Everyone who has followed Independent Baseball from the beginning in 1993 knows how the Minnesota Twins tossed barbs in the direction of the startup St. Paul Saints in those early days.
The vaunted Saints reached a proud milestone a few weeks ago when they sold their 100th player contract to a major league organization. Well, No. 101 came Thursday when setup man Caleb Thielbar's contract was sold to, you guessed it, those same Twins, who probably wouldn't have made such a move if their life depended on it back in '93.
In fact, the Saints report this is the very first time the Twins have purchased one of their players. The first 100 sales were to other organizations. Thielbar takes some impressive statistics with him as he reports to Class A Fort Myers, FL, especially his 62 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. The lefty, originally a Milwaukee Brewers draftee, was 3-3 with a 2.54 ERA and walked only 11 batters in his 43 appearances.
SCOTT SPIEZIO GETS A NICE MOMENT
It has been well documented that Scott Spiezio had various personal battles about the time his lengthy major league career ended in 2007 so it is great seeing the Los Angeles Angels have invited their 2002 World Series hero back for a ceremonial first pitch on Sunday as part of the club's 50th anniversary celebration.
His father Ed, also a major league player, will be Scott's catcher and the younger Spiezio's sons, 11 and nine, also will be on the field.
Scott Spiezio, who also helped St. Louis to its World Series title in 2006, finished his pro career with 16 games for Orange County (Fullerton, CA) of the Golden League in 2009 and 52 contests with Newark, NJ, which still was in the Atlantic League, last year.
WILLIAMS, VALDES DESIGNATED
Southpaw relievers Raul Valdes, who played for both New Jersey (Little Falls) and Nashua, NH in the Can-Am League before ever reaching the major leagues, and Randy Williams, who got back to the majors after playing for Edinburg, TX of what was the Central League, have both been designated for assignment. This means Valdes and Williams, who spent time with St. Louis and Boston, respectively, this season, will be traded, released or returned to the minor leagues within 10 days of the action taken by their clubs.
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