Saturday, January 9, 2021

John Welaj Left Me His Number

It must have been in early 2003 when I read a short biography in the Star-Telegram about an old ballplayer named John Welaj, who was 88 at the time, spending his senior years in a nearby retirement home. After his playing days in the early 40's he had worked for the Senators, then Rangers, but I was relatively new to Texas then, and hadn't heard of him. At that time I was heavy into corresponding with the older veteran ballplayers and thought I'd reach out to him. I sent him a personal note, mentioning the newspaper article, and asked him a few questions about his life and career. He responded to my note, signed my index card and included a signed photo.

Correspondence reveived in March, 2003.
Mr. Welaj passed away shortly after this on September 13, 2003 (aged 89).

So cool that he sent me his phone number. I have a vague memory of calling him and talking briefly about his career. I think what he's referring to in the second sentance is that he was glad that I reached out to him, and showed interest in his life.

Washington Senators (1939-1941)
Philadelphia Athletics (1943)
Major league executive for the Senators and Texas Rangers (1957- )
Director of stadium operations for the Rangers (1973-1984)
Rangers' spring training director (1985-1999)


  1. Simply amazing. Your interest clearly meant much to him.

  2. Real cool that he left his number!

  3. No familiar with Mr. Welaj... but that is what's great about your blog and these posts. It opens the eyes of your readers to players and information about those players. I also think it's really cool that you connected with so many of these guys and they obviously appreciated it.

  4. I've had business cards with guys contact information on them included with my TTM returns before, but nobody ever said anything about me calling them, so it's kind of neat that he did, and that you did actually call.

  5. It's nice to read about fans giving back to players - showing an interest in them and brining a social connection into their lives.