Chris Jaffe did some of his Chris Jaffe stuff this morning and came up with a neat post. It’s similar to his last one: the last living player on each World Series winning team. This time: who was the last surviving ballplayer for various prominent managers. Here’s some mind-blowing stuff:
[Connie] Mack is the most interesting fellow of the bunch. The man piloted teams in seven decades, a feat that no one will ever match. He began playing in the majors in 1886. That’s barely after the game legalized overhand pitching and before pitchers threw from mounds. It’s before the three-strike, four-ball count. And there are still some guys still alive who played for him, 14 to be exact.
Fourteen guys who played for a dude who was playing when Queen Victoria still had 15 years left in her reign. Wowzers.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.