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The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in Texasmarker, representing the Dallas-Ft.Worth metropolitan area. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Rangers have played in Rangers Ballpark in Arlingtonmarker, located in Arlington, Texas. The "Rangers" name originates from the famous law enforcement agency by the same name.

An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Washington, D.C.marker, in and was called the Washington Senators (not to be confused with the Washington Senators team that exited D.C. after to become the Minnesota Twins). The team then moved to Arlington in and became the Rangers.

The Rangers are one of three Major League franchises to have never played in a World Series, along with the Seattle Mariners (established in 1977) and the Washington Nationals (established in 1969 as the Montreal Expos).

Franchise history

Washington Senators

When the original Washington Senators moved to Minnesotamarker in 1960 as the Twins, Major League Baseball decided to expand a year earlier than planned to stave off threats of losing its antitrust exemption. At the winter meetings that year, it awarded a new team to Los Angelesmarker (the Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) as well as a new team in the nation's capital. This new team adopted the old Senators name, but was (and still is) considered an expansion team since the Twins retained the old Senators' records and history. The Senators and Angels began to fill their rosters with American League players in an expansion draft.

The team played the season at old Griffith Stadiummarker before moving to District of Columbia Stadium (renamed Robert F.marker Kennedy Memorial Stadiummarker in 1969) on East Capitol Street and the Anacostia River.

For most of their existence, the new Washington Senators were the definition of futility, losing an average of 90 games a season. Frank Howard, known for his towering home runs, was the team's most accomplished player, winning two home run titles.

FAA administrator Elwood Richard Quesada led the 10-man group that bought the Washington franchise. Quesada knew very little about baseball; he once wondered why he needed to pay players who didn't belong in the Majors. He also agreed to a mere 10-year lease at D.C. Stadium—something that would come back to haunt the Senators later. In , Quesada sold his 10% stake in the club and resigned. Washington stockbrokers James Johnson and James Lemon took over as chairman and vice president respectively; they bought out the remaining owners two years later. Johnson took the team's massive financial losses philosophically. However, he died in and Lemon sold the team a year later to hotel and trucking executive Bob Short, who outbid a group headed by Bob Hope. Short named himself general manager and hired Hall of Famermarker Ted Williams as manager.

This seemed to work at first. Although Williams had never managed—let alone coached—at any level of baseball, he seemed to light a spark under the once moribund Senators. Williams kept them in contention for most of the season; their 86–76 record was the only winning record in the franchise's first 12 years. What no one knew at the time was that this record would not be approached again until --the franchise's 6th year in Texas. The year also saw the second-best recorded attendance in the history of baseball in Washington; 918,000 fans flocked to RFK Stadium.

However, this couldn't last. For one thing, Short had borrowed most of the $9.4 million he'd paid for the team. He was forced to make many questionable trades to service the debt and bring in needed cash. As a result, the team rapidly fell back into the American League cellar. He had little goodwill to start with in Washington since he hadn't promised to keep the team in town and fans stayed away in droves. It didn't help matters that the Baltimore Orioles, 45 miles to the northeast, were winning two World Series Championships and four American League Pennants from 1966 through 1971. The team's struggles led to a twist on an joke about the old Senators--"Washington: first in war, first in peace and still last in the American League."

By the end of the season, Short had issued an ultimatum—unless someone was willing to buy the Senators for $12 million, he would not renew his lease at RFK Stadium and move elsewhere. Several parties offered to buy the team, but all failed to match Short's asking price.

Short was especially receptive to an offer from Arlington, Texasmarker, Mayor Tom Vandergriff, who had been trying to get a Major League team to play in the Metroplex for over a decade. Years earlier, Charles O. Finley, the owner of the Kansas City Athletics, sought to move his team to Dallas, but the idea was rebuffed by the other AL team owners.

Arlington's hole card was Turnpike Stadiummarker, a 10,000-seat park which had been built in to house the AA Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs of the Texas League. However, it had been built to Major League specifications. It was also located in a natural bowl; only minor excavations would be necessary to expand the park to major-league size.

