John Ludwig Welaj
Born: May 27, 1914 in Moss Creek, Penn.
Died: Sept. 13, 2003 in Arlington, Texas
Debut: 1939 | Pos: OF
Ht: 6'0" | Wt: 164 | B: R | T: R
>> Visit the Johnny Welaj biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
John Welaj, a former player, manager and baseball executive who spent 63 years in professional baseball, died on Sept. 13, 2003 in Arlington, Texas after a battle with illness. He was 89.
Welaj, an outfielder, spent parts of three seasons in the majors with the Washington Senators (1939-1941) and part of a fourth season with the Philadelphia Athletics (1943). He hit .250 in 793 major league at-bats, with 4 home runs and 74 RBIs. He also had 36 stolen bases.
In 1941, the Senators traded Welaj and Ken Chase to the Red Sox for Jack Wilson and Stan Spence.
One of his best seasons in the minor leagues came in 1950 when, between Toronto and Montreal of the International League, he hit .292 with 10 home runs and 82 RBIs.
He went to work in the Washington front office in 1957 and held a number of positions with the Senators and Rangers over the next 43 years.
His professional career began in 1936 when he played with Albany of the International League and York/Trenton in the New York-Penn. League.
From 1944 to 1945, he served in World War II. He returned to the minor leagues in 1946 and led the American Association in stolen bases.
Welaj was a minor league manager for three seasons before joining the Senators as sales and promotions chief in 1957. In 1973, he became director of stadium operations for the Rangers, a job he held until he retired as a full-time employee in 1984.
He continued to work for the Rangers, however, serving as the Rangers' spring training director from 1984-99. In 1993, he was honored by the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame and the Rangers organization for his service to the team.