A handful of one-time Padres players share today as their birthday, including a pair of fairly recent disappointments, a couple of guys from the 1984 NL Champion team, and a former 25-game winner and World Series hero - naturally he did both of those before he moved to San Diego.
The "he" in that sentence is lefty Mickey Lolich, who turns 75 today. He spent the first 13 years of his career in Detroit, moved on to the Mets for a season, took a year off, then put a ribbon on his career with two years in brown and mustard. I went into deeper detail when I wrote about him one year ago to the day.
Sixteen years after Lolich showed up on the earth, Mark Thurmond came along. 26 years after that, Thurmond had a great rookie season as a starter for the '83 Padres, then turned in a full season of solid pitching for the pennant-winning '84 team. Both of those years were his only with an ERA below three runs. Thurmond stuck around until July 9, 1986, when he was traded to the Tigers for Dave LaPoint. From then on he spent most of his time in the bullpen, making an occasional spot start, bouncing from Detroit to Baltimore before bowing out after a 1990 season spent in San Francisco.
Mario Ramirez was born just a year after Thurmond and also was part of the franchise's first pennant-winning team. Like Lolich, I've also previously rehashed his career in this space. Ramirez is the only one of this handful of players who is not around to celebrate today; he passed away in early 2013.
Ramirez went 1-for-4 on his twenty-third birthday, the day Sean Burroughs was born. Burroughs, as you know, went on to be a Little League hero who charmed the world by telling David Letterman his aspiration of becoming a gynecologist, then soiled the bed a decade later after the Padres made him their first pick in the 1998 draft. He battled through addiction and homelessness while he was out of the game from 2006 through 2011 but made his way back to be a marginal contributor for the Diamondbacks in 2011; his last playing time on major league grass was ten games with the Twins in 2012. Since then Burroughs has been scorching pitchers in independent ball; he hit .354/ .414/ .424 in 83 games split between Bridgeport and Long Island of the Atlantic League this season.
The most recent member of the nine-twelvers club is right-handed starting pitcher Clayton Richard, who came over from the White Sox in the Jake Peavy trade. He pitched poorly but looked good doing it; those eyes of his could make the most veteran CIA agent spill his secrets. After a full season out of the bigs, Clay Dick came back with the Cubs this year. He's 3-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three starts and 13 relief appearances totaling 31.2 innings.
Other players born on this day include Matt Wisler, Steve Garrison, and Hilly Hathaway, all of whom spent time in the minors for the Padres organization. Wisler was a seventh-round pick by the club in 2011, Garrison came over from the Brewers with Joe Thatcher and Will Inman in 2007 in the Scott Linebrink trade, and Hillary Houston Hathaway was acquired from the Angels at the end of Spring Training 1994 for second baseman Harold Reynolds.