Thursday, October 31, 2013

Decisions: Final Installment.

Time to close out TR Sullivan's list of the top 50 decisions that made the Rangers who and what they are today. Kind of a big chunk to finish things off but I couldn't get the list to end evenly so here it is:

#43. Band-aiding the Stadium - Arlington Stadium was originally a minor league park. When the Senators moved to Texas the capacity was hastily expanded from 20,000 to 35,000. The Rangers spent the next 20 years trying to fix it. It ended up looking like a child's Play-Doh creation.

#44. Charlie Hough - Purchased on the cheap from the Dodgers in 1980, he went from reliever to starter to ace of the staff. Charlie, shown here on a signed 1988 Leaf card, was the heart and soul of the Rangers pitching staff for a decade.

#45. Opportunity lost - Jim Sundberg rejected a 1982 trade that would have sent him to the Dodgers for Orel Hershiser, Dave Stewart, and others. That same year the Rangers traded pitchers Walt Terrell and Ron Darling to the Mets for Lee Mazzilli. Think about the pitching staff they could have had if the first trade went and the second fell through.

#46. Short to Corbett - Brad Corbett bought the team from Bob Short in 1974 but couldn't keep his hands off. The Rangers ended up running in circles during his time as owner.

#47. Denny McLain - Ted Williams advised against the trade that sent Ed Brinkman, Aurelio Rodriguez, and Joe Coleman to Detroit in exchange for a washed-up Denny McLain. He was right. The three were front-line players for Detroit's division title team in 1972 while the Rangers were getting hammered.

#48. Big Broadcasting - In 1981 the Rangers started broadcasting on cable television for the first time because of the leadership of Merle Harmon. In 1982 Mark Holtz and Eric Nadel were paired together on radio for the first time.

#49. Frank Howard - The Senators sent Claude Osteen to the Dodgers on December 4, 1964 as part of a deal for Frank Howard. Hondo would become the marquee player for the Senators.

#50. Sundberg/Hargrove - Each had just one year of minor league experience when manager Billy Martin kept them on the Opening Day roster for 1974. Those were two of the key moves that sparked the Rangers turnaround season that year.

Here we are at the end of Sullivan's list. Some of it I disagreed with and some I had never heard of. Most of it was spot on. I hope you enjoyed the series.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

#45 changed (or would have) the mid-late 80's for a number of teams, not just the Rangers.