Originally posted on Our Game:
George Wright (1847-1937), the first hero of the professional era in baseball, presented this little essay in person at the Columbia Historical Society in Washington, D.C. on May 20, 1919. It was published by the Society in the following year. Much of what Wright relates predates his earliest experience of playing the game, at age 14 in 1861, and is a bit of an undigested hash. But baseball was surely discussed in his household when he was a tyke, for his brother Harry had joined the Knickerbocker Baseball Club in 1857, and his father, Sam, had been the professional of the St. George’s Cricket Club before that, and must have been present for early baseball matches. Some material may also reflect the received wisdom of Henry Chadwick and Albert Spalding, especially as gleaned from the latter’s America’s National Game (1911). Caveats aside, this is an interesting recollection…
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Video from Josh Hamilton’s press conference before his first game back in Arlington:
The Rangers experiment with Carlos Peguero has come to an end, at least for now. The Rangers have designated Peguero for assignment to make room for pitcher Phil Klein, who was called up on Wednesday to start against the Red Sox.
The move opens the way for Josh Hamilton to take over in left field as early as Monday in Cleveland. Hamilton was 1-for-4 with a two-run home run for Double A Frisco on Wednesday. Hamilton is expected to play Thursday through Saturday at Triple A Round Rock and then be activated off the disabled list on Monday when the Rangers open a three-game series against the Indians.
Peguero was signed by the Rangers as a Minor League free agent in the off-season. He came with a reputation for having tremendous power and a high strikeout rate. He impressed the Rangers in Spring Training by showing significant improvement in his patience and ability to use all the fields.
But he could not consistently duplicate that success at the Major League level after being called up on April 11. He is hitting .186 with a .310 on-base percentage and a .414 slugging percentage in 30 games and 84 plate appearances. He had four home runs and nine RBI. He also had 36 strikeouts in 70 at-bats.
He had a briefly flurry of success in three games in Houston back on May 5-7, going 5-for-11 with three home runs. But he is 2-for-24 with 14 strikeouts since then. His last home run was on May 9 at Tampa Bay.
In his career, Peguero has averaged a strikeout for every 2.50 plate appearances. That is the worst rate for an American League player with a minimum of 300 plate appearances since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973.
Phil Klein starts for the Rangers on Wednesday. He will be the 240th starting pitcher in Rangers history. Charlie Hough is still the all-time leader with 313 starts.
Hough threw 13 innings against the Twins on June 11, 1986, the longest outing ever by a Rangers pitcher. Hough didn’t get the win. The Rangers needed 16 innings to beat the Twins that night.
Ryan did not allow a run that night, one of seven times a Rangers starter pitched into extra innings and did not allow a run. The longest was Steve Hargan. He did not allow a run in 11 1/3 innings against the Angels on June 23, 1975.
Bert Blyleven pitched back-to-back shutouts for the Rangers on June 21 and 26, 1976. Both times he pitched ten innings with a final score of 1-0. He allowed one hit in the first game. Ten in the other.
Ryan threw 166 pitches against the Royals in eight innings on Sept. 12, 1989. That’s the most ever by a Rangers starter since they officially began counting pitches in 1988.
The fewest thrown pitches was by Aaron Myette. He threw just two against the Orioles in 2002. He got tossed from the game for throwing at the first hitter. He is one of four Rangers starters to throw less than ten pitches in a start. Derek Holland had nine at the home opener. Brandon McCarthy had seven against the Tigers on Sept. 15, 2008. Darren Oliver had four against the White Sox on May 7, 2001.
Klein is the sixth Rangers starter who was born in Ohio. There have been 22 born in Texas. California leads the way among U.S states with 35. Illinois is third with 13.
There has never been a Rangers starting pitcher born in Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island or Wyoming.
But there has been one born in Arizona (Doug Mathis), Delaware (Chris Welsh), Maine (Stan Thomas), Nebraska (Rick Henniger), New Hampshire (Bob Tewksbury), North Dakota (Rick Helling), Oregon (Eric Gunderson), South Carolina (Eric Moody), South Dakota (Justin Duchscherer) and Vermont (Len Whitehouse).
Among countries, 14 Rangers starters were born in the Dominican Republic. Next is Mexico with six, Puerto Rico with five and Venezuela with three.
There have been 27 pitchers who have made just one start for the Rangers. Of those 27, Josh Rupe, John Poloni and Larry McCall are the only three to win that start.
There have been 15 games where the Rangers starter failed to record an out. Only one starter never recorded an out with the Rangers. Wilson Alvarez allowed three runs in his Major League debut against the Blue Jays on July 24, 1989. He was soon traded to the White Sox.
Ryan twice failed to record an out in a start. That includes the last start of his career against the Mariners on Sept. 22, 1993 when he faced six batters without getting an out before blowing out his elbow.
Lisalverto Bonilla (3-0) and Mike Marshall (2-0) are the only two undefeated starters with more than one win.
Mike Bacsik Sr. and Mike Bacsik Jr. both made three starts.
The Rangers have had three 20-game winners: Ferguson Jenkins (25 in 1974), Kevin Brown (21 in 1992) and Rick Helling (20 in 1998). They have had 16 pitchers start a game for them who were 20-game winners in other organizations.
1. Nolan Ryan
2. Gaylord Perry
3. John Burkett
4. Bert Blyleven
5. Esteban Loaiza
6. Dave Stewart
7. Jamie Moyer
8. Bill Hands
9. Jim Merritt
10. Cliff Lee
11. Clyde Wright
12. Bill Singer
13. Roy Oswalt
14. Ed Figueroa
15. Scott Erickson
16. Fritz Peterson
In the latest announcement on a morning of roster moves, the Rangers have designated reliever Kyuji Fujikawa and purchased the contract of right-hander Ross Ohlendorf.
Since being activated from the disabled list Thursday, Fujikawa has allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief. The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Fujikawa to the Minors.
Ohlendorf has not made a Major League appearance since September 18, 2013 with the Nationals. He was 2-1 with a 4.35 ERA in nine relief appearances for Triple-A Round Rock.
Rangers left-handed starter Ross Detwiler is headed to the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left shoulder.
Detwiler began feeling pain Friday after he threw a career-high 108 pitches in five innings Thursday in a loss to the Royals. Detwiler is 0-5 this season with a 6.95 ERA.
28-year-old right-hander Tanner Scheppers will take Detwiler’s roster spot after being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock. Scheppers was a candidate to be the Rangers setup-man this season, but was sent down after posting an 11.25 ERA in five appearances in April.