Top 50 with a short-lived history for Texas
In 50th season, here are 50 people who the Rangers barely knew
1. Eddie Stanky -- In 1977, he was manager for one game. The Rangers may be the only franchise to ever have a full-time manager last just one game.2. Curt Flood -- After his historical legal challenge to baseball's reserve clause, he tried a comeback with the Senators in 1971 -- and lasted 13 games. 3. Cliff Lee -- The ultimate rent-a-player, but his postseason impact on the Rangers in 2010 was profound. 4. Steve Howe -- The Rangers defied Commissioner Peter Ueberroth when they signed Howe in 1987. He had served multiple suspensions for substance abuse, and Texas thought he was passed all that. But after 2 1/2 months and 24 appearances for the Rangers, he had a major relapse that winter and was released. 5. Chuck Greenberg -- He did all the heavy lifting in putting together a new ownership group that was finally approved last August. But he didn't even make it to Opening Day. 6. Lee Mazzilli -- On April Fools Day 1982, the Rangers gave up two top pitching prospects to the Mets for an outfielder who hated playing left field. By August, Texas had traded him away. 7. Jackie Davidson -- He was the poster boy for replacement baseball back in 1995. He also would have been the Rangers' Opening Day pitcher if not for judicial intervention and an end to the 1994-95 players strike. 8. Bobby Shantz -- He was the first. A left-handed pitcher who had won 24 games and was the American League MVP Award winner in 1952 while with the Philadelphia A's, Shantz was the first player selected by the Senators in the 1960 Expansion Draft. Two days later, he was traded to the Pirates for three players. 9. Robb Nen -- Always injured, he pitched in just nine games in 1993. He was the butt of many jokes about his health -- but the joke would be on the Rangers. He became a premier closer with the Marlins and Giants and won two World Series rings. 10. John Rocker -- He behaved himself in Texas. He just had a 6.66 ERA in 30 games in 2002. 11. Todd Stottlemyre -- Cliff Lee lite. A two-month rental in 1998, he was the Rangers' starter in Game 1 of the playoffs against the Yankees and then -- like Lee -- was out the door. 12. Ken Caminiti -- This troubled soul was the Rangers' starting third baseman for the first three months of the 2002 season. 13. Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd -- This 1990 rental was 2-7 with a 6.68 ERA in 12 games. Plus, he took a long nap on the bench during a driving thunderstorm. 14. Frank Morsani -- He led a group that purchased the Rangers from Eddie Chiles in 1988 with the full intention of moving them to Tampa Bay -- but Eddie Gaylord interceded with his veto power. 15. Rick Leach -- As a quarterback, he led the University of Michigan to three straight Rose Bowls, but his time with the Rangers was noted for his 24-hour disappearance in New York City. 16. Ugueth Urbina -- He was the Rangers' closer for a few months in 2003 before being traded for three players, including Adrian Gonzalez. Ugueth eventually ended up in jail in Venezuela for attempted murder. 17. Oscar Acosta -- Thad Bosley wasn't the first Rangers coach to be fired after just a few months. But Acosta's reign of terror as pitching coach in 2002 was especially turbulent. 18. Bill Madlock -- A September callup in 1973 (he hit .351 in 21 games), Madlock was traded to the Cubs for Ferguson Jenkins and went on to win four batting titles elsewhere. 19. Hideki Irabu -- The Japanese Nolan Ryan was actually made the Rangers' closer in 2002, and did have 16 saves until he went on the disabled list in July with a blood clot in his lung -- and was never heard from again. 20. Fred Manrique -- He was the second player acquired from the White Sox in the infamous 1989 Harold Baines trade. He played 54 games with the Rangers and was then given away to the Twins the following Spring Training. 21. Jim Gideon -- Everybody remembers David Clyde, but Gideon was the No. 17 overall pick in the 1975 Draft. Coming out of the University of Texas, Gideon made his Major League debut in September, pitched one game and never pitched in the big leagues again. He was an All-American at UT, going 36-2 in his final two seasons. 22. Jack Armstrong -- He was a big free-agent signing for the 1994 season. He pitched two games as the Rangers' No. 3 starter, blew out his elbow and never pitched in the big leagues again. 23. Ron Hansen -- The Senators acquired him in a trade with the White Sox before the 1968 season. Hansen played four months for the Senators and turned one of 15 unassisted triple plays in Major League history on July 30. Two days later, he hit a grand slam. On Aug. 2, he was traded back to the White Sox. 24. Justin Thompson -- It took him almost six years to get back to the Majors after being one of six players acquired from the Tigers for Juan Gonzalez after the 1999 season. 25. Rick Reichardt -- Acquired early in the 1970 season, this power-hitting outfielder played in 107 games for the Senators that year. His claim to fame was receiving a $200,000 signing bonus from the Angels in 1964 that shocked everybody, and led to the establishment of the amateur Draft in 1965. 