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Texas Rangers :Rangers Captain

 

Based in Arlington, Texas, the Texas Rangers are in the Western Division of the American League. After the original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota in 1960, Major League Baseball awarded a team to Washington, D.C., giving it the name of the old franchise. Meanwhile, the American League decided in 1962 to implement the idea of bringing a professional baseball team to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Kansas City A's owner Charley Finley wanted to move his team to Dallas, but the idea was rebuffed by the other AL team owners.

In 1964, the 10,000-seat Turnpike Stadium was constructed in Arlington, Texas for the minor-league baseball team, the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs. The stadium, later renamed Arlington Stadium, eventually served as the new Texas Rangers' first home stadium. 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. Ted Williams, manager with the Senators for three seasons prior to the Rangers' first season, retires from the team after the season. Whitey Herzog is named manager but is eventually replaced by Billy Martin during the 1973 season. 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.

Mike Hargrove is named AL Rookie of the Year, Billy Martin is named Manager of the Year and Ferguson Jenkins is named the Comeback Player of the Year. However, the following season, after a 44-51 start, Martin was fired as the Rangers manager and was replaced by Frank Lucchesi. The Rangers continued to struggle for many years, going through cycles of mostly poor seasons with losing records highlighted by occasional flashes of talent. After the 1977 and 1978 seasons, the Rangers would not have another winning season until 1986 under Bobby Valentine when the team finished in second in the AL West.

During this time, the team had a host of talent including Bert Blyleven, Buddy Bell, Fergie Jenkins, Mike Hargrove, Jim Sundberg, Toby Harrah and Rick Honeycutt. The official mascot of the the Texas Rangers is the Rangers Captain, a 6'8", 300 pound mascot who resides in Ameriquest Field in Arlington's tunnel right behind home plate. Rangers Captain was introduced at a special ceremony at The Ballpark in Arlington. The team's mascot made its debut in a home plate ceremony where it was sworn in as an official Texas Ranger by the Mayor of Arlington, Elzie Odom. Rangers Captain was designed in the fashion of a Palomino style horse.

 

The costume includes both a Western style outfit and a baseball uniform. The mascot will wear the baseball uniform, which has the number 72 on the back of the jersey (signifying the Rangers first year in Texas), on game nights at The Ballpark in Arlington. The costume, which is approximately six feet, six inches in height, was designed and produced by Street Characters, Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The name Rangers Captain is derived from the Texas Rangers Law Enforcement Agency, in which Captains were the leaders of the companies. In advertising and promotions, the mascot is being referred as the "furry leader of The Ballpark's Company of Rangers".

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