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Today In Brewer History: Happy Birthday, Rick Helling

On this day in 1970, Rick Helling was born in Devils Lake, North Dakota. He pitched in college for Stanford and was drafted 22nd overall by the Rangers in 1992. Two years later he was in the majors, making nine appearances for the 1994 Rangers.

Helling's career appeared to be over in the early 2000's: He posted an ERA of 5.17 in two out of three seasons between 2001 and 2003 and spent the entire 2004 season in the minors, putting up a 6.26 ERA and allowing over 12 hits per nine innings between three teams and two organizations.

Helling got one last chance as a Brewer in 2005, however, and made the most of it. He signed a minor league contract and got off to a solid start for Nashville, earning the opportunity to pitch 15 games for Milwaukee in August and September. He returned to the Brewers in 2006 and made 20 more appearances before calling it a career.

By pitching those two seasons, Helling became one of just three North Dakota-born players to take the field as Brewers:

Player Season
Rick Helling 2005-06
Mark Lee 1990-91
Tim Johnson 1973-78

Helling turns 41 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday today to 1999-2000 Brewer Hector Ramirez. He turns 40.