History of the Texas Rangers

Although the Texas Rangers team had been around for 50 years, it had a largely unsuccessful history until 2010, having won only three American League West division titles and no pennant races or World Series in all that time. However, things changed in 2010 when the Rangers won the American League West division series and the AL pennant.

The Texas Rangers began in 1961 as a replacement for the Washington Senators team that moved to Minnesota and became the Twins in 1960. The new American League expansion team took the name of the team it replaced even though it was a completely new team. The new Washington Senators had a poor start, both on and off the field. They lost far more games than they won, while the team's ownership kept changing. In 1967, Bob Short purchased the Senators and he hired Ted Williams to manage the team. Williams led the Senators to a winning season in 1969 but the good fortunes did not last.

In 1971, for financial reasons, Short moved the failing Washington Senators to Arlington, Texas and the Texas Rangers were born. They played their first season in Texas in 1972. Williams resigned at the end of the season and he was replaced by Whitey Herzog. However, Herzog did not last for even one full season and he was replaced in the latter part of the 1973 season by Billy Martin.

The changes in location and manager seemed to have a positive effect on the team and the Rangers finished the 1974 season in second place in the American League West division with an 84-76 record. That season brought several honors to Rangers' players and to Billy Martin, who was named American League Manager of the Year. The 1974 Rangers included American League Rookie of the Year Mike Hargrove, American League MVP Jeff Burroughs and Comeback Player of the Year Ferguson Jenkins.

Despite Martin's success in 1974, he was fired during the 1975 season when the Rangers were losing. Frank Lucchesi became the new manager. By 1977, the Rangers were playing well again and their moderate success continued for a few years but they could not advance to first place in the American League West division. After 1981, however, the Rangers dropped in the standings and they did not rise again for several years.

In 1989, the Texas Rangers had a new partial owner, the most famous owner the team would ever have, George W. Bush. Under Bush and his group, the Rangers got a new stadium and a revitalized team. The Rangers began to improve and they were leading the American League West division prior to the strike that ended the 1994 season. Two years later, the Rangers finally won an American League West division title, the first of three that they won in the late 1990s. Manager Johnny Oates led the team to victories again in 1998 and 1999.

The start of the new century brought Alex Rodriguez to the Rangers with a huge 10-year, $252 million contract. Unfortunately, the bat of Rodriguez was not enough to help the Rangers and they once again went into decline and finished in last place in the American League West division in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003. Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees after the 2003 season.

The 2004 season turned out to be a good one for the Rangers and they finshed in a close third place in the American League West division, just three games behind the division leaders. Although they had lost Rodriguez, they had other strong bats, including that of Mark Teixeira, Alfonso Soriano and Michael Young.

The next few seasons saw a decline in the success of the Rangers. Within a few years, they had a new manager, Ron Washington, and new players. Midway through the 2007 season, they traded Teixeira to the Atlanta Braves for young prospects, including Elvis Andrus. With these new young players, including the power-hitting Josh Hamilton, and under Washington's leadership, the Rangers have become the dominant team in the American League West division, winning the division title in 2010 and 2011, the AL Wild Card in 2012, and the AL pennant in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, they added Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish and this season they are holding onto a comfortable lead in the AL West division race.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - Texas Rangers