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The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in Texas, representing the Dallas-Ft.Worth metropolitan area. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From 1994 to the present, the Rangers have played in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, located in Arlington, Texas. The "Rangers" name originates from the famous law enforcement agency by the same name.

An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Washington, D.C., in 1961 and was called the Washington Senators (not to be confused with the Washington Senators team that exited D.C. after 1960 to become the Minnesota Twins). The team then moved to Arlington in 1972 and became the Rangers.

The Rangers are one of three Major League franchises to have never played in a World Series, along with the Seattle Mariners (established in 1977) and the Washington Nationals (established in 1969 as the Montreal Expos).

When the original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota in 1960 as the Twins, Major League Baseball decided to expand a year earlier than planned to stave off threats of losing its antitrust exemption. At the winter meetings that year, it awarded a new team to Los Angeles (the Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) as well as a new team in the nation's capital. This new team adopted the old Senators name, but was (and still is) considered an expansion team since the Twins retained the old Senators' records and history. The Senators and Angels began to fill their rosters with American League players in an expansion draft.

The team played the 1961 season at old Griffith Stadium before moving to District of Columbia Stadium (renamed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 1969) on East Capitol Street and the Anacostia River.

For most of their existence, the new Washington Senators were the definition of futility, losing an average of 90 games a season. Frank Howard, known for his towering home runs, was the team's most accomplished player, winning two home run titles.

FAA administrator Elwood Richard Quesada led the 10-man group that bought the Washington franchise. Quesada knew very little about baseball; he once wondered why he needed to pay players who didn't belong in the Majors. He also agreed to a mere 10-year lease at D.C. Stadium—something that would come back to haunt the Senators later. In 1963, Quesada sold his 10% stake in the club and resigned. Washington stockbrokers James Johnson and James Lemon took over as chairman and vice president respectively; they bought out the remaining owners two years later. Johnson took the team's massive financial losses philosophically. However, he died in 1967 and Lemon sold the team a year later to hotel and trucking executive Bob Short, who outbid a group headed by Bob Hope. Short named himself general manager and hired Hall of Famer Ted Williams as manager.


President Richard Nixon throwing out the first pitch of the Senators' season in April 1969 with manager Ted Williams (left) and owner Bob Short (right, partially obscured by Yankees manager Ralph Houk).This seemed to work at first. Although Williams had never managed-let alone coached—at any level of baseball, he seemed to light a spark under the once moribund Senators. Williams kept them in contention for most of the season; their 86–76 record was the only winning record in the franchise's first 12 years. What no one knew at the time was that this record would not be approached again until 1977--the franchise's 6th year in Texas. The year also saw the second-best recorded attendance in the history of baseball in Washington; 918,000 fans flocked to RFK Stadium.

However, this couldn't last. For one thing, Short had borrowed most of the $9.4 million he'd paid for the team. He was forced to make many questionable trades to service the debt and bring in needed cash. As a result, the team rapidly fell back into the American League cellar. He had little goodwill to start with in Washington since he hadn't promised to keep the team in town and fans stayed away in droves. It didn't help matters that the Baltimore Orioles, 45 miles to the northeast, were winning two World Series Championships and four American League Pennants from 1966 through 1971. The team's struggles led to a twist on an joke about the old Senators--"Washington: first in war, first in peace and still last in the American League."

By the end of the 1970 season, Short had issued an ultimatum—unless someone was willing to buy the Senators for $12 million, he would not renew his lease at RFK Stadium and move elsewhere. Several parties offered to buy the team, but all failed to match Short's asking price.

Short was especially receptive to an offer from Arlington, Texas, Mayor Tom Vandergriff, who had been trying to get a Major League team to play in the Metroplex for over a decade. Years earlier, Charles O. Finley, the owner of the Kansas City Athletics, sought to move his team to Dallas, but the idea was rebuffed by the other AL team owners.

Arlington's hole card was Turnpike Stadium, a 10,000-seat park which had been built in 1965 to house the AA Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs of the Texas League. However, it had been built to Major League specifications. It was also located in a natural bowl; only minor excavations would be necessary to expand the park to major-league size.

After Vandergriff offered a multi-million dollar up-front payment, Short finally decided to pull up stakes and move. On September 21, 1971, by a vote of 10 to 2 (the Orioles' Jerold Hoffberger and John Allyn of the Chicago White Sox registered the dissenting votes), he received approval from AL owners to move the franchise to Arlington for the 1972 season.

Washington fans were outraged, leaving public relations director Ted Rodgers with the unenviable task of putting a positive spin on such events as fans unfurling a giant banner saying "Short Stinks." A photo of the banner appeared on the front page of a DC newspaper the following day.

Fan enmity came to a head in the team's last game in Washington, on September 30. Thousands of fans simply walked in without paying because the security guards left early in the game, swelling the paid attendance of 14,460 to around 25,000. With the Senators leading 7–5 and two outs in the top of the ninth inning, several hundred youths stormed the field, raiding it for souvenirs. One man grabbed first base and ran off with it. With no security guards in sight and only three bases, umpire crew chief Jim Honochick forfeited the game to the New York Yankees 9–0.

[edit] First years in Texas
During the off-season, additions were made to Turnpike Stadium to increase its seating capacity, and it was officially renamed Arlington Stadium. Bob Short also announced that the franchise would be called the Texas Rangers. The team played its first game on April 15, 1972, a 1–0 loss at the California Angels. The next day, the Rangers defeated the Angels 5–1 for the team's first victory. The first home game was also against the Angels on April 21. After the season, Ted Williams retired as manager; he had made no secret of his distaste with the new city. Whitey Herzog was named the new manager, but he was replaced near the end of the 1973 season by Billy Martin, although Del Wilber managed the team as interim manager for one game between Herzog and Martin's tenures.

In 1974, the Rangers began to come into their own as a team. They finished the season 84–76 and in second place behind the eventual World Series champion Oakland Athletics. The 1974 Rangers are still the only MLB team to finish above .500 after two consecutive 100-loss seasons. Mike Hargrove was named AL Rookie of the Year, Billy Martin was named Manager of the Year, Jeff Burroughs was named AL Most Valuable Player, and Ferguson Jenkins was named the Comeback Player of the Year after winning a (still) club record 25 games. However, the following season, after a 44–51 start, Martin was fired as the Rangers manager and was replaced by Frank Lucchesi.

The Rangers' first four seasons would set what has become a pattern for the franchise—cycles of poor to mediocre seasons, followed by an occasional year of near-success, followed by disappointment the following year, then reverting to poor to mediocre seasons.

After excellent seasons between 1977–79, the Rangers came very close in clinching a playoff spot in the first half of 1981. However, Texas lost the game before the strike hit; the Oakland A's led the first-half Western Division by a half-game. After 1981, the Rangers would not post a winning record for another five seasons. During this stretch, the Rangers made one of their most unpopular trades ever, sending multi-Gold Glove catcher Jim Sundberg to the Milwaukee Brewers for future Brewers' manager Ned Yost.

The Rangers faced attendance problems for a few years after moving to Texas, in part due to the team's uneven performance and in part due to the oppressive heat and humidity that can overtake the area in the summer. Until the Florida Marlins arrived in 1993, Arlington Stadium was the hottest stadium in the Majors, with temperatures frequently topping 100 degrees during the day. In part because of this, the Rangers began playing most of even their weekend games between May and September at night—a tradition that continues to this day. They usually get a waiver from ESPN to play Sunday night games.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Rangers_(baseball)) www.rangers.mlb.com