Rangers have long history of bizarre moments

Rangers have long history of bizarre moments

Rangers have long history of bizarre moments
Continuing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Senators/Rangers, here are the top 50 strange, bizarre and odd moments in franchise history.

1. Ten-cent Beer Night -- On June 4, 1974, the Rangers were awarded a forfeit in the ninth inning after an altercation between players and fans erupted into a full-scale riot at Cleveland Stadium.

2. Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura -- On Aug. 4, 1993, Ryan hit Ventura with a pitch. The White Sox third baseman took exception and charged the mound, only to find himself in a headlock. Ryan delivered five uppercuts before players from both teams swarmed over them.

3. Jose Canseco on the mound -- The Red Sox led the Rangers, 15-1, in the eighth inning at Fenway Park on May 29, 1993, when Texas manager Kevin Kennedy put Canseco on the mound. He allowed three runs on three hits and three walks, blew out his elbow and was done for the season.

4. A night in Oakland -- Nobody will ever forget the ugly altercation between a fan and the Rangers' bullpen on Sept. 11, 2004, that resulted in Frank Francisco throwing a chair in the stands. He, Carlos Almanzar and Doug Brocail were all suspended.

5. Captain A-Rod -- In trying to smooth ill-feelings between the player and club, the Rangers -- at agent Scott Boras' suggestion -- named Alex Rodriguez as their team captain in January 2004. Two weeks later, the captain was traded to the Yankees.

6. The Hole in the outfield wall -- Rookie slugger Pete Incaviglia created a sensation in Spring Training in 1986 when he smashed a ball that put a hole in the outfield wall at Pompano Beach Park. The wood was actually rotting away, but the Rangers got great PR mileage out of it.

7. One-night manager -- The Rangers used four managers during the 1977 season. Eddie Stanky took the job for one night, managed a 10-8 victory over the Twins and quit the next day.

8. Two cameramen -- Pitcher Kenny Rogers assaulted two cameramen unprovoked before a June 30, 2005, game. A 20-game suspension was eventually reduced, he faced minimal criminal charges and his career proceeded without impediment.

9. Good guy Dave -- Pitcher Dave Stewart showed up at the 1985 Winter Banquet to accept the Harold McKinney Good Guy Award just a few days after being arrested in Los Angeles for solicitation.

10. Frank Lucchesi vs. Lenny Randle -- Unhappy about losing his job to rookie Bump Wills, Randle took his frustrations out on his manager before a Spring Training game in 1977.

11. Final forfeit -- The Washington Senators final game at RFK Stadium in 1971 ended in a forfeit when fans stormed the field in the ninth inning. First base was stolen and the game was called off.

12. Hough loses no-hitter -- Charlie Hough took a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the ninth inning against the Angels in Anaheim on June 16, 1986. George Wright then dropped a one-out fly ball for a two-base error. A single scored the tying run. A walk moved the winning run to second base. A passed ball/strike three brought the run home when Hough forgot to cover the plate.

13. Canseco's head ball -- One of the most famous blooper highlights in baseball history occurred on May 26, 1993, at Cleveland Stadium when Canseco, chasing after Carlos Martinez's deep fly ball, had it hit off the top of his head and bounce over the fence for a home run.

14. Inside back-to-back -- On Aug. 27, 1977, Rangers infielders Toby Harrah and Wills hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs on consecutive pitches against Ken Clay at Yankee Stadium.

15. Ted Williams vs. Bernie Allen -- Apparently Allen, the Senators' starting second baseman, took exception to being pinch-hit for in the third inning of a game on Aug. 2, 1970. Allen was so irate he had to be restrained by six people in the dugout from going after the Senators' legendary manager.

16. The catatonic state -- On April 12, 1978, once-promising pitcher Roger Moret went into a catatonic state before a game at Arlington Stadium, standing motionless in front of his locker for 90 minutes before being hospitalized. His career ended soon after.

