<— FEBRUARY 12 FEBRUARY 14 —>
1861 Emmett Seery
Career started in the Union Association where he proved he was a pretty good player. When that league folded, he played on the St. Louis Maroons where he was a tolerable outfielder – not much of a hitter, but apparently a great fielder due to his impressive speed. After his best professional season in 1889 (.314, eight homers), joined his brethren in the Players League, got a season in the American Association, and finished in with Louisville in 1892.
His Wikipedia entry says that after his baseball days, he lived in Florida where he owned an orange grove.
1864 Bill Farmer
Dublin, Ireland native who arrived in Philadelphia and learned to play ball. A catcher, he played briefly in the majors – two games for Pittsburgh and three games for Philadelphia – in 1888.
1866 Frederick “Crazy” Schmit
Eccentric pitcher of the 1890s who has one the worst won-loss records for a guy with more than 40 decisions… Came up with Pittsburgh in 1890 and went 1 – 9. After bouncing around the minors and two major league clubs in 1893, he next appears in the majors as a starter for the 1899 Cleveland Spiders – he won 2 of the 19 games they won that season (finished 2 – 17). Two years later, he was with Baltimore in the American League – and went 0 – 2 in two starts. When his career went into the encyclopedias, his record was 7 – 36. Ouch.
1868 Timothy “Biff” Sheehan
Spent a decade in professional baseball in the 1890s, but only briefly as a major leaguer… Hit .317 in 52 games for St. Louis in 1895, but couldn’t hang after six fruitless games in 1896.
1873 Tuck Turner
In a period where there were some crazy high batting averages, Tuck Turner once hit .418 for Philadelphia. Then pitchers got more comfortable at the longer pitching distance – and Turner had a rough 1896 season, leading to his being traded to St. Louis. Still hit .291 in 1897, but when he got prematurely old in 1898, he was out of the majors.
Oh – he got prematurely old because he lied about his age. Claiming to be 20 when he arrived in 1893, the truth was that he was six years older than thought.
1876 Fred Buckingham
Yale grad who made one start for Washington in 1895, and despite allowing two runs in three innings, didn’t get a decision.
1876 Fritz Buelow
Weak hitting, solid fielding catcher at the turn of the century – played for St. Louis (NL), Detroit, Cleveland, and St. Louis (AL) from 1899 to 1907, but finished with a .183 batting average.
1877 Charlie “Hummer” DeArmond
Third baseman who got a brief run with the 1903 Cincinnati Reds. Hit .282 in limited action – but the Reds had other options so he never got a second chance.
1878 Bill Bradley
A member of the Chicago Orphans in 1899 and 1900 and a fine third baseman, he was stolen by Cleveland and brought to the American League. A star for the next four years, but he stopped hitting around 1907 as his body started defying him. He missed time with a stomach ailment, and half of 1906 after his wrist was broken by a Bill Hogg pitch (allegedly a purpose pitch) and was out of the league after 1910. He hung around in the American Association and Eastern League and was given a chance to play in the Federal League in 1914 and 1915, even though he was pretty long in the tooth (and hit like it).
Later, he was a very successful scout for the Indians until his death.
SABR Bio by Stephen Constantelos
1883 Harl Maggert
Outfielder who got time with the 1907 Pirates and 1912 Athletics, but spent the vast majority of his playing days in the PCL.
Kicked out of baseball in 1920 for taking a bribe to throw at least one game while with Salt Lake City.
His son was an outfielder in the 1930s for the Boston Bees.
1883 (Prince) Hal Chase
Speaking of crooks… Would imagine many of you already know about this fella.
For you Pete Rose fans, Chase claimed in the 1940s that for all his gambling, he never bet against his own team.
SABR Bio by Martin Kohout, who also wrote a book about the man. Might add it to my birthday or Christmas list.
1885 Harry Vahrenhorst
St. Louis native who once pinch hit for the St. Louis Browns in 1904, struck out, and was sent back to the sandlots from whence he came.
1887 Eddie Foster
The Jerry Browne of the 1910s… Pretty good fielder, pretty good hitter, patient and quick. Had a fine 13 year career with the Senators and Red Sox, bookended by brief stints with the Highlanders and Browns.
Studied medicine at Johns Hopkins, but chose to go into welding after his playing days were over. Died in a hit and run car accident before his 50th birthday.
