Latos notwithstanding, birthdays march on!


Jose Acevedo (34) -One of those pitchers who looked good until you actually pitched him.

Joe Randa (42) -Nicknamed "The Joker" for his perpetual smile, he had a terrific year at third for the 2005 Reds.


Steve Hovley (66) -Now working as a plumber in California, he has two kids and two grandkids. For those of his who know him from Ball Four, it's difficult to imagine him with grandkids.

Zoilo Versalles - The 1965 MVP, and deservedly so. His 1961 Topps card lists him as "Zorro" Versalles. His post baseball career was sad; he was unable to find work due to the language barrier and a back ailment; he was finally forced to sell his MVP trophy and his World Series and All-Star awards and live on welfare and disability. He died young. Sorry to bum you out this morning...

Bill Skowron (81) -Nicnamed "Moose", not because he was a big guy but because when he was a kid his grandfather gave him a bad haircut that his friends said made him look like Mussolini.

Ty Cobb -What can I say about this guy? The more I researched him the more I realize that I want to know a LOT more about him. I need to read his autobiography, or else the Alexander biography of him. Anybody recommend either?

One story: In 1940, Cobb went into a liquor store and realized that the clerk there was Shoeless Joe Jackson. Joe didn't make any sign that he recognized Cobb; so after the transaction was done, Ty said, "Joe what's the matter- don't you know me?". And joe replied "Sure, I know you Ty. but I wasn't sure you wanted to know me. Lots of the guys don't."