Happy 35th birthday to the man who brought us #SmellBaseball, Ervin Santana
To most people, Dec.12 might be just another day in the long offseason, but to the Twins' community, it's a little more special. Tuesday marks the 35th birthday of their All-Star pitcher, Ervin Santana, who is probably smiling just like this:
To celebrate Santana's birthday, how about a walk down memory lane?
The right-hander has experienced some tremendous highs during his 12 years in the Majors. Santana came out of the bullpen to win the deciding Game 5 of the 2005 ALDS at just 22 years old, and he was named to the American League All-Star team in 2008. Then, on July 27, 2011, he became just the sixth Dominican-born pitcher in baseball history to throw a no-hitter:
After spending the first eight seasons of his career in Los Angeles, the Angels dealt Santana to Kansas City in October 2012. He spent the next two seasons with the Royals and Braves before finding a new long-term home in Minnesota. The Twins signed him to a four-year, $55 million contract prior to the 2015 season, and he has rewarded them with arguably the most consistent stretch of his career, notching a 3.47 ERA over 80 starts.
The Twins surged from 103 losses in 2016 to a Wild Card berth in 2017, and Santana was a big part of it. He earned his second career All-Star nod, thanks largely to performances like this one-hit shutout of the White Sox back on April 15:
Had Omar Narvaez not reached on a single in the third, Santana might have two no-hitters to his name.
In recent years, Santana has also popularized his own unusual trend on Twitter: #SmellBaseball
He's all about that #SmellBaseball life.
So, do a little dance!
Put your hands together!
Let's celebrate Santana's birthday in style.