SABR Bio by Bill Nowlin.
1887 Guy Zinn
Had a rather short career in the majors – Highlanders outfielder for two seasons, one year with Boston in the NL, and two more years in the Federal League… Scored first run in Fenway Park history…
1889 Ned Crompton
Liverpool born player who was briefly a teammate of Rube Waddell on the 1909 St. Louis Browns and played a game with the Reds in 1910. (I should look in my notes and see if I have any information on the guy…)
A guy named Ned Crompton could have been invented by Charles Dickens, no?
1890 Dan Tipple – Rusty
Made two starts and a relief appearance for the Yankees in 1915, winning once and losing once. Owns a career ERA of 0.95 in 19 innings. Spent more than a decade in the minors and was pretty successful. Won 20 for the 1916 Baltimore Orioles of the International League, and won 23 games for Omaha in 1922.
1893 Ben Dyer
Infrequent infielder for the Giants and Tigers from 1914 to 1919.
1894 Billy Martin
Not THAT Billy Martin. This Billy Martin played just one game for the Boston Bees in 1914.
Georgetown grad, three sport star and a member of the school’s sports hall of fame. Signed by Cleveland, he broke his ankle as he was finishing his college season and was immediately released. The Braves took him, but never played him (but that one time), he broke an ankle in spring training the following year and was destined to spend the next decade in the minors.
Like the other Billy Martin, he was destined to spend his life in a tavern. The only difference, of course, is that this Billy Martin (and his father) owned the famous Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown that was frequented by EVERY major politician, and was the place where JFK proposed to Jackie…
His SABR Bio was written by Bob Joel.
1901 Herman Layne
West Virginia grad who appeared in 11 games with the Pirates in 1927 as either a pinch runner or outfielder.
1904 Cecil “Glenn” Bolton
Mississippi State grad who got four games with the Indians in 1928.
Glenn was short for his middle name, Glenford.
1904 Charlie Fitzberger
Baltimore native who made seven pinch hitting appearances for the Boston Braves – and never once took the field. Spent a decade in the minors as a pretty good hitting first baseman.
1906 Harry Kelley
Parkin, Arkansas native who pitched briefly for two years with Washington, then went to the Southern League for about a decade (the ace of the Memphis Chickasaws) before coming back to the majors and pitching for Connie Mack. Finished his career where it started, though – spending parts of two seasons with the Senators. Won 42 games in the majors and 265 games in the minors…
1907 Wayne LaMaster
15 game winner as a 30 year old rookie on an awful Phillies team, and out of the majors a year later. Spent fifteen years as a baseball player, though, winning 136 games in any number of cities throughout the minors.
1908 Gilly Campbell
Cubs, Reds and Dodgers backstop of the 1930s, productive despite a lack of power, walked some and rarely struck out. In 831 plate appearances, he fanned just 35 times. Spent nearly 20 seasons in organized ball…
1909 Ernie Rudolph
Relief pitcher for the Dodgers in 1945, won his only decision. Probably the only major leaguer to come from Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Born and died there 93 years apart.
1909 George Gill
Reasonably successful pitcher for the Tigers (who were good) in 1937 and 1938, then traded to the Browns (who were not) where he went 1 – 12 in 1939.
1911 Herb Hash
Not a safe search on Google as most of the results will likely suggest that you change your smoking habits…
University of Richmond grad who played for the Red Sox in 1940 and 1941. After his career ended (and plenty of Hash Slinging… headlines), he became a high school principal. Lived to the ripe old age of 97…
1913 James “Hack” Miller
This is the second Hack Miller, and not the Lawrence “Hack” Miller who was known for his prodigious strength.
Miller was a catcher – only played in seven games during 1944 and 1945 with the Tigers – who got four hits in his nine at bats (plus a walk and a sacrifice). Miller homered off of Al Smith in his first at bat… He had a couple of good years in the low minors, but he was basically filling jobs during the war years. A Texas native, once his playing days were over, he spent years managing in the Texas leagues.
1915 Oad Swigart
Pitcher for the Pirates in 1939 and 1940, went 1 – 3 in 10 games (5 starts).
1917 Norm Wallen
Another player who got a few games for the Boston Braves in 1945. He was with the club but two weeks when he was struck by a line drive in the knee, which contributed to the end of his career. (He tried to play for Indianapolis in the American Association later that season, and it was the only year he didn’t hit much.)
