Who are greatest Rangers of all time?
There was nothing easy about coming up with the top 40 Texas Rangers of all time.
Sure, there are some obvious names. But when you're talking about four decades of baseball -- even if the club wasn't in contention most of those years -- it's difficult to pare down the list. So there were some worthy players left off out.
The criteria for determining the top Rangers included the impact made on the field and off. It's weighted heavily toward on-field accomplishments, but the commitment many have made to the Rangers off the field after their playing days were over had to be considered. And you had to wear a uniform to be on the list.
With that in mind, our choice for No. 1 shouldn't surprise anyone. Nolan Ryan not only drove up ticket sales every time he pitched in Arlington in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but he returned to the organization in 2008 and helped bring about the club's rise to one of the American League's powers. It was Ryan who hoisted the AL championship trophy at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington after ALCS wins against the New York Yankees in 2010 and the Detroit Tigers in 2011.
I can't think that No. 2 will bother Rangers fans, either. For many, the first player that comes to mind in a Rangers uniform is Pudge Rodriguez, who made 10 consecutive All-Star appearances, including nine starts. He won 10 straight Gold Gloves and helped anchor a Rangers club that won three AL West crowns in the late 1990s.
But the biggest common thread on our list is the number of current Rangers that appear on it. That's what happens when the club is in the middle of its best years. The key players and manager Ron Washington are all over this top-40 list because they were critical in getting the club to two consecutive World Series.
Who's missing from our list? Who is ranked too high or too low? Should Josh Hamilton be No. 3?
Put together your list of top Rangers and let us know why you ordered them the way you did.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.