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Twins Birthdays--March 30

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Also posted at wgom.org.

Dick Woodson (1945)
Shairon Martis (1987)

Right-hander Richard Lee Woodson was with the Twins for four years, 1969-1970 and 1972-1973. He was born in Oelwein, Iowa, but attended high school in San Diego. He signed with the Twins as a free agent in 1965. He both started and relieved in the minors. He did not look like anything special in his first couple of years, but in 1967, used exclusively out of the bullpen, he went 5-2, 1.32 in 41 innings in Class A Orlando. Primarily a starter in 1968, he had another fine year, mostly at AA Charlotte, posting a 3.47 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He was with Minnesota all of 1969 and did fairly well. He was used mostly in relief, although he made ten starts, and went 7-5, 3.67 in 110 innings. Woodson started 1970 in the minors and did not do very well, but was called up to the Twins in late May anyway and did all right in 21 relief appearances. He was back in the minors for all of 1971, winning 16 games and pitching 221 innings for AAA Portland. Back in the majors in 1972, he had his best season, going 14-14, 2.72 in 251 innings. The number of innings may have taken a toll on his arm, however. His ERA rose by more than a full run in 1973, to 3.95, and an injury ended his season in mid-August. That off-season, he became the first player to go to arbitration, seeking a salary of $30,000 (the Twins offered $23,000--Woodson won). He got off to a poor start in 1974 and was traded to the Yankees in early May for Mike Pazik and cash. He again had to deal with injuries and an abbreviated season. He pitched ineffectively at AAA for the Atlanta and Texas organizations in 1975 and then his career was over. Woodson believed that his role as the first player to go to arbitration played a role in both his trade and the end of his career, although such a charge is difficult to prove. As a Twin, Dick Woodson was 33-30, 3.35. He appeared in 129 games, 73 of them starts, and pitched 561 innings. Woodson eventually became part-owner of a company which developed software to help companies track and monitor their assets. He retired at age 60 and at last report was living in Menifee, California, where he was volunteering with the elementary school reading program a couple of days a week.

Right-hander Shairon Martis Martis has not played for the Twins yet, but has been in their system since June of 2012. Born and raised in Willemstad, Curacao, he signed with San Francisco as a free agent in 2004. He had a very good year in rookie ball in 2005 and was pitching well in Class A in 2006 when he was traded to Washington in late July for Mike Stanton. He reached AA in 2008, made seven solid starts in AAA that same year, and received a September call-up, going 1-3, 5.66 in 20.2 innings at age 21. He started 2009 in the Nationals rotation at age 22 and stayed there for three months. He had occasional good games, including one complete game, but by and large things did not go well for him and he was sent down in late June with a record of 5-3 but an ERA of 5.25. He struggled at AAA the rest of that season. Returned to AAA in 2010, he was okay, but nothing more. The Nationals sent him back to AA in 2011 and he did quite well there as a twenty-four-year-old. He had split 2012 between AA and AAA when Pittsburgh sold him to Minnesota in late June. He made three starts in New Britain and ten in Rochester, where he went 4-3, 5.22, 1.38 WHIP. He's been around so long that it's tempting to give up on him, but he's only 26 today. It would be foolish to think he'll ever be a star, but it's still possible Shairon Martis could make it back to the majors at some point.
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