Watching all the highlights surrounding last night’s induction ceremony of Josh Hamilton into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, and seeing where the team was then as opposed to where it is now, was like looking at your high school yearbook picture and wondering where did that person go?
You want your hair back, and that old stomach. You want that team. But time has a cruel way of making guts and rosters sag.
Which leads to the question. Who on this current team roster will be Rangers Hall of Fame worthy?
Here are the current residents of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame who were former players (omitting managers, owners, politicians, team executives, broadcasters): Charlie Hough, Jim Sundberg, Nolan Ryan, Ferguson Jenkins, Buddy Bell, John Wetteland, Rusty Greer, Toby Harrah, Ruben Sierra, Tom Grieve, Kenny Rogers, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Jeff Russell, Michael Young, and now Josh Hamilton.
Who on this current roster will have a career worthy to enshrined among that group?
Mike Minor or Lance Lynn? Only if two things happen. One, they sign extensions of a decent length. Two, they continue that dominance in a Rangers uniform. Outside slim chance. While neither Ferguson Jenkins nor Nolan Ryan started as a Rangers like Minor and Lynn, they both had Cooperstown Hall of Fame careers. But this is about the Rangers, so who knows.
It’s hard to project the bullpen. It sure would be nice if one or more of those arms had that kind of dominance and staying power. But relievers are network TV shows. Great one season, bad the next.
In the infield, Elvis Andrus has a legit shot. Not just for the numbers he is putting up but for his overall legacy.
Two outfielders, maybe. In his nearly six seasons as a Ranger, Shin-Soo Choo has certainly performed at a remarkable, if often underappreciated, level. He hasn’t run full speed into walls like Rusty Green, but he has been an on-base machine. But is he at TRHOF level? Close.
Maybe Joey Gallo. Certainly, if he continues the metamorphosis he showed this year before he got hurt, he will be. Can he, one, continue playing at the high level and, two, avoid injury that will derail his career? For the sake of all Rangers fans, let’s hope so. Gallo has the chance to be a special, must-view player.
This season is all about projecting into the future. Sometimes that future isn’t on the playing field. It’s hanging on a plaque.
Martin Perez (8-5, 4.57) vs. Lance Lynn (14-8, 3.54)
Game time: 2:05