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Rangers replace skipper's cherished car

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Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, seventh months after leading his team to the World Series, was handed a unique gift from his boss Thursday, MLB.com reported.

Rangers president and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan met Washington at Rangers Ballpark during the team's off-day to give his skipper the keys to a black 1985 Cadillac Biarritz, the same car the New Orleans native lost during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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Washington's original Biarritz was destroyed when the deadly hurricane slammed the Louisiana Gulf Coast, and Rangers' brass decided replacing the cherished motor was the best way to express their gratitude for a remarkable postseason run.

After Washington led the ballclub to its first ever AL pennant, the Rangers located a 1985 Biarritz and had it modified to match the exact specifications of Washington's former ride, including cutting out a sunroof and adding white leather seats.

"It's a fun thing to do something like that," Ryan said. "Our organization felt that we wanted to help Ron replace that car, and there are so few of them that it was kind of a neat opportunity."

Washington took the car for a spin in the stadium parking lot as a gathered crowd looked on.

"I think that goes to show how much they care about their employees," Washington said. "Words couldn't express what I feel about them replacing my 1985 [Biarritz], because it meant everything to me. It was hard for me to let it go, and then they find one and sent it to me."

The 59-year-old manager, who is in his fifth season with the Rangers, said his wife must have been in on the gift.

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"To tell you the truth, I don't know how they found out," Washington said. "Somebody went through my wife, but I don't know how they found out because that's not something I talk about. If we're talking about Katrina I'll say, 'Yeah, I lost my Biarritz in Katrina,' but they did their due diligence."

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