Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
All-Time Texas Ranger Signing No. 5
When Rafael Palmeiro left via free agency in the winter of ’93, the Rangers had already prepared for it. Will Clark was a bona fide big league hitter. He and the Rangers agreed to a 5-year, $30 million contract in the Fall of ’93.
Clark had done nothing but produce prior to signing with Texas. In 8 years with San Francisco, the first baseman hit .299 with 176 home runs. He had 5 all-star appearances, 2 Silver Sluggers, and a Gold Glove to his name.
Thus, it was no surprise that Clark stepped right in and supplied big time offense for a surging Rangers team. The former Giant played 110 games in the strike-shortened ’94 season. He slashed a terrific .329/.431./.501 with 13 home runs. He was named an all-star for the 6th time in his career and finished a respectable 15th in the AL MVP race.
Although he played poorly in 7 postseason games between ’96 and ’98, Clark anchored first base those years for the division-winning Rangers.
“The Thrill” was an exciting acquisition at the time and still stands as one of the most successful free agent signings in team history.