17. Fired manager working -- The Rangers fired Don Zimmer halfway through the 1982 season. Nothing strange about that, but Zimmer was asked to manage for three more games after being told he was gone.

18. The rain delay -- The Aug. 12, 1990, game between the Rangers and the White Sox was supposed to start at 1:30 p.m. CT at Comiskey Park. It was pouring rain at the time. It was still pouring eight hours later when the White Sox -- hoping for a window and not wanting to make up the game in Arlington -- called it off. League rules no longer allow clubs to wait that long.

19. Tampa Bay-bound -- Out of nowhere, a press release was handed out on Aug. 26, 1988, announcing the Rangers were being sold to a group from Tampa, Fla. The Rangers would have relocated except Edward Gaylord stepped in and exercised an option to buy the team.

20. Zaun calls shot -- While Juan Gonzalez sat out with a wrist injury, catcher Gregg Zaun played right field in the 1999 Hall of Fame game and "called his shot" by pointing to the right-field seats before hitting a home run off Royals pitcher Jeff Austin.

21. Ameriquest Field -- It was that big bell in left field that was most strange.

22. The paratrooper -- Who will ever forget the U.S. Army Rangers skydiver who got caught on the flagpole at the Ballpark in Arlington last season?

23. Las Vegas night -- One of the crazy promotions introduced by Rangers marketing VP Larry Schmittou in the 1980s was Las Vegas Night. A drawing was held and a lucky fan won a trip to Las Vegas with the stipulation they must leave right from Arlington Stadium. Either that, or Farm and Ranch Night, with players involved in cow-milking contests.

24. Help for Oates -- The date is forgotten, but there was the night at the Ballpark when irate manager Johnny Oates went out to argue a call at third base with umpire Jim McKean and was joined by a young man out of the stands. Oates, spooked by the incident, immediately retreated to the dugout and the fan was whisked away by security.

25. Valentine suspension -- Manager Bobby Valentine was suspended for four games in September 1986. The charge was Valentine accused umpire Larry Barnett of having bet on the game.

26. The dancing bear -- The Beach Boys were a big postgame hit in the 1980s at Arlington Stadium, especially the night that Star-Telegram writer Jim Reeves danced on the press box ledge, all the way down to owner Eddie Chiles' box.

27. Jim Sundberg for Ned Yost -- Still one of the worst trades in Rangers history, especially when Yost went on the disabled list for "excessive eyelid tension." It may be the strangest injury in club history, with the possible exception of pitcher Jim Kern getting hit in the mouth by a throw from his catcher.

28. Ryan Drese vs. Rod Barajas -- Pitcher Drese beat the Royals, 4-3, on May 24, 2005, but only after getting into a dugout brawl with catcher Barajas over pitch selection.

29. Anti-terrorist training -- Once the Rangers were through with Arlington Stadium, the FBI used it one night for anti-terrorist training. An employee gave them permission without telling anybody, and neighbors were alarmed when gunfire was heard from the abandoned facility.

30. Batting practice fight -- Catcher Gerald Laird and Angels infielder Adam Kennedy got into a fight in 2005 during batting practice behind the batting cage while their two owners -- Tom Hicks and Arte Moreno -- were exchanging pleasantries nearby.

31. Loudmouth batboy -- The Rangers had a batboy who once made disparaging remarks about Howard Cosell over a live field microphone during a broadcast. He had to wear a piece of tape over his mouth the next time the Rangers were on national television.

32. Watch your fingers -- Hough started the 1986 season on the disabled list after breaking his pinkie finger while shaking hands with a teammate. Oddibe McDowell sliced a finger at the '87 Welcome Home Luncheon, and Kevin Brown did the same reaching inside his shaving kit for a razor.

33. Who needs tickets? -- The Rangers hosted the 1995 All-Star Game and Ed Vosberg -- one of true good guys on the team -- was arrested for scalping tickets at what would have been a nominal profit for a relative.

