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The Texas Rangers are obviously a team in a rebuilding process. They will hope to string together their talent this year to compete in the western division.
The team was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1961 and was originally called the Washington Senators. The team then moved to Arlington in 1972 and became the Texas Rangers. The Rangers played their first game in Anaheim on April 15th, and lost 1-0 to the Angels. The Rangers would bounce back to win the next game.
Five days later on April 21st the Rangers made their Texas debut in front of 20,105 fans at Arlington Stadium, winning the game 7-6. In their first year, they finished last with a 54-100 record.
After the season, Ted Williams retired as manager. Whitey Herzog was named the new manager, but he was replaced near the end of the 1973 season by Billy Martin. In Martin's first year, the Rangers finished 84-76 just 5 games behind the 3-time World Champion Athletics. The following year the Rangers stumbled and finished with a disappointing 79-83 record. Billy Martin is fired in the middle of the season after a fall out with management.
After excellent seasons between 1977-79, the Rangers came very close in clinching a playoff spot in the first half of 1981. As a player's strike loomed in early June, the Rangers were in 1st place by a half game, but after the Rangers blew a 3-1 lead on the day before the strike start, they dropped into second place by half a game. Had the Rangers held on to win that game they would have been in 1st place when the strike started, thus earning them a trip to the post season as 1st half champions since baseball decided to split the season.
Prior to the 1989 season, the Rangers signed 42-year-old free agent pitcher Nolan Ryan. Ryan had a great season winning 16 games while leading the AL with 301 strikeouts. He collected career strikeout number 5,000 on August 22nd against Rickey Henderson of the Oakland A's. The Rangers would go on to finish in 4th place with an 83-70 record.
In April of 1989, the Rangers' owner, Eddie Chiles, sold the team to an investment group headed by future President of the United States George W. Bush. Bush would serve as the Rangers' managing partner until he was elected Governor of Texas in 1994. During this time, the Rangers and the City of Arlington decided to construct a new stadium to replace the aging Arlington Stadium. Ground was broken on October 30, 1991 on what would become The Ballpark in Arlington (now named Rangers Ballpark in Arlington).
In 1996, the Rangers clinched their first post-season birth. With AL MVP Juan Gonzalez establishing new club records in HR with 47 and RBI with 144 the Rangers clinched the division title and earned a trip to the postseason while posting a 90-72 record. In the Rangers first postseason series they faced the New York Yankees and they won Game 1 in Yankee Stadium 6-2. The Yankees, however, would win the next 3 games and win the series 3 games to 1.
The team again won the AL West championships in 1998 and 1999, but got swept each year in the playoffs.
In December 2000, Alex Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Rangers. Though the team featured offensive threats like Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro the Rangers pitching was as usual hopeless and they finished the season with a 71-91 record.
In 2001, Rodriguez hit 52 HRs, but overall the team accumulated a terrible 5.71 ERA and ended the season with a last place record of 73-89. In 2002, Alex Rodriguez continued to be the premier player in the American League and won his second straight Hank Aaron Award. Ivan Rodriguez missed more than 50 games due to injuries. The Rangers finished the season in last place for the 3rd year in a row leading to a trade of Rodriguez to the New York Yankees.
In 2004, the Rangers remained in contention until the last week of the season, eventually finishing in third place behind the Angels and A's, but they finished the season only 3 games out of first place.
In 2005 the Rangers struggled to find consistency amid controversy and injuries. Frank Francisco and Carlos Almanzar, two key members of the bullpen, were sidelined for Tommy John surgery. Kenny Rogers, the team's ace pitcher, received a 20 game suspension from commissioner Bud Selig for attacking a cameraman at Ameriquest Field and the Rangers once again failed to make the playoffs.
- 26 - Johnny Oates - Manager
- 34 - Nolan Ryan - Pitcher
- 42 - Jackie Robinson - (Retired throughout MLB)
- Thomas O. Hicks 1998-present
- George W. Bush/Edward W. Rose Partnership 1989-1998
- H.E. (Eddie) Chiles 1980-1989
- Bradford G. Corbett 1974-1980
- Robert E. Short 1968-1974
- Ron Washington 2007-Present
- Buck Showalter 2003-2006
- Jerry Narron 2001-02
- Johnny Oates 1995-2001
- Kevin Kennedy 1993-94
- Toby Harrah 1992
- Bobby Valentine 1985-92
- Doug Rader 1983-85
- Darrell Johnson 1982
- Don Zimmer 1981-82
- Pat Corrales 1978-80
- Billy Hunter 1977-78
- Connie Ryan (Interim) 1977
- Eddie Stanky 1977
- Frank Lucchesi 1975-77
- Billy Martin 1973-75
- Del Wilber (Interim) 1973
- Whitey Herzog 1973
- Ted Williams 1972
Rookie of the Year
- Mike Hargrove, 1974
- Al Oliver, 1980, 1981
- Buddy Bell, 1984
- Julio Franco 1989, 1990, 1991
- Ruben Sierra, 1989
- Juan González, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
- Iván Rodríguez, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
- Rafael Palmeiro, 1999
- Alex Rodriguez, 2001, 2002, 2003
- Mark Teixeria, 2004, 2005
- Alfonso Soriano, 2004, 2005
Record Per Season
Minor League Teams
- Triple A: Oklahoma RedHawks; (Pacific Coast League)
- Double A: Frisco RoughRiders; (Texas League)
- Advanced A: Bakersfield Blaze; (California League)
- Single A: Clinton LumberKings; (Midwest League)
- Short A: Spokane Indians; (Northwest League)
- Rookie: Arizona Rangers (baseball); (Arizona League)