Wallen was short for Walentowski.
1919 Bobby “Rocky” Rhawn
Utility infielder in the late 1940s for the Giants, Pirates, and White Sox – lost the prime of his career to the war…
1921 Pete Castiglione
Pirates third baseman whose career was stalled by WWII (Navy). Got to the bigs in 1947, was a regular for three years starting in 1949, but slowed down in 1953 and was traded to the Cardinals. Didn’t quit, though – played in the minors for four more years.
After baseball, moved to my neighborhood – was a mail carrier in Pompano Beach , scouted, and did some local coaching and umpiring. Died about six years ago.
1925 Mike Palm
Michigan State grad, appeared in three games as a pitcher for the Red Sox in 1948. Spent two years in the Army Air Corps in places like Casablanca and India. After baseball, sold printer ink with his father in Boston.
SABR Bio by Bill Nowlin.
1926 Bob Habenicht
Born in St. Louis, went to St. Louis University, pitched for the Cards in 1951 and the Browns in 1953. Died on Christmas Eve, 1980.
1927 Jim Brideweser
Shortstop of the 1950s with the Yankees, Orioles, White Sox, Tigers, and the Orioles (again). Inconsistent hitter – struggled while with the Sox, but finished with a .252 batting average in 329 games stretched over seven seasons. Oddly, his best year was probably that last year with Baltimore – hit .268 with his only homer. After his MLB career, he became a high school teacher and baseball coach in Redondo Beach, CA.
1930 Al Grunwald
Pitcher, first baseman in the minors – only pitched in the majors – three games in 1955 with Pittsburgh, and six games with Kansas City in 1959. Played all over the world – Mexico, Japan… He was a pretty good hitter in the minors (fair power, good averages), but shifted to the mound because he was a big lefty with a good fastball.
1938 Dick Hughes
1941 Jim Brenneman
1944 Sal Bando
1954 Donnie Moore
1958 Frank Williams
1964 Dann Howitt
1965 Craig Colbert
1966 Jerry Browne
Infielder of the late 80s and early 1990s. I always liked The Governor – fine second baseman, decent hitter, patient and would take walks, above average baserunner.
1967 Eddie Pye
Middle Tennessee State grad, taken by the Dodgers… Got a cup of coffee in 1994 and 1995 but couldn’t stick as a middle infielder.
1968 Matt Mieske
Western Michigan grad – nearly a regular outfielder with the Brewers in the mid-90s, also played with the Cubs, Mariners, Astros, and Diamondbacks. A pretty good hitter – some power, decent batting averages, but snake bit for some reason. Out of baseball shortly after 2000.
1969 Mike Mimbs
Mercer college kid taken by the Dodgers in 1990. Released in 1992, went to independent baseball, then was signed by the Phillies. Made it to the majors with the Phillies in 1995, making 37 starts and 36 relief appearances. Won nine of his twelve career wins as a rookie, but struggled after that and never made it back to the majors after 1997.
Has an identical twin, Mark, who also pitched in the Dodgers chain.
1970 Kevin Stocker
University of Washington infielder – second round pick of the Phillies. Traded for Bobby Abreu during the 1997 expansion draft. Not a bad shortstop, but never as good as his rookie season (hit .324 in 70 games) – now a broadcaster on the Pac-10 Network.
1971 Todd Williams
Dodgers draft pick, spent forever going back and forth between the high minors and the majors from about 1990 to 2007. Pitched for LA, Cincinnati, Seattle, New York (Yanks) and Baltimore – logging the most time with the Orioles (177 appearances between 2004 and 2007). Member of 2000 Olympic team…
1974 Howie Clark
Spent a decade in the minors before getting a shot in the majors. Played for Baltimore, Toronto, and Minnesota… Could hit some, decent fielder. Most famous as the shortstop distracted by Alex Rodriguez when he yelled “I got it” while running the bases – Clark let the pop up fall. Once tried HGH and was named in the Mitchell report, but was acquitted when it turned out that what he bought from Mexico was fake.
Now a minor league batting instructor.
1976 Brian Rose
Red Sox draft pick, pitched for Boston, Colorado, New York, and Tampa Bay but with limited success. Had great success at first in the minors – went 17-5 at Pawtucket to earn his first call to the majors. Just didn’t miss enough bats in the bigs.
