Dallas Rangers

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Not to be confused with the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball.
Dallas Rangers
19581964
Dallas, Texas
Class-level
Previous
  • Triple-A (1959–1964)
  • Double-A (1958)
Minor league affiliations
League Pacific Coast League (1963–1964)
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
Previous
Team data
Previous names
  • Dallas Rangers (1958–1959), (1964)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers (1960–1963)
Previous parks
Burnett Field

The Dallas Rangers were a high-level minor league baseball team located in Dallas, Texas from 1958 to 1964. The team was known by the Dallas Rangers name in 1958, 1959, and 1964 and as the Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers from 1960 to 1963. It played in the Double-A Texas League in 1958, the Triple-A American Association from 1959 to 1962 and the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 1963 and 1964. Its home stadium was Burnett Field.

Storied Texas League franchises[edit]

Both Dallas and Fort Worth had long and storied histories in the Texas League.

The Dallas club had had many nicknames since its founding in 1902 including the Griffins (1902), Giants (1903–1918), Marines (1919), Submarines (1920–1921), Steers (1922–1938), Rebels (1939–1942, 1946–1947) and Eagles (1948–1957), before it was dubbed the Rangers in 1958,[1] its final TL campaign.

The Fort Worth team was called the Panthers (1902–1931) and the Cats (1932–1942, 1946–1958, 1964).

Admission to Triple-A baseball[edit]

In 1959, the American Association expanded and admitted both cities, Dallas as an unaffiliated club and Fort Worth as an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Dallas outdrew Fort Worth, 130,000 to 97,000, and the two teams were merged in 1960 as the top farm team of the Kansas City Athletics. The Dallas Cowboys, Clint Murchison's new NFL franchise, were originally to be called the "Dallas Rangers" because the baseball team's owners had told him in 1959 that they were disbanding. When the owners reversed course the following year, Murchison volunteered to rename his new team to avoid confusion.[2]

The Rangers struggled on the field and at the gate in 1960, finishing last and drawing only 113,000 fans. In 1961, the team was affiliated with the expansion Los Angeles Angels, and then in 1962 the Angels split the working agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies. During this two-year period, the Rangers featured future MLB stars such as the Angels' Jim Fregosi and Dean Chance. But they continued to lag behind other Association members in attendance.

When the American Association itself folded after the 1962 season, the Rangers joined the Pacific Coast League and affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, inheriting the players of the defunct Vancouver Mounties. The 1963 Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers, managed by Jack McKeon and led by Triple-A rookie Tony Oliva, who hit .304 with 23 home runs, finally reached the .500 level. But the Minnesota affiliation lasted only that one season.

Final season and relocation to Canada[edit]

The lowly Kansas City A's returned as the team's parent in 1964. Moreover, that season the Texas League placed a team (another Cubs' affiliate) in Fort Worth, and the Rangers reverted to their Dallas-only identity.

The last Dallas Rangers club, managed by John McNamara, won only 53 of 157 PCL games. Starting pitchers Lew Krausse and Bill Landis lost 19 and 17 games, respectively. The team drew only 39,000 fans all season. The franchise then moved in 1965 to, ironically, Vancouver. The Dallas-Fort Worth regional name was then applied to the Texas League club, which played in Arlington and became known as the Spurs through 1971. The old nickname Rangers was revived for the major league Texas Rangers, who moved to Turnpike (renamed Arlington) Stadium in 1972.

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dallas TL Club Named Rangers". Dallas Morning News. 1958-03-18. 
  2. ^ "Dallas Eleven Changes Made". New York Times. 1960-03-20. p. S4. 

Additional reading[edit]