Let’s take a look at the Texas Rangers, including their years as the second version of the Washington Senators.
When the Senators came into the league in 1961, they were pretty bad. In their first four seasons, they lost at least 100 games every season. They didn’t finish higher than 6th until their 9th season in 1969, and that’s only because the leagues were split into divisions. From 1972 to 1993, the relocated Rangers finished 2nd six times and were in first when the season was aborted in 1994.
The Rangers finally made the playoffs for the first time in 1996 and had a nice run of 3 post-season appearances in 4 seasons, but won only 1 game over all the series. They didn’t make the playoffs again until 2010, when they made the World Series, a feat they duplicated last year. The franchise is at its peak right now.
Here are the Rangers’ franchise WAR leaders among batters:
So, I-Rod is pretty obviously a shoo-in. After that, it gets a little hazy.
Rafael Palmeiro was perhaps the first true superstar the Rangers ever had, but I’m not sure fans of the team would choose him as a representative. Buddy Bell and Jim Sundberg are both fan favorites but make it so high on the WAR list due mainly to longevity. Juan Gonzalez? Two MVPs and still probably hard to pick. A-Rod? Please.
Here are the pitchers:
Charlie Hough is clearly the pitcher most identified with this franchise, and yet I have trouble imagining him getting picked for this.
Only 5 players in the Hall of Fame have ever played for this franchise, and they’ve all been with the Rangers: Ryan, Perry, Jenkins, Blyleven, and Goose Gossage. No hitters.
As for managers, they’ve had a number of memorable ones, but neither of the guys who’ve managed them to the playoffs (Johnny Oates and Ron Washington) logged enough games with the team for me to put them on the ballot.
OK, let’s have a vote. Please pick 4.