Happy birthday to Paul Wilmet, who turns 53 today.
Paul Wilmet is a former Ranger, but honestly, I don't think I'd heard of him before today. If I had, he didn't register. And that's weird, because he was a Ranger in 1989, when I was following the team closely. Although in looking at it, it was July of 1989 when he pitched, and that was the summer after I graduated from high school, so I may not have been quite as focused in on the team as I have been at other times.
Anyway, Wilmet was a small (5'11", 170 lbs) righthanded pitcher from Green Bay that the Mets signed as a free agent in 1981, and promptly released 15 months later. The Cardinals then signed him 18 months after that, and he hung around in their system until he was sold to the Pirates. He became a free agent after the 1988 season, was signed to a minor league deal by the Rangers, got a cup of coffee in July, 1989, as a 30 year old, and pitched three games, allowing 4 runs in 2.1 IP without recording a win or a loss.
He was then returned to Oklahoma City, where he had a pretty successful season, putting up a 2.33 ERA in 100.1 innings of relief.
The next year, he pitched for the Cubs' AAA affiliate in Iowa, recorded a 4.09 ERA and 44 innings, and then, apparently, was done as a professional pitcher.
However, he wasn't done as an entertainer...he now is a musician based out of Nashville, with his debut album apparently being released last month.
If you want some Paul Wilmet memorabilia, you can get a 3X5 card he signed on ebay for $5.88, plus $2.75 shipping.
So happy birthday to Paul Wilmet. Maybe the Rangers can see about having him come out and sing the national anthem before a game next year. I don't think there are too many former Ranger players who have become recording artists.