Greer to be inducted into Rangers HOF
Washington added to AL coaching staff for All-Star Game
ARLINGTON -- Rusty Greer is going into the Rangers Hall of Fame, and manager Ron Washington is going to the All-Star Game.The Rangers officially announced on Thursday that Greer will be the only member of their 2007 Hall of Fame club while Major League Baseball officially announced that Washington will be a coach for the American League at the 78th All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 10 in San Francisco. Washington will be joined in San Francisco by Rangers Minor League infielders John Whittleman and German Duran, who have been selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game. Greer will be the 10th member of the Rangers Hall of Fame and will be officially inducted on Aug. 11 before the Rangers' game with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. "I'm excited, first to be nominated and secondly, to be inducted," Greer said before the Rangers' game with the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. "It's overwhelming to me. This cements in my mind that I did something right in my 8-10 years. My goal was to come to play hard every day. I wasn't blessed with the greatest talent but I think I got the most out of it every day." Greer played for the Rangers from 1994-2002 before a series of injuries that required a total of nine separate surgeries brought his career to an end. Greer was known for playing the outfield with reckless abandon but said he wouldn't have changed his style to prolong his career. "I wasn't smart," Greer said. "But that's the way I played in Little League and in college. That was my style of play. My teammates appreciated it and I know the pitchers appreciated it." Greer was the Rangers Rookie of the Year in 1994 when he hit .314 in 80 games and 277 at-bats in the strike-shortened season. His best years were in 1996-99, a four-year period in which he hit .315 and averaged 105 runs, 20 home runs and 99 RBIs while helping the Rangers win three division championships. He is the first member of the 1996 team to be elected to the Hall of Fame. That was the first Rangers team to win a division title and is still the most revered team in franchise history.
"The '96 team, if you ask those guys, to me was the best team I've ever been on and not just because of wins and losses," Greer said. "That was a tight-knit group that pulled for each other and went out and played the game regardless. It is special to be the first guy from that team to be inducted."Johnny Oates was the manager of that team and was also a coach that year in the All-Star Game. He was the last Rangers manager to be selected to the American League coaching staff for an All-Star Game until Washington was selected on Wednesday by Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "It means a lot that Jimmy would even consider me in that situation," Washington said. "It just shows how much of a class guy he is." It will be a homecoming for Washington, who spent 11 years in the Bay Area as a coach for the Oakland Athletics. "It's in the Bay Area, so it gives me a chance to go back there," Washington said. "It was a class move. I never thought I'd be coaching in the All-Star Game. It's certainly an honor." This will be Washington's first All-Star Game in the Major Leagues. Whittleman is hitting .320 with 44 runs scored, 12 home runs and 43 RBIs for Class A Clinton, and Duran is hitting .325 with 50 runs scored, 13 home runs and 41 RBIs in 69 games and 246 at-bats at Double A Frisco.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.