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Twins Birthdays--September 5

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Also posted at wgom.org

Randy Choate (1975)
Jason Hart (1977)

This is also the birthday of Karl Kuehl (1937), who was a coach for the Twins from 1977-1982.

Left-handed reliever Randol Doyle Choate never actually played in a regular season game with the Twins, but he was in spring training with them in 2007. Born and raised in San Antonio, he attended Florida State and was drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round in 1977. He spent three years at Class A, but jumped to AAA in 2000 and rode the New York-Columbus shuttle from 2000-2003, appearing in 82 games for the Yankees over four seasons. The Yankees traded Choate to Montreal after the 2003 season, and the Expos traded him to Arizona at the end of 2004 spring training. He then started bouncing between Arizona and AAA Tucson, appearing in 114 games for the Diamondbacks from 2004-2007. After the 2006 season, Arizona released Choate and the Twins signed him, but Minnesota released him at the end of spring training and the Diamondbacks signed him again. Released by Arizona after 2007, he spent 2008 with AAA Nashville in the Milwaukee organization. Randy Choate signed with Tampa Bay for 2009. He was strictly a LOOGY for the Rays: over two seasons he appeared in 146 games but logged just 81 innings. He did well for them in that role, but was a free agent after the season and signed with Florida. He pitched very well for the Marlins for a year and a half, then was traded to the Dodgers in late July. After the season, he was a free agent again and signed with the Cardinals for 2013. He’s again having a fine year in his role. He has played in parts of thirteen major league seasons, but did not get a full season until 2010. He’s been a tremendous LOOGY, though, and while a LOOGY’s life is never stable, he may continue in the majors for several years to come.

Outfielder Jason Wyatt Hart did not play for the Twins, but he was in their minor league system for a couple of months. He was born in Walnut Creek, California, went to high school in Fair Grove, Missouri, attended Missouri State University, and was drafted by Oakland in the fifth round in 1998. He had a couple of tremendous years in the low minors, hitting .326 with 30 homers at AA Midland in 2000. He stumbled when he reached AAA, however, hitting about .250 with around twenty homers a year over three seasons. Only one of those seasons was spent in the Athletics organization, as he was traded to Texas after the 2001 season in a multi-player deal. He was a September call-up for the Rangers in 2002, going 4-for-15 with 3 doubles in ten games. He was injured all of 2004, but there was no significant difference in his numbers when he came back in 2005. A free agent after the season, the Twins signed him for 2006 and sent him to Rochester. He hit .225/.267/.425 there in 80 at-bats, hitting four home runs and four doubles. On June 1, the Twins sent Hart back to Texas. He finished the season in AAA for them and then his playing career was over. He was the batting coach for the Rangers’ Arizona League affiliate in 2009, for the Hickory Crawdads, the Rangers’ Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League in 2010-2011, and for the Frisco RoughRiders, the Rangers’ AA affiliate in the Texas League, in 2012-2013.
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