Who is the ‘GOAT’ in Texas Rangers franchise history?

Seth Carlson
Aug 14, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Former Texas Rangers Adrian Beltre (L) and Ivan Rodriguez (R) walk off the field after the Hall of Fame induction ceremony before the game against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 14, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Former Texas Rangers Adrian Beltre (L) and Ivan Rodriguez (R) walk off the field after the Hall of Fame induction ceremony before the game against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 29, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Former Texas Rangers pitchers Nolan Ryan (center) and Kenny Rogers (right) pose for a photo with the Rangers mascot between the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees between the Rangers and the New York Yankees in the final home game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Former Texas Rangers pitchers Nolan Ryan (center) and Kenny Rogers (right) pose for a photo with the Rangers mascot between the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees between the Rangers and the New York Yankees in the final home game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

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.

Next. Making a case for former Rangers on the 2022 HOF ballot. dark

Honorable mention: Michael Young

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