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Happy Birthday, Jody Gerut!

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Former Friar fan favorite Jody Gerut turns 35 today. A once promising young player- one who finished fourth in 2003 AL ROY voting, Jody revived his career in 2008 with the Padres after two years out of the game and became beloved due to his quirky quotes and progressive attitude- not to mention the fact that he's also a good-looking guy with a great smile. Gerut put his names in the record books when he helped the Padres spoil the Mets' first game in brand new Citi Field in '09; he was the first player in history to christen a ballpark with a leadoff home run. Later in the season, he was traded to Milwaukee for Tony Gwynn, Jr. The next year, 2010, Jody became the fifth ex-Padre to hit for the cycle and came back to the organization, briefly playing for AAA Portland at the end of the season. He then cemented his legacy with the way he chose to leave the game. He went to Spring Training with the Seattle Mariners in 2011 but retired, saying that his heart wasn't in it and that he could never disrespect the game by playing just for a check.

Also celebrating a birthday today is former reliever Roger Mason. I might write about him later; I do have a pretty good anecdote about him...