After Vandergriff offered a multi-million dollar up-front payment, Short finally decided to pull up stakes and move. On September 21, 1971, by a vote of 10 to 2 (the Orioles' Jerold Hoffberger and John Allyn of the Chicago White Sox registered the dissenting votes), he received approval from AL owners to move the franchise to Arlington for the season.

Washington fans were outraged, leaving public relations director Ted Rodgers with the unenviable task of putting a positive spin on such events as fans unfurling a giant banner saying "Short Stinks." A photo of the banner appeared on the front page of a DC newspaper the following day.

Fan enmity came to a head in the team's last game in Washington, on September 30. Thousands of fans simply walked in without paying because the security guards left early in the game, swelling the paid attendance of 14,460 to around 25,000. With the Senators leading 7–5 and two outs in the top of the ninth inning, several hundred youths stormed the field, raiding it for souvenirs. One man grabbed first base and ran off with it. With no security guards in sight and only three bases, umpire crew chief Jim Honochick forfeited the game to the New York Yankees 9–0.

First years in Texas

During the off-season, additions were made to Turnpike Stadium to increase its seating capacity, and it was officially renamed Arlington Stadiummarker. Bob Short also announced that the franchise would be called the Texas Rangers. The team played its first game on April 15, 1972, a 1–0 loss at the California Angels. The next day, the Rangers defeated the Angels 5–1 for the team's first victory. The first home game was also against the Angels on April 21. After the season, Ted Williams retired as manager; he had made no secret of his distaste with the new city. Whitey Herzog was named the new manager, but he was replaced near the end of the 1973 season by Billy Martin, although Del Wilber managed the team as interim manager for one game between Herzog and Martin's tenures.

In , the Rangers began to come into their own as a team. They finished the season 84–76 and in second place behind the eventual World Series champion Oakland Athletics. The 1974 Rangers are still the only MLB team to finish above .500 after two consecutive 100-loss seasons. Mike Hargrove was named AL Rookie of the Year, Billy Martin was named Manager of the Year, Jeff Burroughs was named AL Most Valuable Player, and Ferguson Jenkins was named the Comeback Player of the Year after winning a (still) club record 25 games. However, the following season, after a 44–51 start, Martin was fired as the Rangers manager and was replaced by Frank Lucchesi.

The Rangers' first four seasons would set what has become a pattern for the franchise—cycles of poor to mediocre seasons, followed by an occasional year of near-success, followed by disappointment the following year, then reverting to poor to mediocre seasons.

After excellent seasons between 1977–79, the Rangers came very close in clinching a playoff spot in the first half of . However, Texas lost the game before the strike hit; the Oakland A's led the first-half Western Division by a half-game. After 1981, the Rangers would not post a winning record for another five seasons. During this stretch, the Rangers made one of their most unpopular trades ever, sending multi-Gold Glove catcher Jim Sundberg to the Milwaukee Brewers for future Brewers' manager Ned Yost.

The Rangers faced attendance problems for a few years after moving to Texas, in part due to the team's uneven performance and in part due to the oppressive heat and humidity that can overtake the area in the summer. Until the Florida Marlins arrived in , Arlington Stadium was the hottest stadium in the Majors, with temperatures frequently topping 100 degrees during the day. In part because of this, the Rangers began playing most of even their weekend games between May and September at night—a tradition that continues to this day. They usually get a waiver from ESPN to play Sunday night games.

Valentine era

Bobby Valentine, who would eventually become the Rangers' longest-serving manager at 1,186 games, became steward over an influx of talent in the team in the late 1980s and 1990s. The 1986 winning season was a shock to most pundits and fans as the Rangers were in the pennant race for the entire season. With a team consisting of many stellar young rookies such as Rubén Sierra, Pete Incaviglia, Mitch Williams, Bobby Witt, and Edwin Correa, the Rangers finished in 2nd place with an 87-75 record, just five games behind division-winning California. It marked an improvement of 25 wins from the previous season when they had finished last in the AL West. The signing of 41-year-old star pitcher Nolan Ryan prior to the 1989 season allowed Ryan to reach his 5,000th strikeout, 300th win, and sixth and seventh no-hitters with the Rangers. Coupled with powerful batters like Juan González, Rubén Sierra, Julio Franco, Harold Baines, and Rafael Palmeiro and a pitching staff that also included Charlie Hough, Bobby Witt, Kevin Brown, and Kenny Rogers, fans expected much from the team. However, the team never improved over second place, and Valentine was let go during the 1992 season.

