Pitting three absolute baseball legends against each other is a tough exercise, because all of them had immeasurable impacts on the Texas Rangers during their careers.
Of the three, only Pudge was homegrown, as Ryan and Beltre both arrived via free agency. That doesn’t go into the decision making here, but it’s an interesting tidbit nonetheless.
Ryan and Beltre both helped the Rangers get to a World Series (two in Ryan’s case), while Pudge was part of the franchise’s first ever playoff team and teams. Both of those accolades are incredibly significant. You can see why GOAT debates are had in the first place.
At the end of the day, though…
Nolan Ryan is the GOAT in Texas Rangers franchise history
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to name Nolan Ryan the Texas Rangers’ GOAT. He’s the namesake of this site, sure, but Ryan’s presence in the organization was felt both on and off the field (in the front office), something which Pudge and Beltre do not have on their resumes.
Ryan was also the franchise’s first ever “big ticket” acquisition as a free agent, and helped changed the culture around Texas Rangers baseball, something which Pudge and Beltre were able to benefit from during their respective tenures in Arlington.
Interestingly, Ryan has the shortest tenure of the three (as a player), but again, coupled with the front office work, the whole package gave him an edge over Pudge and Beltre, both of whom had stout cases in this debate as well.
Honorable mention: Michael Young