Haven't done one of these in awhile but couldn't overlook the birthdays today.
First of all, our field commander, Cito Gaston turns 65 today. I wonder if he has been paying into the Canadian Pension Plan? We did a long post on Cito's managing back here. As player he came up thru the Atlanta Braves system and was a September call up in 1967 and shared the outfield with Hank Aaron for a few games. Then, in 1968, he was picked up by the San Diego Padres in the expansion draft. He had one amazing season there, hitting .318/.364/.543 with 29 homers and 93 RBI. The rest of his career was up and down, maybe mostly down, but he did have an 11 year career and was a good defensive center fielder.
Being a black player, coming up in the 60's thru the Atlanta Braves system, it must have been, well at very least interesting. I'm sure he has some stories to tell. Between that and winning two World Series as manager of the Jays, you would think there is a good book in his life story.
Scott Downs turns 33 today. He is profiled in our Top 50 Jays list here. Of course, he is one of our favorites around here and we are hoping that Cito doesn't work him into the ground this season. Have a great year Scott.
And former Blue Jay great, Danny Ainge turns 50 today. Ok, ok, he wasn't a great on the baseball diamond. But, man he cleaned up in team pickup basketball games. After 3 seasons and a .220/.264/.269 batting line he left baseball to play for the Boston Celtics, a good move, he was a far better basketball player than baseball player. He won 2 NBA Championships as a player for the Celtic and this past year won another as the Executive Director of Basketball Operations. And the was voted the NBA Executive of the Year.
So Happy Birthday to all 3. I hope they each have a great day.