In today’s Marlins’ birthday’s, eight current and former members of the extended Fish Family are turning one year older. In this series, we’ll take a moment to remember their time with the Marlins. Today we’ll go oldest to youngest.
The only Marlin born on January 11th to actually graduate to baseball’s highest level with the Marlins is right-handed forkballing pitcher Donn Pall. Pall, who turns 56 today, was drafted in the 23rd round of the 1985 draft by the Chicago White Sox, and spent time in the majors with them, the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Yankees, and the Chicago Cubs before signing a free agent contract with the Marlins early in the 1996 campaign. He spent most of his three seasons with Florida with the triple-A Charlotte Knights, but did amass a 1-2 record, a 5.33 ERA, 35 strikeouts in 54 innings, and a 1.44 WHIP over 37 contests.
John Toale, who is 53 today, was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the second round of the 1983 draft. A corner infielder by trade, he never made it to the bigs, bouncing around the Boston system, then later for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees, and the Kansas City Royals. He joined the High Desert Mavericks in 1993, Florida’s first year in the NL. For the Mavericks, then a high-A club, he appeared in 134 games and slashed .286/.381/.518 with 28 home runs and 125 RBI, drawing 84 walks. It was his best season in organized professional baseball by a wide margin, but for some reason he never again appeared at any level for any other major league affiliated club.
Alex Delgado was an undrafted free agent catcher in the Red Sox’ system from 1989 through 1996, eventually making an appearance in the majors with the parent club and going five-for-20 with an RBI. Granted free agency following the season, he signed on with the Marlins, and went eight-for-38 with the Charlotte Knights over 14 games. He later appeared in the minor league feeder systems of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Cardinals, but never again made it back to the Big Show. He turns 47-years-old today.
Turning 42 on today’s date is 1998 Kane County Cougar Tim McClaskey, from Portsmouth, Ohio. Taken in the 36th round of the 1995 draft by Florida, he worked his way up from the GCL club, through the Utica Blue Sox and onto the Cougars, where he pitched in 52 games for the middle-A level outfit. He posted a 7-3 record and a 3.93 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP mostly in relief. He later appeared with minor league affiliates of the Mariners, the Oakland Athletics, the Houston Astros, and the Phillies.
Greg Lovelady, who turns 39 today, slashed .289/.351/.458 for the Miami Hurricanes through 2001 before signing as a free agent with the Marlins. That season, with the Blue Sox, he slashed .154/.191/.169 in 20 games at catcher. He’s currently a coach with the Knights of University of Central Florida.
Tanner Rogers was an eighth round pick of the Marlins in 2003. Mostly a catcher, he worked his way up through the system with stops in the Gulf Coast League, in Jamestown with the Jammers, for a cup of coffee with the double-A Carolina Mudcats in 2005 (0-for-3 in three pinch hitting appearances), and later with the Jammers, the Greensboro Grasshoppers, and the Jupiter Hammerheads. In four seasons as part of the Marlins’ system, he slashed .235/.338/.326 with seven home runs and 57 RBI. He’s celebrating his 33rd birthday.
Mason Davis, most recently with the Hammerheads, turns 25 today. The only current member of the Marlins’ system to change his age today, Davis was picked in the 19th round of the 2014 draft and has worked his way up through the system into his current spot with the Sharks. He has slashed .270/.333/.387 in 241 contests through Miami’s system, with 11 round-trippers and 84 RBI. Look for him to debut with Jupiter, with an eye toward Jacksonville later in the season.
Rehiner Cordova, today 24, joined the then-Florida Marlins in 2011 with the DSL team, where he slashed .231/.349/.245 in 46 games as a 17-year-old infielder. After seven seasons in the system, he made it to the double-A level with the Jumbo Shrimp last season. He had slashed .220/.310/.246 in 297 games across five levels of minor league ball before Miami released him on July 12th.
Thanks for reading. Check back tomorrow for more birthday fun and another trip down memory lane.