If Your Birthday is July 22nd...


...you share it with Jake Barrett, a righthanded relief pitcher who appeared in parts of three seasons (2016-'18) with the Diamondbacks, and a pair of 2019 games with the Yankees. Fortunately, I was on hand to see him work against the Twins three years ago on May 4th.

As an aside, on a team that's retired over 20 numbers, no one has laid claim to 36 for very long. Of the more than 50 Yankees donning the "triple dozen," it might be most closely associated with pitcher David Cone and Hall of Famer Johnny Mize, who spent only part of their careers in pinstripes.

Barrett shares his birthday with a far more famous Yankee reliever. Sparky Lyle: the lefty who won the 1977 Cy Young Award and was famous for riding in from the bullpen in a Datsun subcompact -- whose ad slogan "Datsun Saves" was redubbed in his honor as "Sparky Saves." After coming to the Yankees in a lopsided trade for Danny Cater, Lyle twice led the AL in saves (1972 and '76).

Jose Siri, the Astros backup outfielder who could never have imagined as a kid that his name would one day be associated with voice-controlled speakers and phones.

Dave Steib, the Blue Jays ace during the '80s won 176 and tossed 103 complete games during his career and was a seven-time all star.

Ryan Vogelsong, who struggled for over a decade in the majors, before blossoming into a first-rate starter for the 2011 and 2012 Giants -- where he capped his year going 3-0 in the post-season.

There's a present day major leaguer: Tanner Scott, who spent five years in the Orioles bullpen before being traded to the Marlins just before this season began.

And we remember:

"Jungle Jim" Rivera, the New York-born outfielder, who spent most of his career with the 1950s White Sox. A speedy defensive specialist, he's among the rare circle of post-World War II players with considerably more steals (160) than home runs (83) over his 10-year career.

Doc Cramer, who grew up in Atlantic City and played his first seven big league seasons for Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's. A .296 career hitter, he also starred for the Red Sox, Senators and Tigers before retiring in 1948. His skillset was similar to that of Jim Rivera, whom he coached on Paul Richards' White Sox staff during the 1950s.

Jesse "Pop" Haines, the Cardinals best pitcher of the 1920s and a veterans committee selection for the Hall of Fame. A 210 game winner, Haines falls more under the "compiler" than ace category. While he won 20 games three times, and 18 once, those were the only years he won more than 15. This well-liked player's selection in 1970 by the Hall of Fame was alleged to be tainted by cronyism.

Saturday, we remember a Hall of Famer whose contributions go beyond on-field excellence:

Pee Wee Reese stood alongside Jackie Robinson for a decade at Ebbets Field. The duo are now commemorated for all time outside Brooklyn's current minor league park. Besides numbers that earned him his place in Cooperstown, the Dodgers shortstop and captain did all he could to make sure his historic teammate was welcomed and respected.  


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