All-Time Texas Ranger Signing No. 2 & 1
No. 2: Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan is a Ranger icon. Ordinarily, a 42-year-old free agent wouldn’t go on to produce much of a legacy. But Nolan Ryan is anything but ordinary.
Ryan debuted in the big leagues 23 years prior to his signing with Texas. Inexplicably, he never won a Cy Young over that time. But, he was compiling a Hall of Fame career. He wasn’t done writing his storied career.
In his inaugural season with the Rangers, Ryan recorded a ridiculous 301 strikeouts. That was good for the league lead and a franchise record. He finished 5th in AL Cy Young voting. For his encore, the then-43-year-old, was crowned strikeout king once again; this time dialing up 232 batters.
Nolan is in Texas Rangers Hall of Fame where he belongs. Nolan Ryan’s Ranger teams never won, but the signing birthed a Texas legend. No one will ever again don #34 for the Texas Rangers.
No. 1: Adrian Beltre
Adrian Beltre is the clear-cut best free agent addition in the history of the Texas Rangers. In his 8 years in Arlington, Beltre eclipsed major indivudal milestones while leading the Rangers to their most successful years in team history.
After just one year in Boston, Beltre agreed to a 5-year deal with Texas worth $80 million. At 32, Beltre was one of the most coveted free agents entering 2011. Coming off an AL championship, Texas was hungry for a title and willing to spend big dollars. Beltre was the perfect fit.
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Beltre would hit 199 of his 477 career home runs in a Ranger uniform. He earned 3 all-star appearances, 3 Gold Gloves, and 2 Silver Slugger awards during his time in Texas. His best year came in 2012 when Beltre finished 3rd in the AL MVP vote by recording a .921 OPS with 36 home runs and 102 RBIs.
From his brilliant glove to this homers from one knee, Beltre never failed to produce at an all-time great level for the Rangers. Partner than with on-field antics and an exceptionally likable personality, he goes down as an all-time fan favorite as well.
The acquisition of Adrian Beltre was one of the greatest moves in franchise history.
What did we miss? Do you have a different order? Let us know Texas Rangers fans!