Corey Koskie turns 48 today.
Corey was born in Anola, Manitoba. I suppose it reinforces everything Americans think about Canada (we all know each other), but I know people who knew Corey when he was young. Drafted in the 26th round of the 1994 amateur draft, he beat the odds and made 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 the one poor season of his career. It was the first time he slugged under .400 in a full season in the majors and only the season where 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. However, 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 season.
Corey had a good 9-year career, hitting 124 homers, driving in 506 runs, and finishing with a .275/.367/.458 batting line. I’m sure if we did a top 50 Canadian-born player, he would be high up on the list.
Happy birthday Corey. I hope you have a good one.