1972 – Present
Futility and instability defined the Texas Rangers in the 1970s and 1980s. Owner Rob Short transferred the second incarnation of the Washington Senators to Arlington, Texas in 1972. The old tradition continued, though, as Texas lost 205 games in two years. The first brought Ted Williams‘s managerial career to an end. Brad Corbett, who made his money in plastic pipes, acquired the Rangers in May 1974. Manager Billy Martin led the team to second place that season but had burned out by mid-1975. In 1977, Corbett employed four different managers (counting Eddie Stanky, who quit after one day, and interim Connie Ryan). The fourth, Billy Hunter, guided the club to a Ranger-record 94 victories. But cash-poor Corbett all but dismantled the team, and let young pitchers Dave Righetti and Jim Clancy escape as well. Mediocrity was the order under Eddie Chiles, who bought the Rangers in February 1980 and allowed GM Eddie Robinson to deal two more young pitchers, Walt Terrell and Ron Darling, for Lee Mazzilli. In 1985 Bobby Valentine (the team’s 13th manager in 15 seasons), innovative pitching coach Tom House, and the president-GM combo of Mike Stone and Tom Grieve began a patient building plan. A devotion to scouting in Latin America introduced young stars such as Ruben Sierra. Chiles, fading in the oil bust, sold out to a group led by George W. Bush, son of the president, in March 1989. Bush began negotiations for a new stadium as neighboring Dallas opened a campaign to usurp the team just as Arlington had from the nation’s capital in 1972.