Baseball Birthdays: April twenty-fourth

Omar Vizquel had fielding skills no shortstop could approach.
He once won nine straight gold gloves. Now he’s a Tiger coach.

"Chipper" Jones, a lifelong Brave, is destined for the Hall.
His switch-hit stats rank him amongst the best in all baseball.

Bill Singer was a righty slinger, mostly on the coast.
Won twenty twice and had a no-no, of which he can boast.

Carlos Beltran has a great post-season history,
Despite an NLCS series-ending called strike three.

Baseball Birthdays: April twenty-third

Harry Coveleski’s pitching record wasn’t great.
Was called "The Giant Killer" for his exploits in oh-eight.

Jim Bottomley was so upbeat that "Sunny" was his name.
He still co-holds the record for most ribbies in a game.

Warren Spahn amassed more wins than any lefty, ever.
A longtime Brave with high leg kick, he was both fast and clever.

Andruw Jones won ten gold gloves for Braves in center field.
He’s still a DH in Japan, will bend but will not yield.

Baseball Birthdays: April twenty-second

Mickey Vernon, two-time bat champ, played a slick first base,
Loved by Senators and fans, though often in last place.

John Orsino was a catcher whose stats were so-so.
Ten years after playing days he became a golf pro.

David Clyde, whose career died of shoulder injury,
Pitched just five years, a burned-out phenom now his legacy.

Terry Francona played for five teams over ten seasons.
Gained fame as Bosox manager, two series wins the reasons.

Baseball Birthdays: April twenty-first

Joe McCarthy helmed the Yanks from Babe up to The Clipper.
Bomber bats and pennant runs made him a happy skipper.

Gary Peters, savvy lefty, pitched for both White and Red Sox.
Also hit nineteen home runs, a menace in the batter’s box.

Jesse Orosco has two rings and many accolades.
He pitched more games than anyone and lasted four decades.

Ken Caminiti, when on steroids, blew up like a moose.
He won one N.L. MVP, but lost to drug abuse.

Baseball Birthdays: April twentieth

Preston Gomez was called Pedro, down in Cuban climes.
Here he managed three teams, six years, finished last four times.

Tommy Hutton could have hit two-fifty were he faster.
Played good first for several years then became a broadcaster.

Milt Wilcox was a good third starter, Tigers ’84.
Won seventeen in season and in playoffs won two more.

Don Mattingly was dubbed by Yankee fans, "Donnie Baseball."
He never made the playoffs. And he’ll never make the Hall.

Baseball Birthdays: April nineteenth

Bucky Walters pitched the Reds to series victory.
In thirty-nine, he was sublime, the N.L. MVP.

Harry Craft played until service called in forty-two.
Became first manager of Colts and, later, Astros, too.

Rick Miller broke in with the Sox and then came back again.
But center field was given to a kid named Freddie Lynn.

Frank Viola, with the Twins, won series MVP.
And next year won Cy Young award, a crafty lefty he.

Baseball Birthdays: April eighteenth

"Wahoo" Crawford was a slugger in the dead ball age.
Top-ten hitter of all time, according to one gauge.

Duffy Lewis roamed the left field cliff at Fenway Park.
His team won three series and he often was the spark.

Von McDaniel lost control after his rookie year.
His older brother, Lindy, had a very long career.

Jim Eisenreich’s Tourette’s syndrome made baseball life a strain.
He persevered for fifteen years, a hero, it is plain.

Baseball Birthdays: April seventeenth

Alexander Cartwright wrote the early rules of play.
But credit, as inventor, went to Abner Doubleday.

"Cap" Anson may have been the first superstar of the game.
But gambling and his racist bent have long since soiled his name.

Solly Hemus was a battler. He could give and take it.
Not too wise, he told Bob Gibson he would never make it.

Marquis Grissom hit in fifteen straight world series games.
Yet, in lists of his time’s stars, he’s not amongst the names.

Baseball Birthdays: April sixteenth

Paul Waner was "Big Poison" and his brother Lloyd was "Little."
He holds a record, fourteen straight games with extra base hittle.

"Dutch Leonard" had the lowest single season ERA.
He feuded with Ty Cobb, as did most players in his day.

Jim Lonborg made Sox dream come true with Cy Young victory.
He could have had a long career, but he preferred to ski.

Bob Montgomery, backup backstop, career BoSock Red,
Was the last to bat without a helmet on his head.

Baseball Birthdays: April fifteenth

Willie Davis sailed the center pasture like a glider.
Played thirteen years for L.A., taking over for Duke Snider.

Woody Fryman was a portly lefty from Kentucky.
That he pitched four one-hitters proved that he was not lucky.

Ted Sizemore was the rookie of the year in sixty-nine.
Was traded for Dick Allen once, like swapping teak for pine.

Milton Bradley played for eight ball clubs in just ten years.
Was strung a little tighter than most of his game day peers.