On this day in 1954, Lenn Sakata was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. 23 years later, Sakata made his major league debut as a Brewer and became both the first Hawaiian and first Japanese-American player in Brewer history.
Sakata played parts of three forgettable seasons in Milwaukee, batting just .191/.243/.248 in 87 career games before being traded to the Orioles. It was there he achieved his true claim to fame: He was the non-catcher forced into duty behind the plate in an August 24, 1983 game where reliever Tippy Martinez picked three batters off first base in the same inning. TheJay celebrated that anniversary back in 2009.
Since retiring, Sakata has spent ten seasons as a minor league manager and is currently serving as the hitting coach for the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League, the Rockies' Low-A affiliate.
Sakata turns 57 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, I'd also like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 2008 Brewer Angel Salome, who turns 25.
- 1974-75 Brewer Jack Lind, who turns 65.
- 1960-61 Milwaukee Brave and Seattle Pilot George Brunet, who would have turned 76.