Corey Koskie turns 44 today.
Corey was born in Anola, Manitoba. I suppose it reinforces everything that Americans think about Canada (we all know each other), but I know people that knew Corey when he was young. He was drafted in the 26 round of the 1994 amateur draft, but he beat the odds and made it to the Twins in 1998. In 1999 he became a full time player.
Before the 2005 season the Jays signed him as a free agent. Unfortunately he had his one poor season of his career. It was the first time that he slugged under .400 in a full season in the majors and only season wear he had an OPS+ under 100.
He missed 58 games with a thumb fracture and, of course, when he came back the pain in the thumb cost him his power.
After the season the Jays traded for Troy Glaus, causing a logjam at third so they traded Koskie to the Brewers for Brian Wolfe. Wolfe had a couple of good seasons, pitching out of our bullpen.
In 2006 Corey suffered a concussion that ended his career. He tried to make a comeback, in 2009, he was on the roster for Canada in the World Baseball Classic and was with Cubs during spring training, but announced his retirement before the start of the season.
Corey had a very good 9 year career, hitting 124 homers, driving in 506 run and finishing with a .275/.367/.458 batting line. I'm sure if we did a top 50 Canadian born players he would be high up on the list.
Happy birthday Corey. Hope you have a good one.