Texas Rangers All-Time Team: The Infield

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Sep 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler (5) avoids the tag of Oakland Athletics first baseman Nate Freiman (7) at first base in the third inning of the game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The new year brings the Texas Rangers a clean slate, a fresh start and reason for fans to believe THIS IS OUR TIME! And maybe it has a little to with the third baseman you voted to the Texas Rangers All-Time Team?

Here’s a Tweet from Zach Gilbreath that may or may not give insight to who is on the Rangers All-Time Team:

Here is YOUR Texas Rangers All-Time Team: The Infield

FIRST BASE: Rafael Palmeiro

In the 10 seasons, two stints (1989-1993, 1999-2003), with the Texas Rangers Rafael Palmeiro earned three Gold Glove Awards at first base (1997, 1998, 1999), a Silver Slugger Award at first base (1998) and at designated hitter in 1999. His 1,692 hits, 1,039 RBI and 44 stolen bases earned him two trips to the All-Star Game as a member of the Texas Rangers. Palmeiro finished his Texas career with 321 home runs, for a career total of 569 homers. With a career total of 3020 hits, Palmeiro became the 4th player in major league history to a member of both the 500 Home Run Club and the 3,000 Hits Club.

Unfortunately, the only video on MLB.com of Rafael Palmeiro is when he hit his 500th home run on May 11, 2003

SECOND BASE: Ian Kinsler

Ian Kinsler made his MLB debut on April 3, 2006 against the Boston Red Sox, and in his first at-bat he got a hit off Curt Schilling. Kins instantly became a fan favorite, well I was instantly a fan of Kinsler. Even though he was placed on the disabled list due to a dislocated thumb he suffered while sliding head-first into second base and missed 41 games, Kinsler still finished the ’06 season leading the American League second baseman in range factor (5.58) as well as AL rookies with 27 doubles. He also tied the Texas Rangers record for most double plays turned in one game (5), and was named the Texas Rangers 2006 Rookie of the Year.

In the 8 seasons (2006-2013) Ian Kinsler played with the Texas Rangers, he became the 13th member of the 30-30 club twice, hitting 30 home runs and having stole 30 bases in 2009 and 2011. In 2009 he hit for the cycle, while hitting safely in all 6 at-bats. Kinsler is a three time All-Star (2008, 2010, 2012), and until this season held the club record for stolen bases with 172. And just think, the Rangers were set to trade him to the Colorado Rockies for Larry Walker in 2004. I’m glad Walker declined the trade and the fans were treated to see one of the best second baseman the Rangers have ever had.

Ian Kinsler hits for the cycle on April 15, 2009, going 6-for-6.

In the first round of the 2010 playoffs Kinsler hit safely and scored runs in all 5 games, the only other player to hit and score at least once in each of the 5 consecutive postseason games is Nomar Garciaparra. Here’s Kins on October 12 hitting a 2-run homer that gives the Rangers a nice 5-1 lead over Tampa Bay Rays.

In 2011 Kinsler made history when he hit his 2nd lead-off home run in first two games of the season, becoming the first player in ML history to do so.

OK, so this may not be a “making history” moment, but it was a fun moment for me to watch, hope it is for you as well. Kinsler swipes second with ex-Ranger Cliff Lee on the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Get a hit off of Curt Schilling? No problem. Hit a home run off of Felix Hernandez a.k.a. King Felix? Nope, Kinsler will take two, thank you.

July 13, 2013 at Detroit Tigers, Ian Kinsler steals his 162nd base, breaking Texas Rangers all-time stolen base record previously held by Bump Wills. You think the Tigers were scouting Kinsler that day?

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