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Happy birthday, B.J. Waszgis

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Happy birthday to B.J. Waszgis, who turns 41 today.

Waszgis was a minor league lifer, a catcher who spent a little over two months in the majors, all with the Texas Rangers, and all in the 2000 season.  

Waszgis was the primary catcher for the Rangers' Oklahoma Redhawks team when Pudge Rodriguez broke his thumb on the bat of Mo Vaughn while trying to throw a runner out at second base in July, 2000.  The injury to Pudge meant backup Bill Haselman took over behind the plate as a starter, and the need for a backup meant that Waszgis was called up to the big leagues.

Waszgis started just 12 games that season, appearing 24 times in all, while posting a 539 OPS, as the Rangers played out the string on an incredibly disappointing 71-91 season, 24 games worse than they were in 1999.  Waszgis had a couple of more stints in the minors after that, but 2000 was his only year in the big leagues.

Also celebrating a birthday today, by the way, is Ranger pitcher Omar Beltre, who turns 30.