Texas Rangers Information
In 1964, Arlington Stadium was constructed and was to serve as the first stadium of the Texas Rangers. The Rangers began play in 1972, and the first four years would set the precedent for the team's future pattern of play: cycles of mediocre seasons, followed by a season of near-success, followed by a season of disappointment. While Bobby Valentine was the manager of the Texas Rangers in the 1980's, stars such as Ruben Sierra, Juan Gonzales, Kenny Rogers, and the popular catcher Geno Petralli failed to lead them to a World Series title. In 1989, future President George W. Bush led an investment team that purchased the Texas Rangers. In 1994, Kenny Rogers pitched a perfect game, a milestone achievement that will never be forgotten.
Johnny Oates was named manager of the Texas Rangers in 1995, which began play in their brand new stadium, known as The Ballpark in Arlington. Oates was named manager of the year, while Gonzales was named American League Most Valuable Player. With the managerial expertise of Oates and the skill of baseball greats such as Gonzales, Ivan Rodriguez, and Dean Palmer, the Rangers charged into their first playoffs since the team's inception, and won the American League Division Series.
Texas followed up with Division titles again in 1998 and 1999. In the post-2001 off-season the most lucrative deal in the history of baseball at the time was made: shortstop Alex Rodriguez was signed to a 10-year $252 million contract. Although Rodriguez's performance was excellent, the Ranger's traded him to the New York Yankees at the end of the 2003 season due to a controversy between A-Rod and team management. The 2008 Rangers finished second in the division behind the LA Angels with a 79-83 record. In this season, center fielder Josh Hamilton represented the Rangers well as an All-Star hitting a record breaking 28 home runs in the first round of the derby. The previous record was 24, set by Bobby Abreu in 2005.
Following a disappointing finish in 2009, team President Nolan Ryan and the Rangers front office took action to guarantee future success within the ball club. They were able to sign free agents Rich Harden, Colby Lewis, and Vladimir Guerrero. They also made a deal with the Seattle Mariners for former Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee and RHP Mark Lowe. The 2010 season was a successful one for the Rangers as they won the AL West Division with a 90-72 record and an appearance in the World Series, which they lost to the San Francisco Giants.
2011 was just as successful. Even though they lost pitcher Cliff Lee to the Phillies in free agency, the Rangers retained star players Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, and Nelson Cruz. They also signed big free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre to solidify their in-field. They came in first once again at 96-66 and made another run at the World Series, losing this time to St. Louis in a dramatic and exciting Fall Classic series.
The past few years have seen the Rangers take a command of baseball and the 2012 season will be no different. The team is gearing up for the new season by signing outfielder Nelson Cruz to a contract extension and the signing of Japanese pitcher, Yu Darvish. Look for the team to try to continue their dominance.