Here are some of the Rangers' best reunions

December 3rd, 2020

ARLINGTON -- Former Rangers outfielders Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields, and infielder Hanser Alberto became free agents on Wednesday when they were non-tendered by their former clubs. And remember, Mitch Moreland is also a free agent and Texas could use help at first base.

Could a reunion with the Rangers be in store for any of them? That might be considered a surprise, but actually the reverse could be true. Texas specializes in reunions with former players, even those who may have departed harboring ill will toward the club.

Of the 16 players enshrined in the Rangers Hall of Fame, 10 had a least two tours in Arlington.

Here are 17 notable Rangers player reunions through the years.

Gaylord Perry (1975-77, '80): Perry played for eight teams in his Hall of Fame career, but the Rangers are the only club he played for twice. He won two Cy Young Awards, one with the Indians in '72 before coming to Texas and the other in '78 with the Padres after leaving the Rangers.

Ferguson Jenkins (1974-75, '78-81): The Red Sox eagerly acquired Jenkins in '75 because they thought he would be the badly needed No. 1 starter for a championship team. Instead, Jenkins clashed with manager Don Zimmer, was considered washed up and was traded back to Texas. He had a few more good seasons in Texas and Zimmer wound up his manager again, with the Rangers in '81.

Jim Sundberg (1974-83, '88-89): Sundberg was one of the best catchers in baseball during his first 10 years with the Rangers. But he and manager Doug Rader were a bad match, and Sundberg was traded to Milwaukee. He won a World Series with the Royals in '85, then finished back in Texas with Bobby Valentine as manager. The JAWS method for ranking players has him higher than at least three Hall of Fame catchers.

Buddy Bell (1979-85, '89): Bell was an All-Star third baseman for the Rangers before he was traded in '85 when the club went through a rebuilding phase. The Rangers brought him back as a free agent in '89, but bad knees eventually forced his retirement.

Juan Gonzalez (1989-99, 2002-03): The Rangers traded Gonzalez to Detroit when it became clear they would not be able to sign him to a long-term contract. Two years later, he was back in Texas on a two-year deal. Gonzalez could still hit, but injuries began bringing down his career.


Ivan Rodriguez (1991-2002, '09): Rodriguez’s second tour with the Rangers lasted six weeks at the end of the '09 season. Texas didn’t re-sign him, and he spent two years with the Nationals. How cool would it have been if Rodriguez had been back with the Rangers when they won the pennant in '10-11?

Kenny Rogers (1989-95, 2000-02, '04-05): Rogers had an excellent 20-year career, but it also included numerous salary disputes and clashes with management and media. He was terrible in the postseason for the Yankees in 1996 and brilliant for the Tigers in 2006. He never pitched in the postseason for the Rangers.

Josh Hamilton (2008-12, '15): Hamilton left Texas after five tremendous seasons with the Rangers and signed a five-year deal with the Angels. It was a big mistake on both sides. Hamilton’s personal issues arose again with the Angels, and they unloaded him back to Texas for nothing in '15. Hamilton had one more postseason run for the Rangers before bad knees brought his career to a close.

Ruben Sierra (1986-92, 2000-01, '03): In 1992, the Rangers traded Sierra and pitchers Bobby Witt and Jeff Russell to the Athletics for Jose Canseco. That ended a terrific seven-year run for Sierra in Texas. He spent the next 14 years as basically a hired bat, bouncing from one team to another, including two more tours with the Rangers.

Jeff Russell (1985-92, '95-96): Russell, who was originally acquired from the Reds, was the first of the Canseco Three to return to Texas. He was an effective reliever in '95-96, helped the Rangers to their first division title, and then retired.

Bobby Witt (1986-92, 1995-98): The Rangers re-acquired Witt from the Marlins in 1995. He won 16 games for Texas' '96 American League West champion team and earned a World Series ring for the D-backs in 2001.

Rafael Palmeiro (1989-93, '99-2003): Palmeiro's first tour with the Rangers ended in bitterness when the club signed Will Clark instead. His second tour started off well, with the 1999 AL West title, but then Texas fell apart. Palmeiro left after four consecutive losing seasons, signed with the Orioles, was accused by Canseco of using steroids and then suspended when he actually tested positive. That crushed what should have been rock-solid Hall of Fame credentials.

Mike Napoli (2011-12, '15, '17): Have bat, will travel and play anywhere asked, even left field. Napoli was in the postseason during eight of his 12 Major League seasons. It was not by accident.

Darren Oliver (1993-98, 2000-01, '10-11): Another three-tour Ranger, the real story with Oliver was how he went from a 12-year mediocre starter just about done with baseball to an eight-year run as an excellent reliever.

Toby Harrah (1972-78, '85-86): Harrah drew 113 walks for the Rangers in '85. With all the great hitters that have run through Arlington, that's still the club record.

Colby Lewis (2002-04, '10-16): Lewis' career was all but over until he went to Japan in '08. After two years there, he returned a much better pitcher and became a huge fan favorite in Texas.

Steve Buechele (1985-91, ’95): His nine-game reunion with the Rangers in '95 didn’t go too well. The strangest part surrounding the re-signing is that Texas worked out the deal on the same night it hosted the '95 All-Star Game.