This Week in STL Sports Birthdays

20
Dec
2010

As a kid, I always sort of felt sorry for those who had birthdays right around the holidays. Just seemed inherently unfair that these people are likely spending their birthdays buying presents for other people.

When it comes to professional athletes, I don’t feel sorry for them. They looked in their stocking one year and found a lucrative career playing sports. That’s good enough to serve as both a birthday and Christmas present.

December 19
Tom Lawless (1956)
Famous in St. Louis for two things: 1.) bomb against the Twins in the ’87 World Series that was accompanied by a top notch bat flip and 2.) his perm.

Felipe Lopez (1974)
When a Player A gets outright released during the season and effectively replaced by Player B who hits .208/.232/.250, yet no one really regrets the move, then it’s a safe conclusion that Player A had some problems. In case you haven’t solved this yet, Player A would be Felipe Lopez with Player B being Pedro Feliz. We’re really hoping a Player C takes over third base this year.

December 21
Tom Henke (1957)
Owner of the 9th inning. Inspiration to all that wore glasses on the field.

Andy Van Slyke (1960)
Chalk up the old “Lavalliere, Dunne and Van Slyke for Tony Pena” trade as a victory for the Pirates back in 1987 when the Cardinals pulled the trigger.

Dustin Hermanson (1972)
Chalk up the old “Fernando Tatis and Britt Reames for Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline” trade as a victory for the Cardinals in 2000 when they pulled the trigger

December 22
Steve Carlton (1944)
While we’re still on the topic of trades, maybe it’s inconvenient that Steve Carlton’s birthday falls in here. You know, considering the Cardinals sent him packing after seven seasons and watched him win 241 games for the Phillies, four Cy Young awards and then stroll into the the Hall of Fame wearing their uniform. But hey, those two seasons we got out of Rick Wise in return were magical.

Lonnie Smith (1955)
The fact that he was so bad defensively that he earned the nickname “Skates” yet was still valuable enough to finish 2nd in the 1982 MVP voting, may make some Cardinals fans less worried about Lance Berkman playing RF this season.

December 23
Brad Lidge (1976)
Thanks for giving all of STL that memorable Albert Pujols moment in 2005, Brad. We’ll never forget that.

TJ Oshie (1986)
Oshie was well on his way to becoming the face of the rising Blues team when he went down with a broken leg earlier this year. Luckily, the freakish length of an NHL season means it’s damn near impossible for a player to suffer a “season ending” injury, so we’re banking on him making it back.

December 24
Paul Pressey (1958)
Paul played 11 seasons in the NBA, so Mizzou fans are hoping that one of, if not both of his sons – Matt and Phil – are good enough to do the same. That is after they’ve led the Tigers to their first Final Four appearance.

E-mail: josh@joesportsfan.com
Twitter: @jbacott

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