Now coaches travel programs and provides baseball clinics for kids in New England.
1977 Joe Lawrence
1st Round pick of the Blue Jays in 1996, got to the bigs in 2002 and hit .180. After baseball, co-founded Marucci Sports – makers of custom bats.
1978 Scott Dohmann
Louisiana-Lafayette grad – big arm – pitched for the Rockies, Royals, and Rays… (Also spent a year in Japan.) Control was problematic, as was his ERA… Now in the custom pools business…
1980 Drew Henson
Second best quarterback from Michigan to play in the majors (Rick Leach)… Played third base for the Yankees and knew he’d have a better chance in football… Made a start for the Cowboys in 2004, played in NFL Europe for a year, was a member of Minnesota and Detroit – oddly his first two games (one for Dallas, one for Detroit) were on Thanksgiving. Both were disasters.
1983 Mike Nickeas
Georgia Tech grad taken by Texas in the 5th round in 2004. Took a while to make the majors, which he did as a backup catcher for the Mets. Hit .180 in three years in New York, and a game (defensive replacement) in Toronto in 2013.
1984 Brett Hayes
Nevada-Reno grad – 2nd round pick of the Marlins in 2005… Not a bad backstop, can throw some, but hasn’t hit much in the majors. Moved to the Royals in 2013, played with Cleveland briefly last year.
1985 Logan Ondrusek
Reds reliever for five years – a middle reliever with improving control – who spent last year with the Yakult Swallows…
1987 Henry Urrutia
Cuban defector trying to make it as a DH/LF with the Orioles. Has hit when on the active roster.
1987 Curtis Partch
Pitcher – made it to the bigs with the Reds in 2013 and 2014 but hasn’t been able to stick. First batter he faced, Matt Holiday, hit a grand slam off of him… In Giants chain last year, but looking to catch on for 2016 with Pittsburgh.
1987 Ryan Perry
University of Arizona grad, first round pick in 2008 by the Tigers and made it to the bigs in 2009. Never seemed to pan out as a reliever – part control problems, part arm health. Struggled with the Nationals in 2012, has been struggling in the minors, and now may be out of chances.
1988 Ryan Goins
4th round pick of the Blue Jays in 2009 – got to the majors in 2013 and seems to be finding himself as a hitter, though he’s getting long in the tooth as a prospect. Can play five positions, so he might stick around a few more years.
1990 Nathan Eovaldi
Drafted by the Dodgers, traded to the Marlins in the Hanley Ramirez trade, moved to the Yankees for 2015 and went 14 – 3. Those of us who watched him pitch in Miami were very surprised by that… Good control, seems to get hit a lot.
Usually people move from NY to Miami, not the other way around.
1886 Fred Warner
1893 Sy Sutcliffe
1905 Bill Eagan
1905 Ralph Ham
1920 John Shoup
1921 Barney McLaughlin
1927 Vive Lindaman
1928 Pete Daniels
1929 Joe Straub
1930 Dan Abbott
1931 Dick Phelan
1945 Jocko Halligan
1946 Marc Campbell
1947 Sam Shaw
1953 Happy Foreman
1953 Ed Haigh
1954 Walter Ancker
1956 Fred Holmes
1964 Ken Hubbs
Plane crash – he was piloting a Cessna 172 when he crashed into Utah Lake.
1969 Shags Horan
1970 Paul Edmondson
Car crash near Santa Barbara during a rainstorm.
1986 Ed McGhee
1987 Leo Norris
1992 Byron Humphrey
1992 Earl Rapp
1997 Bobby Adams
2004 Ted Tappe
2005 Nelson Briles
2014 Drew Denson
YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!
1920 Eight team owners meet at the Kansas City YMCA to outline and organize the Negro National League, which will be led initially by Rube Foster.
1968 Los Angeles sends Ron Hunt and Nate Oliver to San Francisco for Tom Haller and minor leaguer Francis Kasheta.
Meanwhile, Washington sends Bob Priddy, Buster Narum, and Tim Cullent to the White Sox for Ron Hansen, Steve Jones, and Dennis Higgins.
1986 New York sends Scott Bradley, Neil Allen, and Glenn Braxton to the White Sox for Ron Hassey, Matt Winters, and two minor leaguers.