After the Washington Senators relocated to Arlington, Texas in the Fall of 1971, the team moved into the former Texas League ball park, the 10,000 seat Turnpike Stadium which reopened in 1972 as Arlington Stadium. Manager Ted Williams moved with the team but resigned after the season having made clear his position on moving from Washington. He was replaced with Whitey Herzog. Herzog was replaced by Billy Martin by the end of the 1973 season.
After a pair of 100-loss seasons, and the ’74 season rolled around, the team began to gel and become a cohesive unit. They would finish in second place to the Oakland Athletics, who would end up winning the World Series. First baseman Mike Hargrove won the A.L. Rookie of the Year, Martin was named Manager of the Year, right fielder Jeff Burroughs won the A.L. MVP and Ferguson Jenkins won the Comeback Player of the Year. After a slow start to the 1975 season, the franchise released Billy Martin from his managerial position and replaced him with Frank Lucchesi.
Bobby Valentine became the Manager of the Rangers in time for the 1985 season. The team was sold to a group led by George W. Bush in April of 1989. Although he had a very strong team featuring Ruben Sierra, Juan Gonzalez, Julio Franco and Rafael Palmeiro coupled with the pitching of Nolan Ryan, Charlie Hough, Bobby Witt, Kenny Rogers and Kevin Brown, Valentine could not get the team higher than 2nd place and was replaced mid-way through the 1992 season. He was replaced with Kevin Kennedy through the 1994 season. Johnny Oates took the Managerial reins for the 1995 season and rewarded the franchise with the 1996 A.L. West Division Championship, the first in franchise history. Their success was short lived as the New York Yankees knocked them out of the playoffs. The team was sold in 1998 to Tom Hicks.
Superstar shortstop Alex Rodriguez came aboard the Rangers franchise in 2001 after signing the most lucrative deal in the history of baseball, a 10-year $252 million contract. Although Rodriguez would provide stellar performance, the team would continue to struggle. Buck Showalter replaced Jerry Narron following the 2002 season as the team’s manager but even his veteran leadership could not right the ship. The Rangers posted their 4th straight last place finish sparking a fallout between the franchise and superstar Rodriguez who demanded a trade. He was sent to the Ney York Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias. Showalter was replaced with Ron Washington in 2007. The team finished in 4th place in ’07 but improved to 2nd place in 2008. The team continued to improve, posting an 87-75 record in 2009 which was good for 2nd place in the AL West.
After dancing around financial troubles, the franchise was sold to an ownership group consisting of Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan called Rangers Baseball Express. The franchise finally broke through in 2010 after posting a 90-72 record and capturing the AL West Title. In the playoffs, the Rangers faced the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, defeating them three games to two. In the ALCS, the Rangers faced the defending World Series Champion New York Yankees. The Yankees were the franchise responsible for keeping the Rangers out of the playoffs in 1996, 98 and 1999. The Rangers would prevail four games to two their first Pennant in franchise history. They went on to face the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 World Series. The team offense would not perform and the Rangers fell to the Giants four games to one.
Jon Daniels took over as team Manager in 2005 after John Hart stepped down as GM and Daniels was promoted to take his place. By 2007, the franchise had replaced Manager Buck Showalter with Ron Washington in 2007. In his first season, Washington took only mustered a 4th place finish. In 2008, the franchise finished 2nd in the AL West and repeated the same in 2009. By 2010, the Rangers were on the verge of a breakout season.
The Rangers finished the 2010 season with a 90-72 record, winning the AL West title outright. They faced the wildcard New York Yankees in the ALCS. The Yankees had been responsible for all of the Rangers elimination in the three previous postseason meetings (1996, 1998 and 1999). This time, the Rangers, prevailed four games to two. The Rangers went on to face the San Francisco Giants in the 106th World Series. For the Rangers, this had been a game 50 years in the making, for the Giants, it had been 15 years since the bay area teams won a championship. The Giants would take control early winning game one 11-7 and game two 9-0. The Rangers would take game three 4-2 but the Giants would bounce back and take games 4 & 5 by a combined score of 7-1.
The Rangers are ready to defend their American League Championship and went out and signed Brandon Webb, Yoshinori Tateyama and Adrian Beltre in the offseason in addition to trading for Mike Napoli. In March 2011, CEO Chuck Greenberg resigned from the franchise citing differing management styles (with Nolan Ryan). Nolan Ryan is now the CEO and Team President.
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