Moments are brief flashes in time that normally last only a brief period of time. They can bring joy and sadness. They can be exhilarating or debilitating. They can be easily forgotten or live forever. In sports, these moments come unexpectedly. It can be a half-court shot to win an NCAA tournament game. It can be a home run in the bottom of the 9th to win the World Series. The Texas Rangers have had many special moments in their history. I have decided to try and narrow it down to the top five moments in Texas Rangers history.
Number 5: Gonzalez Gets to 100 RBIs before the All-Star Break
Juan Gonzalez in the 1990s was an RBI machine. Every season that played 162 games he drove in over 100 runs. 1994 and 1995 were shortened seasons due to the strike that persisted from August 1994 to April 1995. He added to that legend in 1998. The story of 1998 heading into the All Star break was about the home run chase between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Sosa had just come off a 20-home run June to make it a two-man race.
The last game of the first half matched up Seattle and Texas. Randy Johnson started for Seattle and Gonzalez had 97 RBIs. That is already an astonishing number. He had one more game to get to 100. He got the scoring started in the first with a 2-run home run to get to 99 RBIs. Then he struck out in his next two at-bats. He came back up in the 7th in what would likely be his last at-bat of the night and he did this.
Juan Gonzalez hit that 2-run home to surpass 100 and get to 101. It was a 90s baseball moment as he hit it off Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr in center nearly brought it back. He fist-pumped his way around the bases and then came out for a curtain call. The story in Denver for All-Star week was not just about Roger Maris and if Sosa or McGwire would pass him. It became also about Hack Wilson and his RBI record of 191 that he achieved in 1930 and if Gonzalez could pass it. Sportscenter after the break started keeping track of Gonzalez and his RBI total. He cooled off after the break but still ended up with 157 RBIs which is a tie for the 27th-best RBI total season, but one of the best in the modern era.