Major League Catcher
During the past several years, I have been fortunate enough to meet some fascinating people, and in all cases, they were famous at some point in their life. To be truthful, when I met them, I didn’t know who they were, and they were all just chance encounters. I’m not going to mention any names, but I will detail where I met them and what they accomplished in their life to make them fascinating. See if you can guess who they are. I will only talk about one person per post.
I met this person at my golf store. He was one of my left-handed customers, and he loved to talk about baseball, past, and present. He told me his name, but to be honest, I never heard of him even though he played in majors for 13 seasons, mostly with the Texas Rangers.
He was primarily a catcher, but because of the number of catchers the Rangers carried on the team, in his career, he played six different positions.
He had a pretty nice career, but what stands out for me, he was the catcher when Nolan Ryan won his 300th game, quite a milestone. He also led the majors three times in passed balls, including one game when he had four passed balls in one inning that tied a major league record. To be fair, he was the catcher for Charlie Hough, the knuckleball pitcher, and knuckleball pitchers are tough to catch. I should know, my dad threw a mean knuckleball with a softball. When he practiced, he would make me catch, and it wasn’t something I enjoyed.
He retired after the Rangers brought up a 19-year-old catcher named Ivan Rodriguez, and all Texas Ranger fans know who he is.
When my daughter and I talked to him, he was a coach in the AAA minor league, and he would provide us inside information on young players he coached that are stars today, but we won’t share that information.