Happy birthday to Tony Fossas, who turns 51 today.
Want to know why guys -- particularly pitchers -- stick around the minor leagues into their late-20s, hoping for a chance? Because of stories like Fossas's.
Tony Fossas was a 12th round draft choice of the Rangers in 1979, was released by them in 1982, signed with the Cubs, was released by them, was signed and released by the Rangers again, signed with the Angels, was released, and then signed with the Rangers again in the 1987-88 offseason.
In 1988, at the age of 30, Fossas made his major league debut. He appeared in 5 games for the Rangers in 1988, and then made another 562 major league appearances after that, as a lefty mainstay primarily in the Brewer, Cards and BoSox bullpens, although he also made a brief return to the Rangers for their playoff push in 1998.
According to B-R, from 1990 through 1998 (which covers the bulk of the time he pitched in the majors), Fossas made $4.105 million in salary. There is also, of course, the payments he got from licensing deals that all MLBPA members get, along with the other bennies from being a major leaguer.