Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthdays May 15-24

May 15
2001 Topps Archives Reserve #9 George Brett
Mullet was born in 1953 in Glen Dale, WV. He was the Royals 2nd round pick in 1971, and played his entire Hall of Fame Career with them. In my opinion, one of the best players of my lifetime. He was an 11-time All-Star and the AL MVP in 1980. From 1976 to 1985 the Royals were play-off contenders almost every year. Brett hit .375 in a losing cause as the Royals were beat by the Phillies in 6 games in the 1980 World Series. He hit .375 in the 1985 World Series as the Royals topped the Cardinals in 7 games. And then, of course, there is the famous Pine Tar Incident. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999, his first year of eligibility.

May 16
1986 Topps #651 Billy Martin
Billy was born in 1928 in Berkley CA. He played 11 (1950-1961) years in the majors for the Yankees, A's Tigers, Indians, Reds, Braves and Twins. He won 4 World Series rings with the Yankees. He is probably better known as a manager, his managing career stretching from 1969 to 1988. As a player and a manager he was very combative and his arguments with umpires were legendary. He lead the 1976 Yankees back to the World Series (their first pennant since 1964). His fights with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner were also legendary and led him to be fired and rehired as the Yankees manager several times. Martin was killed in an alcohol related automobile accident on Christmas Day in 1989.

May 17
2004 Upper Deck Vintage #340 Carlos Pena
Carlos was born in 1978 in Santo Domingo D.R. He was the Rangers #1 pick in 1998. He is a first baseman who has played for the Rangers, the A's, the Tigers, the Red Sox, the Rays and is now with the Cubs. His greatest success has been with the Rays. In 4 years with the Rays he hit 144 home runs and helped lead them to the 2008 World Series (which they lost to the Phillies).

May 18
2009 Upper Deck Icons Legendary Icons Jerseys Reggie Jackson
There were two Hall of Famers born on this date, the other being Brooks Robinson. Reggie "Mr. October" Jackson was born in 1946 in Abington PA (a suburb of Philadelphia). He was the #1 pick of the Kansas City A's (remember them?) in 1966. He spent most of his 21-year career with the A's, the Yankees and the Angels. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993. He is known as Mr. October mainly for his performance in the World Series. In 5 World Series he hit 10 home runs, has 24 RBIs and a .357 batting average. He also has 4 World Series rings.

May 19
1959 Topps #382 Curt Simmons
Curt was born in 1929 in Egypt PA. He was signed as a free agent by the Phillies in 1947, after his high school team nearly beat the Phillies in an exhibition game in which Simmons struck out 11 Phillies. He was 17-8 with the Phillies Whiz kids in 1950, propelling the Phillies to their first ever World Series. Unfortunately for him, he was drafted due to the Korean War and missed the Series. He pitched with the Phillies until they released him in 1960. He signed with the Cardinals and finally got a chance to pitch in a World Series in 1964, as the Cardinals beat the Yankees for the championship.

May 20
2010 Bowman Gold #53 Jayson Werth
Warewolf was born in 1979 in Springfield IL. He was the Orioles #1 pick in 1997. He was a part time player with the Blue Jays and Dodgers from 2002-2005 and missed all of the 2006 season with a wrist injury. The Phillies signed him in December 2006. From 2007 to 2010, Werth hit 95 home runs, had 300 RBIs and batted .282. The Phillies were in the playoffs each year, winning the World Series in 2008. Werth hit .444 in the 2008 World Series. Werth parlayed his success with the Phillies into a 7-year, $122 million contract with the Nationals after the 2010 season.

May 21
1993 Pinnacle #307 Kent Hrbek
Herbie was born in 1960 in Minneapolis. He was the 17th round draft pick of the Twins in 1978 and ended up playing his entire 14-year career in his home town. That makes him a Hometown Hero. Kent was an All-Star in 1982, his first full year in the majors and the runner up for the AL Rookie of the Year Award, losing out to some guy named Cal Ripken. Kent had a pretty good career, belting 293 home runs, with 1,086 RBIs and a career BA of .282. He has two World Series rings (1987 and 1991) and is credited with hitting the first home run in the Metrodome, in an exhibition game against the Phillies.

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