George W. Bush becomes Managing General Partner

In April 1989, the Rangers' owner, oil tycoon Eddie Chiles, sold the team to an investment group that included the future President of the United States George W. Bush. Bush would serve as the Rangers' managing general partner until he was elected Governor of Texas in 1994. Chiles was a friend of the Bush family. After hearing Chiles planned to sell the team, Bush headed a group of investors that bought the team for $89 million. He secured his share of the Rangers, less than 1-percent equity, by borrowing $500,000. In late 1991 Bush increased his investment to $606,302.

During his tenure, the Rangers and the City of Arlington decided to replace the aging Arlington Stadium with a new publicly funded stadium, at a cost of $193 million, financed by Arlington residents, through a sales tax increase. Ground was broken on October 30, 1991 on what would become The Ballpark in Arlington (now named Rangers Ballpark in Arlingtonmarker). The city, through the Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority, also controversially authorized the seizure of 13 acres of land through eminent domain for the Rangers future development. Landowners filed lawsuits over the acquisition and eventually won settlements of $22.2 million which the Rangers declined to pay.

In 1998, Tom Hicks bought the team for $250 million and agreed to pay the settlement in relation to the 1991 eminent domain litigation. Bush received nearly $15 million from the sale, mostly due to a generous 10-percent bonus of the purchase price.

Success in the 1990s

In , Kevin Kennedy took over managerial duties, helming the team for two seasons. The 1993 squad was the first since the 1974 team to be in serious contention for a playoff berth into mid-September. Kennedy was let go in 1994, although the team led the AL West prior to the players' strike. The strike wiped out what could have been the Rangers' first division championship when commissioner Bud Selig canceled the remainder of the season. The season featured a perfect game by Kenny Rogers.

The year saw the beginnings of the most promise for the Rangers. With a brand new ballpark that hosted its first All-Star Game, Johnny Oates was hired as the Rangers' manager and promptly led them to an AL West division title in 1996. The first Rangers' playoff series in history, 24 years after the franchise came to Texas, saw the Rangers lose to the New York Yankees, though they did win Game 1 for their first, and to date only, playoff victory. Oates was named AL Manager of the Year and Juan González was named AL MVP. The team featured a powerful lineup of hitters with Iván Rodríguez, Will Clark, Mark McLemore, Dean Palmer, Rusty Greer, Juan González, and Mickey Tettleton but continued to struggle with pitching – a reputation that dogs the Rangers to this day – despite having Rick Helling, and Aaron Sele on their roster. Oates again led the team to AL West championships in 1998 and 1999, but en route to a second straight last place finish, Oates resigned 28 games into the season.

The Alex Rodriguez era

Prior to the season, star free-agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez, previously of the Seattle Mariners, was signed by the Rangers in the most lucrative deal in baseball history: a 10-year, US$252 million contract. The move was considered controversial and was frequently maligned by the media who thought that Hicks was placing too much emphasis on one player instead of spreading out money among many players, especially for a team that lacked significant pitching talent. Although Rodriguez's individual performance was outstanding, the Rangers continued to struggle, and manager Jerry Narron was fired following the season. He was replaced by seasoned manager Buck Showalter.

In the 2003 season, the Rangers finished in last place for the fourth straight year, and after a post-season fallout between Rodriguez and team management, the then-reigning AL MVP and new Rangers captain, Alex Rodriguez, was traded to the New York Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias.



