If you're raising a son and you'd like him to have a long major league career, there are two skills he can develop that will almost guarantee it. If he can retire left-handed batters, he can pitch forever. But if he's not left-handed, teaching him to be a solid defensive backup catcher might be your second best bet.
Being an all-glove, no-hit catcher, however, does not allow you to stay in the same place for very long. Take Henry Blanco, for example: On this day in 2002 the Brewers traded him to the Braves for catcher Paul Bako and reliever Jose Cabrera.
At that point Blanco was a career .226/.309/.372 hitter, and the Braves were his fourth team in five major league seasons. Despite that fact, though, Blanco has played in the majors in each of the last ten seasons as a member of the Braves, Twins, Cubs, Padres, Mets or Diamondbacks. He's 40 years old and he's back with Arizona again this spring.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 1988 Brewer Mike Young, who turns 52.
- 1987-90 Brewer Paul Mirabella, who turns 59.