Chris Hammond (46) -Began and ended his career with the Reds. As one of the original Florida Marlins in 1993, he hit a pinch-hit grand slam. His brother Steve played briefly for Atlanta.
Lew Fonseca -Began his career with four seasons with the Reds, starting in 1921, playing some 1B, some 2B, and a bit of OF. Went to Cleveland where he won the AL batting championship in 1929. Later he became a pioneer in using film in scouting. Eventually became director of promotion for both leagues, and worked as a director, editor, and sometimes narrator of World Series films for 25 years.
Alan Benes (50) -First-round pick of the Cardinals, he looked mighty good until hurting his arm in 1998; he was just hanging around after that. Andy was, of course, his older brother; a younger brother, Adam, pitched in the minors.
Jose Uribe -Signed by the Yankees, but released before ever playing a game in their minor league system. He was Jose Gonzales back then; eventually he changed his name to Uribe when he was traded to the Giants, prompting Rocky Bridges to call him "the original player to be named later". Became a fan favorite in San Francisco for his fancy fielding and hustle. Died in a car crash in 2006.
Dave Smith -I believe he still holds the record for games pitched in an Astro uniform. Died in 2008 of a heart attack.
Mike Krukow (60) -Former 20-game winner for the Giants, he now does color commentary on their TV broadcasts, where his catchphrase is saying "Grab some pine, Meat!" after an opposing player has struck out. Both he and Uribe were winners of the Giants "Willie Mac Award" for leadership and team play.
Re: Birthdays: 1/21
For today I'll add Joe Benz, known as "Butcher Benz" for his offseason job at the family butcher shop in Batesville, Indiana. Joe is largely forgotten now, but he was highly regarded in his day; he pitched nine years in the majors without ever having an ERA over 2.90.
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