4 Greatest Pitchers in Rangers History

Ranking the greatest pitchers in Rangers history, including Charlie Hough.
Ranking the greatest pitchers in Rangers history, including Charlie Hough. / Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Established in 1961 as the Washington Senators, the franchise took on the name Texas Rangers when they moved to the Lone Star State in 1972. They have never won a World Series, and came closest to doing so in 2010 and '11 losing in back-to-back appearances.

Despite this, there have been some all-time greats who have taken the mound for the Rangers. Here are the top four pitchers in franchise history.

4. Nolan Ryan (1989-93)

He was only with the Rangers in his later years, but Nolan Ryan was one of the best to ever throw a baseball. Even in Texas he proved his dominance well into his 40's. His WHIP and hits per nine innings both lead the franchise, and his strikeouts per nine is currently second behind Yu Darvish. Ryan also has the fifth best ERA in Rangers history. Most of his career accomplishments came before his days with Texas, but he was an All-Star in his first season with the club, and he led the MLB in strikeouts in his first two. His No. 34 was retired with the Rangers as a member of the franchise Hall of Fame. Later, Ryan was inducted into the Cooperstown on his first ballot. He is now a member of the MLB All-Century Team.

3. Ferguson Jenkins (1974-75, 78-81)

The second Hall of Fame pitcher to play for the Texas Rangers, only Ferguson Jenkins did it in two separate stints with the team. Despite his talent, Fergie moved around a ton during his career, similar to Ryan. In his five total seasons with Texas, Jenkins ranks third in all-time franchise WAR, fourth in wins, eighth in ERA, second in WHIP, first in walks per nine, second in complete games and first in shutouts. He was also the MLB wins leader in 1974.

2. Kenny Rogers (1989-95, 2000-02, 04-05)

A common theme for Texas seems to be that they never keep their star pitchers for their entire careers. Kenny Rogers started as an outfielder with the Rangers, but developed into a starter on the mound. He is now second on the all-time club list for both WAR and wins. Rogers was a four-time Gold Glover with Texas, as well as a three-time All-Star. He even pitched a perfect game for the franchise in 1994. The three-stint Ranger is now a member of the team's Hall of Fame.

1. Charlie Hough (1980-90)

Some of the reason for Charlie Hough's ascension to number one on this list is the amount of time he spent with Texas. Although he pitched for four teams in total, including spending 11 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he's still the Rangers franchise leader in innings pitched. He was not unsuccessful during his tenure either, finishing first in WAR, wins, complete games and strikeouts for the club. He was an All-Star in 1986 and is a member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

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