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Emotional Sierra enters Rangers Hall

Emotional Sierra enters Rangers Hall

ARLINGTON -- Ruben Sierra, as Tom Grieve put it in introducing him, was one of the most exciting players to ever wear a Texas Rangers uniform.

On Saturday evening, that excitement and charisma bubbled over into tearful, heartfelt emotion as Sierra spoke of both his parents and his son, Ruben Sierra Jr., in accepting induction into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

The Rangers surprised Sierra by flying in Ruben Jr. from Arizona, where he is playing for their rookie league team after being selected in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Father and son shared a long and emotional hug on the field before Sierra was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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"I came from Puerto Rico and a humble background," Sierra said. "My father passed away when I was 4 years old. ... My mother raised five kids. My father's last words to my mother were, 'Take care of my little boy.' Which is exactly what she did.

"My mother told me, to find success in life, you first have to find your passion, and then you have to do everything you can to keep that passion alive. I did exactly that ... and my dream turned into a reality when I became a Texas Ranger."

Struggling in vain to keep his emotions in check, Sierra looked at his son and said, "The best part is I get to relive my dream all over again. I couldn't be more proud. ... I hope you extend the same degree of love to my son Ruben."

When he was finished, Sierra was given a standing ovation from the crowd as he hugged Toby Harrah, his former manager who was also inducted into the Rangers Hall on Saturday night.

Harrah was joined by his wife, Jan, his four children -- Toby Jr., Thomas, Haley and Katie -- and other members of his family. Harrah's emotion was one of pure excitement and joy.

"Texas Rangers Hall of Fame ... all right!" Harrah said, raising his arms over his head after being introduced by former pitcher Steve Busby. "What a surprise. I never thought it would happen."

Harrah goes back to the beginning, a 22-year regular shortstop for the Washington Senators in 1971 who went with the team to Texas and was one of their first young top stars. He was the Rangers' first All-Star in '72 and spent seven years in Texas before being traded to Cleveland. Grieve, as general manager, reacquired him from the New York Yankees in '85 and Harrah played his final two seasons with the Rangers.

He was the last of the Senators and original Rangers to still be playing.

"I was so proud to wear the Texas Rangers uniform," Harrah said. "It all went so fast. I wish I could do it all over again. I didn't play for stats, I played to win and to compete and play against the best players in the world. Some were my teammates.

"If this can happen to me, it can happen to anybody."

Harrah was a three-time All-Star while with the Rangers and the club's 1975 Player of the Year. Sierra was a four-time Rangers Player of the Year and a three-time All-Star.

They are still both in the Rangers' career top 10 in just about every offensive category. Sierra still holds the single-season record with 14 triples in 1989, and Harrah holds the single-season record with 113 walks in '85.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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