View Full Version : Birthdays: 7/18

07-18-2012, 07:22 AM

Harry Spilman (58) –Had one of the greatest minor league seasons in Reds history in 1977 in AA: (.373/.453/.562)…Never did anything remotely resembling that in the bigs, but did have a long career as a pinch-hitter.

Larry McLean –Reds catcher in the early 1900s…At 6’5” he was the tallest catcher in major league history…Died a few years after his playing career ended; he was shot by a bartender who claimed McLean was climbing over the bar to assault him.


Torii Hunter (37) –Now in his 16th big league season…Winner of nine consecutive Gold Gloves; I’ll bet you can’t name the only Twin to have more. Answer at the end of this post…

Joe Torre (72) –A near-HOFer as a player, and a sure thing as a manager…Served as a player-manager for 18 games as he was transitioning from one to the other. He was extremely reluctant to put himself into a game, thouh, only coming to the plate twice in those 18 games. Sort of the anti-Pete Rose…He was considered one of baseball’s ugliest players, but as he aged he’s become, if not handsome, at least sort of distinguished…Paul Sorvino played him in a 1997 TV-movie biography.

Eddie Kazak –A Red at the end of his career, but I’m listing him with the “others”…A minor leaguer when WW2 broke out, he was drafted and was wounded in action twice, suffering serious damage in both arms. Doctors advised him to give up his dream of the bigs, but he didn’t take heed. He finally made the majors with the 1949 Cardinals and played so well that he made the All-Star team; the last Cardinal rookie to do so before Pujols…One of the few big leaguers with a palindromic last name, along with Robb Nen, Toby Harrah and Truck Hannah…

Johnny Hopp –Cardinal first baseman between Mize and Musial…His brother, a minor leaguer, was nicknamed “Hippity” Hopp, but the nickname was just so darned much fun that writers started to use it for Johnny too…

Answer to Gold Glove question: Jim Kaat won 12 as a Twin.

07-18-2012, 10:37 AM
You would've lost that bet Chico. I immediately thought Kaat.

Bob Borkowski
07-18-2013, 09:00 PM
Eddie Kazak – One of the few big leaguers with a palindromic last name, along with Robb Nen, Toby Harrah and Truck Hannah…

...and, of course, don't forget Dave Otto who was in the bigs from 1987 thru 1994.