Rangers Vault: The Express to 300

March 17th, 2022

MLB.com is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

Sept. 30, 1989: Nolan’s 300th strikeout
Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan surpassed 300 strikeouts six times in his 27-year career. The last of those seasons was his first with the Rangers. In 1989, Ryan led the Major Leagues with 301. Strikeout No. 300 came in the second-to-last game of the season, when Ryan pitched a complete game and notched 13 strikeouts to power Texas to a 2-0 win over the Angels.

July 18, 2002: A-Rod shows off Gold Glove defense
The Rangers’ former franchise shortstop was often known for his dingers, but he also won two Gold Glove Awards during his three years with Texas. In 2002, the first of his Gold Glove seasons, Rodriguez displayed his prowess against the Mariners at The Ballpark in Arlington. He made a diving stop and a long throw from deep in the hole to rob former teammate Edgar Martinez of a hit.

Aug. 17, 2004: Teixeira dominates from both sides, gets cycle
Mark Teixeira was the Rangers’ first-round selection in the 2001 MLB Draft and wasted no time getting to the big leagues and producing at the plate. In 2004, his second season in the big leagues, the first baseman became just the second Rangers to hit for the cycle at the time. Texas won a 16-4 matchup with Cleveland at The Ballpark in Arlington behind Teixeira’s 4-for-5 night. The switch-hitter also got two hits from each side of the plate and finished with seven RBIs.

Sept. 5, 2002: A-Rod’s 49th, 50th homers of the season
Though the Rangers failed to reach .500 in all three seasons in which Alex Rodriguez was the franchise shortstop, A-Rod kept up his end of the deal on the field. In 2002, he notched the second of his three 50-homer seasons with a career-high 57 long balls. In an 11-2 rout of the Orioles at Camden Yards, Rodriguez’s two-homer game gave him Nos. 49 and 50.

May 11, 2003: Palmeiro launches home run No. 500
Rangers great Rafael Palmeiro hit his 500th career home run off Cleveland’s Dave Elder at The Ballpark in Arlington in the seventh inning of a 17-10 win for Texas. At the time, he was the 19th member of the 500-homer club. Palmeiro later became the fourth Major Leaguer to reach 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.

Aug. 2, 1987: Witt strikes out four in an inning
Bobby Witt was drafted by the Rangers with the third overall pick in the 1985 MLB Draft. He debuted in 1986 without having recorded a single win in the Minors. During his sophomore season in 1987, Witt -- who was nicknamed "Witt 'n Wild" due to his control issues -- recorded four strikeouts in one inning en route to a win over the Orioles. In the victorious effort, he struck out 11 Baltimore hitters over 8 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and six walks.

April 1, 2001: A-Rod’s first hit with the Rangers
The Rangers and Alex Rodriguez effectively broke the baseball world when the two sides agreed to a historic 10-year, $252 million deal prior to the 2001 season. On Opening Day, he quickly got off to a hot start. He notched his first hit as a member of the Rangers with a single through the left side of the infield to kick off a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Texas’ only run of the game was scored by Rodriguez on an RBI double from Rafael Palmeiro the following at-bat, but the Rangers ultimately fell 8-1 to the Blue Jays.

June 5, 2002: Gonzalez clubs home run No. 400
Juan Gonzalez reunited with the Rangers, the club that first signed him, before the 2002 season, and it worked out in his favor. During his second stint with Texas, he connected for his 400th career home run. Gonzalez pulled the first pitch he saw from Anaheim’s Jarrod Washburn to deep left-center field for one of his biggest career homers. He was the first Puerto Rican-born player to hit 400 home runs, and his milestone placed him 34th on the all-time home run list at the time. Gonzalez’s historic day wasn’t enough though, as the Rangers fell, 7-5, to the Angels at Edison Field.

April 9, 1989: Sierra walks it off vs. Toronto
Early in the 1989 season, the Rangers were 3-1 heading into the finale of a three-game set with the Blue Jays. In front of 19,498 fans at Arlington Stadium, the Rangers got out to an early lead, but fell behind 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning. With one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Ruben Sierra -- then in his first stint with Texas -- delivered a walk-off two-run homer just over the right-field wall to secure the 3-2 victory.

April 13, 1999: Pudge's nine-RBI game
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez’s American League MVP season in 1999 got off to a hot start in April, when the Rangers smashed the Mariners 15-6 at the Kingdome at Arlington. On that day, Pudge set a Texas club record, knocking in nine runs in the first three innings of his 4-for-5 day at the plate. He hit a three-run shot into the second deck in the second inning and added his first career grand slam in the third as the Rangers completed a rout of Seattle. He had a chance to tie the Major League record of 12 RBIs when he was at the plate with two runners on in the fifth, but he ultimately flied out.