but really couldn’t hit. Effective in the few games he played in 2002 and 2004.

1977 Joe Horgan

Had a pretty good run with the Expos in 2004, but when the team moved to Washington, Horgan left his success behind. Gave up 19 hits and 15 runs in 6 innings as a National in 2005.

1978 Donaldo Mendez

AstrOS signed him, but he made the majors with San Diego – a light hitting shortstop who never made it back after hitting .183 after 72 MLB games.

1981 Tyler Johnson

Cardinal reliever about a decade ago – lost time to injuries and was done around 2012.

1982 Virgil Vasquez

Tiger prospect who got three starts with Detroit in 2007 and seven more with Pittsburgh. A career ERA near 6.00 did him in.

1983 Mark Lowe

Texas alum still going strong in his 11th season – one time Mariner and Ranger reliever is now hanging on with Detroit.

1983 Doug Mathis

Texas prospect of the previous decade; pitched all over the world, including Japan and Korea.

1984 Justin Berg

Yankee draft pick, made it to the bigs with the Cubs in 2009 and couldn’t stick in three tries. Still throwing in Southern Maryland (IND).

1987 Sean Halton

Got 42 games with the Brewers in 2013, stopped hitting after that and hit the road… Still hoping for a second chance after playing in Mexico and independent leagues.

1992 Vincent Velasquez

Phillies fireballer acquired from Houston in the Ken Giles trade – and a member of my fantasy team. Love watching him pitch…

OBITUARIES:

1909 Charlie Cady
1909 George Decker
1927 Pat Griffin
1949 Hi Bell
1953 Bill Burns
1962 Harry McCluskey
1964 Elmer Stricklett
1972 Topper Rigney
1982 Art Johnson
1984 Rabbit Benton
1993 Skippy Roberge
1995 Eddie Lake
1996 Buddy Blair
1997 Stan Goletz
1998 Tom Buskey
1999 Bob Garber
2003 Greg Garrett
2004 Chris Kitsos
2011 Jose Pagan

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!

2008 I actually was there with my best friend, Andy Finch – Johnny Damon became the first Yankee to go six for six in old Yankee Stadium during a 12 – 11 win over the Royals. It was the only time I saw a game in the old stadium…

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1893 Louisville sends Hughie Jennings and Harry Taylor to Baltimore for Tim O’Rourke.

Baltimore won that deal…

1920 New York sends Art Fletcher to Philadelphia for Dave Bancroft. Bancroft would be back in a few years…

1926 Chicago purchased Riggs Stephenson (and Hank Schreiber) from Indianapolis in the AA, but had to send them Joe Munson, Red Shannon, and cash…

1952 Happy Birthday, indeed – Cleveland lands amateur free agent Herb Score.

1962 The Mets send cash and a player to be named later (Hobie Landrith) to the Baltimore Orioles for Marvelous Marv Throneberry.

I used to carry a 1963 Marv Throneberry card in my wallet everywhere I went.

1963 Happy (belated) Birthday – Bud Harrelson is signed by the Mets as an amateur free agent.

1966 Continuing a theme – your New York Mets take Steve Chilcott with the first pick in the draft, ahead of Reggie Jackson. Some 79 games into his career, a shoulder injury put a dent into his progress, and a variety of injuries ended it without Chilcott making it to the bigs.

Other first round picks that the Mets could have exploited – Reggie Jackson (2, Athletics), Ken Brett (4, Red Sox), Andy Messersmith (12, Angels), Gary Nolan (13, Reds), Richie Hebner (15, Pirates), Carlos May (18, White Sox), Del Unser (18 – Secondary, Senators)… Later picks included: Joe Niekro (3, Cubs), Mike Jorgensen (4, Mets), Dave Cash (6, Pirates), Charlie Hough (8, Dodgers), Bill Russell (9, Dodgers), Bill Stoneman (31, Cubs).

