From a purely baseball standpoint, Nefali Feliz’s pitch clinched the Rangers’ first pennant, ending a 38 year old road to the game’s promised land. Not only did it go through the Yankees, who had overwhelmed the Rangers in their only other post season appearances, the seminal moment came against Alex Rodriguez, Ranger enemy No. 1. No, it wasn’t his fault that Tom Hicks gave him $262 million to play shortstop. Yes, he certainly lived up to his end of the deal, at least on the field. But he was the most disingenuous superstar of his generation, and that’s putting it nicely. As moments go, it doesn’t get any better than A Rod watching helplessly as Feliz’s curveball snaps at the knees, sending reverberations throughout North Texas.
Holland shuts out the Cardinals in Game 4
Derek Holland wanted to redeem himself from his World Series appearance in 2010, when he threw 12 balls in 13 pitches. So with the Rangers down 2 1 against St. Louis in 2011, he decided to control his “antsy” nerves by approaching his start like a boxer: “I’ve got to go nine rounds and in between I need to sit in the dugout and relax.” Result: He went 81/3 shutout innings, giving up just two hits and striking out seven in a 4 0 win. What’s easy to forget now is that it wasn’t entirely unexpected. He’d thrown four shutouts that season, second only to Cliff Lee’s six. Never mind how that World Series ended, or that Holland hasn’t lived up to it since. It was a magnificent moment on the sport’s biggest stage.
Rangers sign Nolan Ryan
On Dec. 7, 1988, the 47th anniversary of a date that FDR said would live in infamy, Tom Grieve Rangers signed 42 year old Nolan Ryan away from the Houston Astros in the winter meetings at Atlanta’s Marriott Marquis, a move that manager Bobby Valentine called “the most important transaction the Rangers have ever made.” Grieve said at the time it was purely a baseball decision, but he later admitted it gave the Rangers instant credibility, and after only a quarter century of trying.
Rusty Greer dives in center field to help preserve Kenny Rogers’ perfect game
Greer remains one of the most popular Rangers ever for several reasons, but none bigger than his typical effort on July 28, 1994. Kenny Rogers had a perfect game going against the Angels when Rex Hudler led off the ninth with a sinking line drive into right center. Playing center field, Greer broke quickly on the ball and at a full gallop leaped and made a back handed diving catch. Greer cheap men jerseys
said later he was going to do over whatever it took to help preserve Rogers’ perfect game, only the 12th in MLB history. As for Rogers’ take? “Rusty Greer, gosh, what can you say after a guy makes a catch like that?” Maybe just “Thanks.”
Josh Hamilton hits four home runs in one game
On May 8, 2012, Josh Hamilton stepped into the batter’s box at Camden Yards against the Orioles’ Jake Arrieta, out of Plano East, and hit his first pitch, a curveball, over the center field wall to give the Rangers a 2 0 lead. From that point on, Hamilton’s night would go homer, double, homer, homer, giving him an AL record 18 total bases. He also became the 16th player ever to hit four homers in a game. Elvis Andrus was standing on first for all four. “I’m his lucky charm,” he said afterward. Said Michael Young, “I’m not sure we’ll ever see anything like that again.” He was right, of course, in more ways than one. But it was sure fun for a day.