1. Nolan Ryan (1989-93): There are few pitchers or players who made as big of a stamp on the game than Ryan. And his five-season swan song with the Rangers not only provided historical moments and milestones but gave the organization and North Texas a legitimate baseball identity. Although he’s not among many of the Rangers’ all-time statistics because of his short tenure, he presence still looms large in Arlington.
2. Pudge Rodriguez (1991-2003, 09): He not only was the cornerstone catcher in the major leagues during his career, he was the cornerstone of the Rangers’ rise in the late ’90s, which included the club’s first three post-season appearances. He’s among the top five Rangers career leaders in games, at-bats, hits, doubles, triples, homers, RBIs, runs and batting average.
3. Adrian Beltre (2011-current): As the 38-year-old third baseman closes in on 3,000 hits, his reputation continues to climb. Only two third basemen (Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Eddie Matthews) have better lifetime WAR than Beltre’s 91.5. When his career is over — and if his production this season is any indication, it could last several more years — he’ll finish among the top five third basemen in most offensive categories. He only needs 23 RBIs to pass Chipper Jones with the most RBIs (1,624) by a third baseman.
4. Michael Young (2000-13): No player ever played more games, took more at-bats, scored more runs or collected more hits in a Rangers’ uniform than Michael Young. The team player who moved to second base for Alex Rodriguez and then again for Elvis Andrus, and then moved from third to first for Beltre, always put the team first. He’s the club’s all-time leader in doubles (415), triples (55) and drove in 984 RBIs, third-most in franchise history. His .301 career batting average reflects his steadiness.
5. Juan Gonzalez (1989-99, 2002-03): Along with Pudge, Juando helped put the Rangers on the map in the mid-to-late ’90s. He had five 40-plus homer seasons, including a league-leading 43 and 46 in 1992 and ’93. His club-record 157 RBIs in 1998 is tied for 27th-most in a season. Since ’98 only Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez have driven in more RBIs in a season. Seven of his eight 100-RBI seasons came with the Rangers, and he still holds the club’s all-time records for homers (372) and RBIs (1,180).
6. Ferguson Jenkins (1974-75, 78-01): Only three pitchers won more games for the Rangers than Jenkins, who was 93-72 over two stints with the club. Club record 17 shutouts and second with 90 complete games. Although perhaps known more as a Chicago Cub (he played 10 seasons with the Cubs), the right-handed Canadian won a career-high 25 games with the Rangers in 1974, which led the league, along with 29 complete games. He led the league in complete games four times, including three times with the Cubs. He received Cy Young votes in six season and won the award in ’71 with the Cubs.
7. Rafael Palmeiro (1989-93, 99-03): During two stints with the Rangers, only Young played more games or compiled more at-bats in a Rangers uniform than Palmeiro. He is third all-time with the club in hits (1,692), third in doubles (321), second in homers (321), RBIs (1,039) and runs scored (958). Palmeiro had a Hall of Fame-level career, with four All-Star Games and MVP votes in 10 seasons, but his involvement in the performance enhancement drug scandal near the end of his career has tainted his legacy, along with many others, including Gonzalez.