|Gerald Lee Laird III|
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|Seasons with Texas: 2003-2008|
Gerald Laird was born November 13, 1979 in Westminster, California. He attended La Quinta High School and eventually played baseball for Cypress College. Laird was originally a second round draft choice of the Oakland Athletics in 1998, and was traded to the Rangers before the 2002 season, along with Ryan Ludwick, Jason Hart, and Mario Ramos, for first baseman Carlos Pena and pitcher Mike Venafro.
Texas Rangers (2003-Present)Edit
Laird won the Rangers' starting catching job in spring training in 2004, but after dislocating his thumb in a home plate collision in May, 2004, ended up on the disabled list and lost his starting job to Rod Barajas. After spending most of the 2005 season in Triple-A, Laird took over as the backup catcher for the Rangers in 2006. In 2007, Laird was again given the opportunity to be the starting catcher. After struggling offensively in the 2007 season, Laird begin to split catching time with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2008. Laird initially expressed concern over the reduction of playing time, however the platoon was, for the most part, successful in the 2008 season.
Throughout the 2008 season, there were many rumors Laird would be traded for pitching prospects to teams in need of a catcher, most notably the New York Yankees. Laird was not traded at the 2008 deadline, however as the season ended many Rangers analysts believed that Laird would eventually be traded for pitching.