Prior to the 2004 season, little hope was held out for the Rangers to improve on their losing ways. However, the Rangers battled with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Oakland Athletics for first place in the AL West for much of the season. Mark Teixeira, Alfonso Soriano, Michael Young, and Hank Blalock became one of the better tandems of batting infielders in the league, and Young, Blalock, and Soriano were named to the 2004 All-Star Game. Soriano was named the All-Star MVP after going 2 for 3 with a three-run home run. 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. By comparison, the fourth-place team, the Seattle Mariners, were 29 games out of first.


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. Rogers signed with the Tigers for the 2006 season after the Rangers declined to offer him a contract. Also, shortly after a spectacular homestand where the Rangers swept all three series (the first time in Rangers history that they ever swept an entire homestand involving more than one team), management unexpectedly placed opening-day starter Ryan Drese on waivers, where he was claimed by the Washington Nationals. After Drese's release and Rogers' suspension, the Rangers struggled to find consistency on the mound, and a disastrous road trip in August in which the Rangers went 1-12 all but assured that the Rangers would not make the playoffs in 2005.

2005–2006 offseason

On October 4, 2005, the Rangers announced that John Hart was stepping aside as general manager of the franchise, and that Jon Daniels was being promoted from assistant general manager to general manager. Daniels, at 28 years and one month, was the youngest general manager in Major League history. However, Hart remained with the club as a "special consultant", thus giving rise to media speculation that Daniels would be little more than a "yes man" for Hart.

In any case, Daniels and the Rangers front office were very active in the 2005–2006 offseason. Alfonso Soriano, who had often been mentioned in trade speculation, was finally dealt to the Nationals for outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge. The Rangers then began making moves to acquire the pitching help that they have long sought. The Rangers acquired starter Vicente Padilla from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Ricardo Rodriguez and acquired San Diego Padres pitchers Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka in exchange for Chris Young, Adrian Gonzalez, and Sledge. Finally, they signed free agent starter Kevin Millwood to a five-year contract worth US$60 million. The Rangers were also mentioned in speculation as a possible destination for Roger Clemens, who was not offered salary arbitration by the Houston Astros. However, Clemens eventually decided to sign with the Astros and appeared in his first game for Houston on June 22.


The Rangers 2006 season ended with a disappointing 80–82 record and a third-place finish in the American League West. The team contended for the first half of the season with the pitching staff showing some improvement. However, the team proved unable to keep pace with the surging Oakland Athletics in the second half of the year, and fell out of contention in September.

To some extent the Rangers were the victims of bad luck, as their won-lost record was worse than their +51 run differential for the season would indicate. The pitching staff, anchored by Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla, improved to a ninth-place finish in the AL in combined ERA compared to 2005's twelfth-place record, despite Ameriquest Field'smarker deserved reputation as a hitter's park. Although the offense was inconsistent for much of the season, with outfielder Brad Wilkerson, third baseman Hank Blalock and catcher Rod Barajas particularly disappointing, the team still finished fourth in the AL in runs scored.

Significant player moves included the July 28 deal acquiring outfielders Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Kevin Mench, Francisco Cordero, Laynce Nix and a prospect pitcher. Cordero became expendable after early season problems led to his replacement as closer by Akinori Otsuka. Although Otsuka pitched well in the closer's role, fellow pitching acquisition Adam Eaton proved of little help to the club after injury wiped out most of his season. Rangers shortstop Michael Young was named the MVP of the 2006 All-Star game, played on July 11 in Pittsburghmarker, for his game-winning two-run triple in the ninth. Center fielder Gary Matthews, Jr. also played in the All-Star game.

2006–2007 offseason

As a result of the third-place finish, on October 4 the Rangers dismissed Buck Showalter as manager with three years left on his contract. On November 6, the team announced that Oakland Athletics third base coach Ron Washington had accepted their offer to manage the team. Washington beat out four other candidates for the job: Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu, New York Mets third base coach Manny Acta, Nippon Ham Fighters manager Trey Hillman, and former Rangers catcher John Russell.

