Otto Bluege –Reds starting shortstop in 1933; brother of the marginally better-known Ossie Bluege.
Si Pauxtis –All-American football player who caught four games for the 1909 Reds while earning his law degree from Penn. Later coached football and baseball, practiced law for 50 years, and served in the Electoral College.
Stephen Strasburg (24) –Credits his maternal grandmother with greatly helping his development as a pitcher; the Reds should sign her up. We’re all waiting to see how the Nationals will handle him as the season progresses.
Mike Witt (52) –Pitched a 1-0 perfect game on the last day of the 1984 season for the Angels.
Mickey Stanley (70) –Most of you may already know this story, but maybe not (I have a bad habit of assuming that everyone is as old as I am): As the end of the 1968 season approached, the Tigers were headed for the pennant, but their shortstop, Ray Oyler, was hitting .135. Mayo Smith, the manager, started his regular center fielder, Mickey Stanley, at shortstop in the World Series, even though he had barely ever played the position. The Tigers won the series, and for the rest of his life no one could say that Mayo Smith didn’t have a set on him, if you’ll pardon the expression…
Tony Oliva (74) –A true five-tool player whose career was shortened by really, really bad knee problems. Still lives in Minnesota in the house he built 40 years ago, and all of his kids live within ten minutes of him, so happy ending…
Heinie Manush –Career .330 hitter, although in a high-average era…Won the 1926 batting title, passing Babe Ruth by having a hot double-header on the last day of the season…Fastest player ever to reach 100 hits in a season; it took him only 60 games in 1934.
And there you have it; 366 days of birthdays (leave it to me to pick a leap year), about 2000 players, give or take a few. I started this project with the goal of giving something back to all the people on this board who have given me so much over the years. I hope you enjoyed it; I did, although I’m looking forward to getting back that 20 minutes a day I’ve been spending on this. I may do something else down the road; if you have any ideas, please let me know…