lone star series

As far as history goes in baseball, which is often very far indeed, the Texas Rangers hold a particular degree of interest. Their story is a long one and full of the tangents and curiosities that have marked the development of the game over the last century and a half.

From DC to Arlington

Calling Arlington home, the Rangers as a franchise began, in fact, as the Washington Senators. Confusingly, they were not the first Senators; the original Washington franchise moved to Minnesota becoming the Twins. The new Senators were an expansion club from ’61 and spent ten years in Washington before relocating themselves to Texas, becoming the second Major League franchise alongside their Lone Star Series rivals, the Houston Astros. In changing homes, the (second-generation) Senators took on the name of the famed Rangers, lawmen, and legends. Something of the mystique has rubbed off on the ballclub, and they have proven to be, statistically, the more successful of the Texas Two.

Building the Legacy

The success enjoyed by the Rangers is borne out by the fact that they have made eight post-season showings. 2010 saw the Rangers get through their Divison Series, besting Tampa then securing the AL pennant against the Yankees. The World Series title was not to be theirs, being swatted away by the Giants. The Rangers followed on from that heady year with a back to back American League Pennant in 2011, though again the world Series brought disappointment in the formidable form of the Cardinals. All in all, though, 2010 and 2011 will be remembered as a watershed of success. 2011 saw the team set a new club record of 96 season victories; no mean feat.

2012 brought a wrenching disappointment. The Rangers could seem to do no wrong, with fan and team expectation high off the back of the previous two seasons. Everything was set to go to plan, with a healthy lead throughout the season, right until the last gasp, when the unheralded success of the Athletics put paid to the Rangers ambitions of a third straight divisional title. Finishing second, for many fans it felt like finishing last. But it was the third year for 90+ wins, and they could send eight to the squad of the All-Star Game. Not too bad in reflection, but at the time, the disappointment was palpable. However, the sustained success was there and proven by the growing gate figures.

That Streak of 90+

2013 saw the 90+ streak continue, though they lost to the Rays for the second of the Wild Card playoffs. All the same, it was the sixth year in a row for the Rangers finishing in the Top 2 of their division. The following season saw the wheels come off the wagon somewhat, with the wins plummeting in the face of an unprecedented slew of injuries. There was very little they could do in the face of such conditions, but the team dug in and did their best, preparing to bounce back in the next season. Bounce back they did; 88 wins later (not quite the 90 but the fans took it with smiles) the sixth divisional title was theirs. A slightly lackluster post-season did not hamper 2016, another back to back triumph saw that magical seventh division title.

This season promises to hold plenty of incident, and who knows? Maybe we’ll see that 90 again.

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