How they came to be called the Rangers

December 1st, 2021

ARLINGTON -- There have been two Washington Senators and one Interstate 35.

It seems to be a quirk of fate that both Senators ended up on I-35 and followed the same philosophy when it came to selecting a team name.

The first Senators team moved to Minneapolis in 1960 and became the Minnesota Twins. Pretty easy. There was Minneapolis and St. Paul -- the Twin Cities -- so naturally they were called the Minnesota Twins as to not offend either city.

So then came the second Senators, who came into existence in 1961 after the original team abandoned Washington. The second Senators also had trouble making it in the nation’s capital.

Bob Short bought the team in 1968 but had trouble meeting his debt. Short, in a twist of fate, was a hotel/trucking magnate who was based in Minneapolis. After running into all kinds of trouble, he succumbed to the lure of Arlington Mayor Tom Vandergriff and moved the team to Texas in fall 1971.

Arlington is located between Dallas and Fort Worth, so there was no desire to play favorite toward either city. The franchise was identified as Texas. The next step was a nickname, and that was easy in 1971: the Texas Rangers.

The namesake Texas Rangers are an investigative arm of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The organization unofficially was created by Stephen F. Austin, one of the key figures of the Texas Revolution, with a long and colorful history deeply imbedded in the psyche of the state.