1968 Not content with one bad idea, the Mets take Tim Foli with the first pick in the draft – bypassing guys like birthday boy Thurman Munson (4, Yankees), Bobby Valentine (5, Dodgers), Greg Luzinski (11, Phillies), Steve Garvey (13, Dodgers) and Gary Matthews (17, Giants)… Later picks included: Bill Buckner (2, Dodgers), Ron Cey (3, Dodgers), Lamar Johnson (3, White Sox), Joe Ferguson (8, Dodgers), Doyle Alexander (9, Dodgers), Al Bumbry (11, Orioles), Oscar Gamble (16, Cubs), Bill Lee (22, Red Sox), Paul Splittorff (25, Royals), Bob Forsch (26, Cardinals).

1975 Kansas City signs amateur pitcher and poet Dan Quisenberry.

1977 Chicago selects Harold Baines with the first pick of the draft… Paul Molitor was taken third, right after Bill Gullickson. Other first rounders? Richard Dotson (7, White Sox), Wally Backman (16, Mets), Bob Welch (20, Dodgers), Kevin Bass (2, Brewers), Mookie Wilson (2, Mets), Scott Sanderson (3, Expos), Ozzie Smith (4, Padres), Tim Raines (5, Expos), Jesse Barfield (9, Blue Jays), Danny Ainge (15, Blue Jays).

1981 Houston sends Joaquin Andujar to St. Louis.

1982 Chicago takes Shawon Dunston with the first pick of the draft – Dwight Gooden was taken #5. Other first rounders? Spike Owen (6, Mariners), Randy Myers (9, Mets), Bip Roberts (13, Pirates), Todd Worrell (21, Cardinals). Later picks included: David Wells (2, Blue Jays), Barry Larkin (2, Reds), Mike Greenwell (3, Red Sox), Jimmy Key (3 Blue Jays), Tom Browning (9, Reds), Vince Coleman (10, Cardinals), Jose Canseco (15, Athletics), Bret Saberhagen (19, Royals), Kenny Rogers (39, Rangers).

Two other famous players, Bo Jackson (2, Yankees) and Barry Bonds (2, Giants) – didn’t sign.

2004 San Diego takes Matt Bush with the first pick of the draft – passing on Justin Verlander, who went #2. From what I gather, each threw comparably hard at the time. Other first rounders? Homer Bailey (7, Reds), Neil Walker (11, Pirates), Jered Weaver (12, Angels), Billy Butler (14, Royals), Gio Gonzalez (38, White Sox). Later picks include: Yovani Gallardo (2, Brewers), Dustin Pedroia (2, Red Sox), Hunter Pence (2, Astros), Wade Davis (3, Rays), J. A. Happ (3, Phillies), Chris Ianetta (4, Rockies), Ben Zobrist (6, Astros), Dexter Fowler (14, Rockies), Lorenzo Cain (17, Brewers),

2005 Arizona takes Justin Upton with the first pick of the draft – one of the most stacked first rounds ever. Among the others: Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Cameron Maybin, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza, and Colby Rasmus. Later picks include: Yunel Escobar (2, Braves), Brett Gardner (3, Yankees), Logan Morrison (22, Marlins).

2007 Tampa Bay selects pitcher David Price with the first pick of the draft. Other first rounders? Mike Moustakas (2, Royals), Matt Wieters (5, Orioles), Madison Bumgarner (10, Giants), Jason Heyward (14, Braves), Rick Porcello (27, Tigers), Josh Donaldson (48 – supplemental, Cubs). Later picks include: Freddie Freeman (2, Braves), GIancarlo Stanton (2, Marlins), Jordan Zimmermann (2, Nationals), Corey Kluber (4, Padres), Jake Arrieta (5, Orioles), Anthony Rizzo (6, Red Sox),

2010 Washington selects Bryce Harper with the first pick of the draft. Manny Machado went #2, Matt Harvey was #7, Chris Sale #13, Noah Syndergaard #38, Taijuan Walker #43, and Nick Castellanos #44.

2011 Draft Day (#2): The first rounders already gone… Others taken included: Mookie Betts (5, Red Sox), Ken Giles (7, Phillies), Kyle Hendricks (8, Rangers).

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