Because watching football teams with a local interest (Mizzou & Rams) was sort of depressing this weekend, we’re going with a baseball-exclusive version of This Week in STL Sports Birthdays. So while you mourn over the death of any hope for a successful season for the Rams in 2010, hopefully you’ll be able to impress co-workers by informing them of a few random birthdays this week…
Kurt Warner’s Dancing Career (2010) – Okay, I said baseball only, but Kurt Warner’s dancing career begins tonight on Dancing with the Stars. Finally a chance to see if Warner is more graceful on the dance floor or in the pocket during the 1999 season. I’m going with the latter.
Danny Cox (1959) – Danny Cox the man was born in 1959. Danny Cox the mustached local hero was born when he joined the Cardinals in 1983.
Scott Spiezio (1972) – Things didn’t end well between the Cardinals and Scott Spiezio given the drug issues and what not, but hey, find us a player in the history of the franchise to put together a more distinct piece of facial hair…at least one that was artificially colored bright red.
Jeff Leonard (1955) – The Giants outfielder tore up Cardinals pitching and introduced his “one flap down” homerun trot throughout the 1987 NLCS, which earned him a coveted spot on the Mt. Rushmore of opponents that Cardinals fans despise. Well, done Jeff.
Vince Coleman (1961) – Coleman played six of his 13 years with the Cardinals. During those six years Coleman recorded his six highest single-season stolen base totals, had the only six seasons in which he led the league in that category, made his only two All Star appearances, twice received votes on the MVP ballot and of course, won his Rookie of the Year award. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t a wise move for Vince to bolt from St. Louis in 1991.
Mike Matheny (1970) – This Tuesday, Mike Matheny turns 40 and I have no doubt that the Cardinals would sign Matheny to be the backup catcher in 2011 without hesitation if he showed interest. Tony loves him a good veteran.
Ashley Eckstein (1981) – Actress formerly known as Ashley Drane got married to former Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein on November 26, 2005 and immediately after the wedding they went on their honeymoon at Walt Disney World. Reports indicate that David was not tall enough to ride Space Mountain.
Tony Fossas (1958) – As an aging lefthanded specialist in the pen, it’s not shocking that Fossas racked up two of the highest single-season appearance totals of his career during in his brief three-year stay with the Cardinals.
Bernard Gilkey (1966) -
Fact #1: Bernard Gilkey was born and raised in St. Louis and broke into the league as a member of the Cardinals in 1990.
Fact #2: The Cardinals traded him to the Mets in January 1996 and he proceeded to have his career-year the following season.
Fact #3: He made a cameo appearance in the movie Men at Black as a Met outfielder mesmorized by a spaceship.
Joel Pineiro (1978) – Due to his uncanny ability to throw sinkers at will, Pineiro is considered to be dominant at family dodgeball games. Nobody can catch the balls aimed at their ankles.