Gary Matthews, Jr., Mark DeRosa, Carlos Lee, and Adam Eaton all signed with other clubs as free agents. Vicente Padilla accepted a three-year, US$33 million offer with an option for a fourth year at US$12 million. The Rangers also signed Frank Catalanotto from the Toronto Blue Jays to a multi-year deal. The Rangers subsequently signed reliever Éric Gagné and center fielder Kenny Lofton to one-year deals. In a sign that GM Jon Daniels was looking for results in 2007, the Rangers' top pitching prospect John Danks was traded to the Chicago White Sox, along with reliever Nick Masset and low-A pitching prospect Jacob Rasner for 23-year-old starter Brandon McCarthy and 18-year-old outfielder David Paisano. Also added to the roster was veteran Sammy Sosa. Initially, the media and fans took this purely as a publicity stunt. However, thanks in large part to a personal quick start to the season, these whispers disappeared.

Renaming of the ballpark

On March 19, 2007 the Rangers announced the termination of the agreement with Ameriquest Mortgage Company on ballpark naming rights. The team's stadium will now be known as Rangers Ballpark in Arlingtonmarker. The Rangers negotiated a 30-year, US$75 million naming rights agreement with Ameriquest three years ago.Although Ameriquest has since experienced financial difficulties from the 2007 mortgage crisis, club president Jeff Cogen said the Rangers were more concerned about getting their name back on the ballpark rather than what was happening with Ameriquest. "It's all about the brand," Cogen said. The Rangers lose US$2.5 million per year from the naming rights but get back a number of advertising outlets at the ballpark that were included in the Ameriquest deal.


The Rangers struggled offensively early in the season, despite playing in a notoriously hitter-friendly park. On June 20, Sammy Sosa hit his 600th career home run against the Chicago Cubs at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Hank Blalock, the starting 3rd baseman who had been enjoying a good season, was placed on the 60-day disabled list on the May 19th due to thoracic outlet syndrome, and Mark Teixeira followed him onto the disabled list on June 9 (for the first time in his career) with a strained left quadriceps muscle. With a record of 46-59 at the July 31st trade deadline, the team traded Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay to the Atlanta Braves in a deal that would eventually bring 5 prospects to the Rangers organization, including three of Atlanta's top prospects Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus and Matt Harrison. At the trade deadline, the team also traded closer Éric Gagné to the Boston Red Sox for left-hander Kason Gabbard and Minor League outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre in what could only be seen as an attempt to re-tool the team for the 2008 season. On August 19 at the Metrodomemarker, the Minnesota Twins logged 19 strikeouts against the Rangers, one short of the Major League record. Three days later, the 22nd, in the first game of a doubleheader at Oriole Park at Camden Yardsmarker, the Rangers' bats came alive with a modern record for runs by one team, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 30–3. Their 27-run margin of victory is also a modern day MLB record. Wes Littleton gained probably the easiest save in Major League history – entering the game in the bottom of the seventh, with his team already ahead 14-3, he pitched three innings and finished the game, and gave up just two hits and a walk (with the 9th inning being a 3-up, 3-down inning), while his team scored 16 additional runs, giving Littleton a 27-run cushion in the last of the ninth. The Rangers cooled off a bit in the nightcap, winning 9–7.


The Rangers had a hot start to the season, highlighted by newcomer Josh Hamilton who looked to be a threat to win the Triple Crown, before fading off as the season wore on and only won the RBI crown. During the All Star break, Hamilton crushed a first round home run record in the 2008 Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadiummarker, by blasting 28 home runs. The previous record was twenty-four by Bobby Abreu. Hamilton hit an additional four in the second round and three during the final round, for a total of thirty-five home runs. Four Texas Rangers played in the 2008 All Star Game, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Milton Bradley, and Michael Young, who would repeat his 2006 All Star Game feat by driving in the winning run via a sac fly.

The Rangers would finish the season with yet another sub-.500 record (79-83), but ended up in second place in the AL West, the team's best divisional position since its 1999 title.