26. Mike Marshall -- He won the National League Cy Young Award for the Dodgers in 1974. He played half of a season for the Rangers in 1977, saved one game for a team in desperate need of a closer and was tossed aside. He then saved 53 games for the Twins over the next two years. 27. Jim Leyritz --The Rangers got him from the Angels during the 1997 season, and then traded him afterwards to the Red Sox in a package for Aaron Sele. 28. Tom Brown -- Here is a Texas sports trivia question: who was the Green Bay Packers safety who intercepted Don Meredith at the end of the 1966 NFL Championship Game? The answer: the outfielder who played in 61 games for the Senators in 1963 and hit .147. 29. Willie Davis -- In one of his 42 games for the Rangers in 1975, Davis staged a sit-down strike in center field when his pitcher refused to throw at an opposing hitter. 30. Calvin Schiraldi -- A UT pitching star and a Red Sox reliever in the World Series, Schiraldi's Major League career ended with the Rangers. He made three appearances and gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings. 31. Sidney Ponson -- The Knight from Aruba was 4-1 with a 3.88 ERA in nine starts for the Rangers in 2008, but was sent packing after throwing a fit when told his next start was being pushed back. 32. Fritz Peterson/Mike Kekich -- The wife-swapping teammates from the Yankees both eventually had short stays in Texas. 33. Whitey Herzog -- Firing him after less than one season in Texas remains the worst move made in franchise history. 34. Charlie Leibrandt -- The Braves signed Greg Maddux to a free-agent contract at the 1992 Winter Meetings, then made room in the rotation by trading Leibrandt to the Rangers for a Minor League infielder whose nickname was "The Devil." 35. Bengie Molina -- The highlight of his three months with the Rangers was the triple that gave him the cycle in Boston. 36. Wilson Alvarez -- The only Rangers pitcher who failed to retire at least one batter in Rangers history. In his Major League debut on July 24, he allowed two walks, a single and two home runs, then was traded less than a week later to the White Sox in the Baines deal. 37. Denny McLain -- He won 31 games for the Tigers in 1968. He lost 22 for the Senators in 1971. 38. Rico Carty -- The Braves had to trade him because he got into fights with teammates like Hank Aaron and Ron Reed. The Rangers traded for him before the 1973 season, and he goes down in history as their first designated hitter. He didn't last the season. They sold him to the Cubs in August, who then sold him to the Athletics in September. 39. Eric Gagne -- The Rangers still have David Murphy and Engel Beltre to show for their fourth-month rental reliever in 2007. 40. Rich Surhoff -- He pitched in just seven games for the Rangers in 1985 after being acquired from the Phillies for Dave Stewart. 41. Rich Gossage -- The Hall of Fame Goose was Jeff Russell's setup reliever in 1991 and the arch-nemesis of manager Bobby Valentine. 42. Kenny Lofton -- Many Hall of Famers have stopped through Arlington for a short period of time. The once-great Indians center fielder might end up on that list. 43. Jason Hart -- He is still with the Rangers as a Class A Minor League coach. He played 10 games for them in 2002, then two years later had to deal with a brain tumor. 44. Matt Stairs -- The Rangers picked him up at the July 31 Trade Deadline because they thought they were still in the race. Six weeks later, the Tigers picked him up from the Rangers. 45. Steve Kemp -- He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1976 Draft by the Tigers, and a good player early in his career. By 1988, he was completely banged up and done as a player, as evidenced by his eight singles in 36 at-bats with the Rangers. 46. Antonio Alfonseca -- Six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. He had 45 saves for the Marlins in 2000. He had a 5.63 ERA in 16 games for the Rangers in 2006. 47. Steve Balboni -- Bye Bye Balboni had a decent Major League career from 1981-90 as a slugging first baseman for the Yankees, Mariners and Royals. He won a World Series with the Royals in 1985. Then he spent 1991-93 as the Triple-A Oklahoma City first baseman, averaging 29 home runs and 91 RBIs. The Rangers finally brought him back to the big leagues at the end of the 1993 season, and he went 3-for-5 before calling it a career. 48. Jeff Bronkey -- He pitched in 21 games for the Rangers in 1993 and remains the only Major League player born in Afghanistan. 49. Ruben Rivera -- The Yankees released him in Spring Training in 2002 when he was caught stealing a glove out of Derek Jeter's locker. The Rangers signed him. They signed almost every misfit back then. This one hit .209 in 69 games. 50. George Brunet -- This guy pitched in 324 games in the Majors from 1956-71, including 24 for the Senators in '70. After '71, he pitched for at least 14 years in the Mexican League until he was at least 50, and supposedly set the all-time record with 3,175 career strikeouts down there. Other sources have him pitching until he was 54.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.