Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Decisions: #33 - #37.
Decided that the quick walk-through of the remaining items will work for the Top 50 Decisions that shaped the Rangers as well as the Top 50 Odd Moments. Here's the next few decisions from T.R. Sullivan's list:
#33 The Turnover - The Rangers won 95 games in 1977 and finished second in the American League West. Over the next two years they made a dizzying array of trades and free-agent signings to try and get over the top. Bert Blyleven, Gaylord Perry, Toby Harrah, and Mike Hargrove were among the players who left. Buddy Bell, Al Oliver, and Jon Matlack were some of the arriving players. It didn't work and Texas went into decline.
#34 The Merger - After Tom Hicks bought the Rangers, he merged the Stars and Rangers into one entity called the Southwest Sports Group. The SSG sold off property, introduced Ameriquest Field as the name of the Ballpark in Arlington, and changed the red uniforms. Perhaps the only good part was the uniforms.
#35 Hicks buys Liverpool - After creating SSG, Tom Hicks bought the English football (soccer) team at Liverpool. Not sure exactly what led to his fortune evaporating but it seemed to accelerate when he ventured into overseas sports.
#36 Ryan's Return - When Nolan Ryan, shown here on card 686 of the 1991 Score set, was named club president in 2008 it seemed to stabilize things. That gave the club some of the leadership it needed going through the trouble that lay just ahead.
#37 Selig supports Greenberg - Bud Selig's support for the ownership group headed by Chuck Greenberg seemed to sway the outcome of the 2010 bankruptcy sale. Otherwise it seems likely that Mark Cuban would have ended up with the team.