34. Greenberg's departure -- Chuck Greenberg spent almost two years doing the heavy lifting in putting together a group to buy the Rangers. After leading the Rangers down a long and tortuous road, Greenberg abruptly resigned in Spring Training seven months after his dream was realized.

35. And threw 300 pitches -- Bobby Witt threw five innings against the Brewers in his second Major League start. He gave up two runs without allowing a hit. He walked eight, threw four wild pitches and struck out 10.

36. The Kennedy explosion -- After his team blew a 5-1 lead and lost, 7-5, to the Twins, manager Kennedy threw a profanity-laced tirade in the visiting clubhouse that reverberated all through the Metrodome labyrinth. He punctuated the outburst by smashing a mirror in his office with a hot baked potato.

37. Ryan dumped -- Ryan, pitching a terrific game against the Athletics on Aug. 6, 1992, was ejected in the top of the eighth inning by home-plate umpire Richie Garcia when he hit Willie Wilson with a pitch. The two players had exchanged words earlier in the game after a triple by Wilson. The crowd of 36,712 erupted by throwing debris on the field, holding up the game for 30 minutes.

38. Tarp Slide -- The Rangers celebrated at 2008 rainout at Shea Stadium with a group tarp slide. Milton Bradley, Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Ian Kinsler were among those who went sliding headfirst on the rain-soaked tarp after the game was called.

39. No stars for Juan -- Gonzalez staged a one-man boycott of the 1999 All-Star Game after failing to earn a starting spot in the fan voting. Gonzalez was the reigning American League MVP Award winner and was having another great season.

40. Oscar Acosta -- His 2002 reign as pitching coach came to an end after just a few months. He was fired on a June flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh after he told a newspaper that he had nobody to talk baseball with on the coaching staff. The Rangers had almost fired him in Spring Training anyway and were sick of him.

41. The Reign of the Tahitian warlord -- Doug Rader's entire two-plus years as manager were strange, from his clashes with umpires, opposing players, media and his own players. He also crashed his car into the same tree every day in Spring Training.

42. Frank Howard's Nestle's Quik commercial -- This beauty can be found on YouTube.

43. The wrong guy -- The Rangers, in 1992, were upset that Orioles first baseman Glenn Davis had spiked catcher Ivan Rodriguez the night before. They brought reliever Danilo Leon into the game in the sixth inning to settle the score. He got the wrong guy and hit Cal Ripken Jr. with a pitch instead.

44. R.A. Dickey -- His career is still going strong, but the Rangers using their No. 1 pick in 1996 to draft a pitcher without an ulna collateral ligament ranks up there.

45. Hart's winter -- The Rangers' first Winter Meetings under general manager John Hart resulted in trades for outfielder Carl Everett and pitcher John Rocker.

46. The longest save -- After Aaron Myette was thrown out of a game after throwing just two pitches, the Rangers beat the Orioles, 7-1, on Sept. 3, 2002, and Joaquin Benoit set a Major League record with a seven-inning save. Jerry Hairston's ninth-inning triple kept Myette, winning pitcher Todd Van Poppel and Benoit from combining on a no-hitter.

47. Honoring the sabbath -- Second-year pitcher Edwin Correa showed up in Spring Training in 1987 and announced that he would not pitch from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday because of religious beliefs. That would have made it difficult on the rotation except injuries intervened and it never became a factor.

48. Ducking snow -- Oates had to take his team off the field during the Brewers' home opener in 1998 because fans were pelting his players with snowballs. Only threat of forfeit stopped the bombardment.

49. Mickey sings -- The quality of national anthem performances in Arlington has always varied, from Van Cliburn on down. But only a few have botched the words the way former Monkees singer Mickey Dolenz did back in 1987.

50. One ball, one save -- The Rangers led Houston, 9-6, on June 14, 2002, when Randy Flores came in to pitch with a runner on first and two outs. Flores threw one pitch and it was a ball. Catcher Rodriguez then picked off Richard Hidalgo at first base to end the game and Flores was credited with a save.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.