On this day in 1938 Rich Rollins was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. He was 22 when the Washington Senators signed him as an amateur free agent in 1960, but the team had moved to Minnesota by the time he made his major league debut as a 1961 Twin.
Rollins had been a Twin for parts of eight seasons (and was an AL All Star in 1962) when the Seattle Pilots selected him in the expansion draft. He appeared in 58 games during the team's only season in Seattle, hitting .225/.270/.326 with four home runs.
Despite that somewhat lackluster performance, Rollins followed the team to Milwaukee and was on the bench for the new Brewers' first game on April 7, 1970. When he struck out in the third inning he was the first pinch hitter in Brewer history.
That game was also one of Rollins' last Brewer appearances. He played in just 14 games for Milwaukee before being released and signing with the Indians, where he wrapped up his career.
Thanks to the B-Ref Play Index for reminding me that Rollins turns 75 today. We'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- 1996-99 Brewer Fernando Vina, who turns 44. We covered his birthday in this space last year.
- 1972 Brewer Jim Lonborg, who turns 71. We covered his birthday in this space two years ago.
- Seattle Pilot Garry Roggenburk, who turns 73.