2013 TEXAS RANGERS SEASON PREVIEW
Check back in the Spring for the Rangers 2013 Season Preview.
TEXAS RANGERS INFORMATION:
Founded: 1961 (in Arlington since 1972)
Location: Arlington, Texas
Stadium: Rangers Ballpark
Conference: American League
Division: West Division
Rivals: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Notable Players: Nolan Ryan, Michael Young, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez
Texas Rangers World Series Title: 0 - Last World Series Appearance, 2011
Texas Rangers AL Championships: 2 - Last League Championship Appearance, 2011
The Texas Rangers have become one of the most popular professional sports franchises in the Lone Star State. The team originally played in Washington, D.C. and was known as the Senators. Despite the team's rich history in the American League, flagging attendance numbers forced the team to move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The team changed their name to the Rangers and began play in Arlington Stadium, a stone's throw away from Texas Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL played their games. In 1972, the Rangers took the field and began a new era of professional baseball in Texas.
The Rangers' early years saw them finishing in the middle of the standings, but fans certainly had reason to be excited. Jim Bibby pitched the squad's first no-hitter against the eventual World Champion Oakland A's in 1973, and outfielder Jeff Burroughs wowed attendees by hitting three Grand Slams in 10 days that same year. While the team remained extremely competitive in the '70s and '80s, fans would have to wait until the '90s before the Rangers experienced sustained success.
In 1994, the Rangers experienced a series of milestones - pitcher Kenny Rogers threw the franchise's first perfect game and the team won its first division championship, albeit during a strike-shortened season. It was also the first year in the club's new stadium, The Ballpark at Arlington, which instantly gave the team one of the most modern facilities in the Major Leagues. The Rangers won division titles in 1996, 1998 and 1998, but it wouldn't be until the late 2000s that the squad really hit their stride.
In 2010, the Rangers were one of the best teams in baseball, led by the strong arm of pitcher Cliff Lee and the strong bats of AL MVP Josh Hamilton and perennial All-Star Vladimir Guerrero. The team made it to the World Series that year and faced the talented San Francisco Giants, but the squad couldn't get its offense together and fell in five games. The Rangers repeated as AL Champions in 2011 and were pitted against the St. Louis Cardinals. The team had a chance to close out the Cardinals in Game 6, but the NL champs sparked an unprecedented rally that carried them to their 11th World Championship.
Coming off back-to-back World Series appearances, the Rangers are one of the most dangerous teams in the American League and have more than enough motivation to get back to the big dance and capture the franchise's first title.
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