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Unbeknownst to some baseball fans, the Texas Rangers are a franchise that has been around for 50 years, originating as the Washington Senators in our nation’s capital. After a brief residence in Minnesota, the Rangers found home in 1971 in Arlington, Texas, where they have been ever since.
With all of the movement in the first 10 years of existence, it’s difficult for a team to establish continuity with its personnel. As such, there was not a lot of success as a team, or among individual players for the better part of two decades. In fact, it took 35 years, in 1996, before the franchise found its way into its first playoff series.
The last bit of the millennium eventually saw success, and with it came a growing popularity of baseball in the football-rich state of Texas. American League MVPs and division crowns equated to annual attendance at the Ballpark close to 3 million fans. But they were unfortunate to not win a single playoff series.
Despite three attempts in the 1990s, the Rangers failed to win a playoff series, and in the ensuing decade, the team fell into a sort of abyss due to financial strains of the organization, as well as the enormous contract offered to free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez.
It was not until the hiring of Ron Washington in 2007 that the Rangers found themselves on an upswing. Though he had not managed at any level prior, the Rangers gambled that Washington’s coaching style and personality would mold nicely with a group of veterans and solid pitching prospects.
Boy, were they right.
Last year was the 50th season in the Rangers’ franchise history, and they won finally their first playoff series, advancing all the way to the World Series. Will this be the season that they take the next step? Will the Rangers finally capture their very first championship title?
Stay tuned to find out.
The Rangers currently lead the Detroit Tigers two games to none in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.