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Twins Birthdays--April 21

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Jesse Orosco (1957)
Terry Tiffee (1979)

Left-hander Jesse Russell Orosco pitched the final eight games out of 1,252 in his career with the Twins in 2003. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Orosco was drafted by Minnesota in the second round of the January draft in 1978. He had an outstanding year at Elizabethton in 1978, posting a 1.12 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 40 innings. That off-season he became the player to be named later in a deal that also sent Greg Field to the New York Mets for Jerry Koosman. Orosco made the big leagues at the beginning of the following year, at age 22. He lasted until mid-June, posting an ERA of 4.89 and making two starts, which would be half of his major league total. Orosco then returned to the minors, where he would remain until September of 1981. He did some starting in the minors, and made two more starts in the majors in 1982, but then was strictly a reliever. Orosco became the Mets’ closer in 1983, a job he held through 1987. His best year was 1983, when he went 13-7 with seventeen saves, a 1.47 ERA and a WHIP of 1.04 in 110 innings. He pitched extremely well for his first four years in New York, but he had a down year in 1987 and was traded to the Dodgers after the season. He was with the Dodgers only one season before becoming a free agent, signing with Cleveland. He pitched well for the Indians for three seasons, appearing in 171 games, but was sent to Milwaukee “as part of a conditional deal”. Orosco continued to pitch well for the Brewers for two years, but had an off year in 1994 at age 37. He became a free agent and signed with Baltimore, where he stayed for five seasons. He pitched well for four years, but again, as soon as he had a bad season, this time in 1999, he was sent on his way again, this time traded to the Mets. Before the 2000 campaign began, however, he was sent to St. Louis, where he played for one season. Orosco moved on to the Dodgers for 2001 and 2002. He signed with San Diego as a free agent for 2003, was traded to the Yankees at mid-season, and was traded to Minnesota at the end of August for a player to be named later (Juan Padilla). He pitched in eight September games for the Twins, totalling 4.2 innings and giving up three runs on four hits. Orosco signed with Arizona for 2004, but did not make the team and his career came to an end at age 46. Rarely a star (he made only two all-star teams) and only a closer near the beginning of his career, Orosco was a valuable member of numerous teams. He holds the record for most games pitched and most games pitched in relief. No information about what Jesse Orosco has done since his playing career ended was readily available; however, he has a daughter, Natalie, who was playing softball for Santa Barbara City College in 2012 and 2013, so it may well be that Jesse has moved back to Santa Barbara in his retirement.


Third baseman Terry R. Tiffee was with the Twins for parts of three seasons. He was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, went to high school in Sherwood, Arkansas, and was drafted by Minnesota in the 26th round in 1999. He hit for a solid average with moderate power throughout his minor league career. His best minor league season was 2003, when he hit .315 with 14 home runs at AA New Britain. His next three seasons were split between AAA Rochester and Minnesota. He got a September call-up in 2004, was with the Twins for most of 2005, and was back for about two months in 2006. As a Twin, he hit .226/.273/.351 in 239 at-bats. He became a free agent after the season and signed with Baltimore. He was in AAA all of 2007, then signed with the Dodgers. He got two weeks in the majors in 2008, but again spent the rest of the year in AAA, hitting .378. He also played for the U. S. Olympic team that year. He was in AAA with Philadelphia in 2009. Tiffee became a free agent after the season and signed with Bridgeport of the Atlantic League. He started in the Atlantic League in 2011, playing for the Lancaster Barnstormers, but was signed by the Yankees in June and hit .345 in AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Despite that, the Yankees released him in late August. He signed with Miami for 2012 but was apparently released. He played for Lancaster of the Atlantic League for a while, then signed with Atlanta, for whom he continued to hit well in AAA. He played in the Mexican League last off-season, but does not appear to have signed with anyone for 2013. He’s thirty-four today, so he’s obviously not a prospect, but he wouldn’t be a bad guy to sign for your AAA team and have available if somebody got hurt.
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