Season-by-season records

Washington Senators

Year Record (W-L) Win Average Place Notes
1961 61-100 .379 9th among 10 teams in the American League
1962 60-101 .373 10th
1963 56-106 .346 10th
1964 62-100 .383 9th
1965 70-92 .432 8th
1966 71-88 .447 8th
1967 76-85 .472 6th
1968 65-96 .404 10th
1969 86-76 .531 4th among 6 teams in the
Eastern Division of the American League
(one of the league's two divisions)

1970 70-92 .432 6th
1971 63-96 .396 5th

Texas Rangers

Season Records
Year Record Win % Place
54-100 .351 6th among 6 teams in the Western Division of the American League
(one of the league's two divisions)
57-105 .352 6th
84-76 .525 2nd
79-83 .488 3rd
76-86 .469 4th
94-68 .580 2nd among 7 teams in the Western Division of the American League
(one of the league's two divisions)
87-75 .537 2nd
83-79 .512 3rd
76-85 .472 4th
57-48 .543 2nd
64-98 .395 6th
77-85 .475 3rd
69-92 .429 7th
62-99 .385 7th
87-75 .537 2nd
75-87 .463 6th
70-91 .435 6th
83-79 .512 4th
83-79 .512 3rd
85-77 .525 3rd
77-85 .475 4th
86-76 .531 2nd
52-62 .456 1st among 4 teams in the reconfigured American League West (1 of the AL's 3 divisions)
74-70 .514 3rd
90-72 .556 1st Lost the 1996 AL Division Series to the New York Yankees (AL-East), 1-3.
77-85 .475 3rd
88-74 .543 1st Lost the 1998 AL Division Series to the New York Yankees (AL-East), 0-3.
95-67 .586 1st Lost the 1999 AL Division Series to the New York Yankees (AL-East), 0-3.
71-91 .438 4th
73-89 .451 4th
72-90 .444 4th
71-91 .438 4th
89-73 .549 3rd
79-83 .488 3rd
80-82 .494 3rd
75-87 .463 4th
79-83 .488 2nd
87-75 .537 2nd

Overall totals

Through the 2009 season, the Rangers have won 3,657 games and lost 4,134 over their history, equating to a .469 lifetime average winning percentage. The team is 1–9 in individual playoff games, and 0-3 overall for postseason series.

Playoff futility

The Rangers (when combined with their predecessor the Senators) hold several distinctions for playoff futility:
  • They are one of only three current MLB franchises which have yet to appear in the World Series (the others are the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals), and the oldest active MLB franchise yet to appear.
  • They are the oldest franchise in all the four major American pro sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL) to have never appeared in the league's championship, as well as the only Dallas-Fort Worth area team yet to do so.
  • They are the only current MLB franchise which has yet to win a playoff series.
  • In their history the Rangers have won only one playoff game, on the road at Yankee Stadiummarker in the franchise's first playoff game; they have never won a home playoff game.

Baseball Hall of Famers

Chuck Hinton and Frank Howard, who played for the franchise in Washington (although Howard played for the Rangers in 1972), are listed on the Washington Hall of Stars display at Nationals Parkmarker in Washington. So are Gil Hodges and Mickey Vernon, who managed the "New Senators". Vernon also played for the "Old Senators", who became the Minnesota Twins.

Retired Numbers

Johnny Oates

Nolan Ryan

Jackie Robinson
Retired by MLB

Texas Rangers Hall of Fame

The Texas Rangers Hall of Fame was created in 2003 to honor the careers of former Texas Rangers players, managers, executives and broadcasters. There are currently twelve members.

The Hall is located in Rangers Ballpark in Arlingtonmarker.


Current roster

Minor league affiliations

Franchise records and award winners

Season records

Radio and television


Dave Barnett is the play-by-play announcer and Eric Nadel is the color analyst for the English radio affiliates. Eleno Ornelas is the play-by-play announcer and José Guzmán is the color analyst for the Spanish radio affiliate.


Josh Lewin is play-by-play commentator and Tom Grieve is the color analyst. Bill Land fills in when Lewin is broadcasting the NFL's San Diego Chargers games in the fall. Jim Knox is the side-line reporter for Rangers home games.

See also


External links

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