10 Little-Known Facts About the Texas Rangers

10 Facts

The Texas Rangers were established as the Washington Senators in 1961, an MLB expansion team awarded to Washington, D.C., after the city’s first baseball club, the [second] Washington Senators, relocated to the Twin Cities and became the Minnesota Twins in 1961.

The Rangers have been based in Arlington, Texas, since 1972. The Rangers have been playing at Globe Life Field since 2020. But if we’re talking about the Rangers as a whole, they’ve won the 2023 World Series and earned three AL pennants (2010, 2011, and 2023), seven AL West division titles (1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2016), and two MLB Wild Card berths (2012, 2023).

That being said, I have ten little-known facts about the Texas Rangers for you.

10. Passing Through
The late Ted Williams never played for the Texas Rangers during his 19-year MLB career as a left fielder, but he managed the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers from 1969 to 1972. Williams’s best season as the Senators/Rangers manager was in 1969 when he led the Senators to an 86-76 record en route to the Senators’ only winning season in Washington, D.C.

Williams was best known as a Boston Red Sox player from 1939 to 1942 and 1946 to 1960. Williams’ No. 9 was eventually retired by the Red Sox.

9. Passing By
Like the late Ted Williams, the late Billy Martin never played for the Texas Rangers but managed the Arlington-based MLB team from 1973 to 1975. Martin played for the New York Yankees (1950 to 1953 and 1955 to 1957), Kansas City Athletics (1957), Detroit Tigers (1958), Cleveland Indians (1959), Cincinnati Reds (1960), Milwaukee Brewers (1961), and Minnesota Twins (1961). Martin was best known as a Yankees second baseman. Martin’s No. 1 was eventually retired by the Yankees.

Martin’s tenure as a manager for the Texas Rangers was full of ups and downs, such as the on-the-field doubling of the Texas Rangers’ home attendance after earning the AL Manager of the Year in 1973, along with the off-the-field strained relationship between Martin and the Texas Rangers front office because of Martin’s reported excessive alcohol abuse.

8. Short-Term Stop

Whitey Herzog is a former MLB outfielder and manager. As an MLB outfielder, Herzog debuted with the Washington Senators from 1956 to 1985, played for the Kansas City Athletics from 1958 to 1960, and Baltimore Orioles from 1961 to 1962, and ended his seven-year career with the Detroit Tigers in 1963.

Herzog was primarily known for his 17-year MLB managerial career from 1973 to 1990, but not so much for his first year of managing the Texas Rangers in 1973, as he reportedly never finished the 1973 MLB season. Herzog then served as a manager of the California Angels in 1974, the Kansas City Royals from 1975 to 1979, and most notably, the St. Louis Cardinals in 1980 and from 1981 to 1990.

7. Blowout Fight
Lenny Randle, a former MLB second and third baseman, enjoyed an 11-year career in the big leagues. Randle was the 10th overall pick of the Washington Senators in the 1970 MLB Draft.

Randle’s breakthrough as a Washington Senator was in 1974 when he batted .302 with a home run and recorded 49 RBIs, 26 stolen bases, and 65 runs scored in 151 games while splitting time at second base, third base, and in the outfield. Randle then divided his time with the newly relocated and renamed Texas Rangers and the minor leagues.

Randle was notoriously known for his 1977 punching incident during a spring training game between the Texas Rangers and the Minnesota Twins in Orlando, Florida. During batting practice before the ballgame’s first pitch, Randle reportedly approached Rangers manager Frank Lucchesi and claimed that Lucchessi called him a punk, which Lucchessi denied. Randle punched Lucchessi in the face three times before bystanders stopped the heated altercation. Lucchessi was hospitalized for a week and required surgery to repair his fractured cheekbone, which was allegedly broken into three pieces, and the bruises on his back and his kidneys. As a result, Texas suspended Randle for 30 days without pay and fined him $10,000. Randle was sued by Lucchesi for $200,000 and settled for $20,000.

6. First Time
Before playing at Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers played at Turnpike Stadium, a minor league ballpark that seated up to 10,000 people. Turnpike Stadium was named after the nearby Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike (now part of Interstate 30 and known as Tom Landry Highway).

Aside from hosting the MLB’s Texas Rangers games, Turnpike Stadium also hosted Texas League’s Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs and NCAA’s University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks football games. But Turnpike Stadium’s real purpose was to attract a Major League team to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex as it was reportedly built to be upgraded to the Major League standards of the 1970s era.

5. American Politics
Former President George W. Bush led a group of investors from his father’s close friends and purchased the Texas Rangers in 1989. Bush’s group reportedly bought an 86% share for $75 million. As a result, Bush received a 2% share by investing $606,302, $500,000 of which was a bank loan.

Bush left the Rangers after he was elected Governor of Texas in 1994. The Midland and Houston, Texas, native served as Governor from 1995 to 2000 before serving as President from 2001 to 2009.

4. One of a Kind
Nolan Ryan, also known as The Ryan Express, is among the greatest pitchers ever. Ryan pitched for the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers.

Ryan’s tenure with the Rangers was incredible. The Alvin, Texas, native recorded his 5,000th strikeout, 300th win, and sixth and seventh no-hitters with the Rangers.

3. Pickle Juice

Speaking of Nolan Ryan, Ryan was known for soaking his fingers in pickle juice to treat and avoid getting blisters. This sounds weird, but this worked for him, so it’s acceptable.

2. Raising Cattle
Nolan Ryan isn’t only a Hall of Famer and a cattle raiser. Ryan raises Beefmaster cattle in his home state of Texas. Beefmasters, bred to survive the summers of South Texas, are a three-way cross between the Brahman, Hereford, and Shorthorn breeds.

Steak Time
Texas Rangers pitcher Nathan Eovaldi is arguably a clutch right-handed pitcher. Like Nolan Ryan, Eovaldi grew up in Alvin, Texas. Eovaldi has reportedly been building on Nolan Ryan’s legacy.

Eovaldi is a Houston Texans and Houston Astros fan. Aside from sports, the Alvin, Texas, native likes to listen to Drake, watch comedy movies like Step Brothers, and eat steak.

Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist by trade. Her love for sports shows in her writing, editing, and podcasting work. She writes about MLB for Inside The Diamonds.

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