Juan Gonzalez, Jeff Russell heading to Rangers Hall of Fame
The Texas Rangers are adding two more members to their Hall of Fame this year, including the club’s all-time home runs leader in Juan Gonzalez.
Gonzalez and longtime closer Jeff Russell will be inducted into the Hall in a July 11 ceremony at Globe Life Park. They will be the 18th and 19th members of the Hall.
Gonzalez, who leads the organization in home runs (372) and RBI (1,180), was conditionally selected for the honor in 2013 but was unable to commit about accepting the award. This year the voting panel, which is made up of other members of the Hall, longtime media members and club officials, opted to vote in Gonzalez without any conditions.
Gonzalez made his debut for the Rangers in 1989 at 19 and was one of the keys to the club’s three playoff trips in the 1990s. He won the American League most valuable player honor in 1996 and 1998.
Gonzalez left the Rangers following the 1999 season but returned again for the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
The Rangers picked up Russell at the trade deadline in 1985 and he was with the Rangers until getting traded to Oakland in 1992. Russell came back to Texas for the 1995 season and spent his final two seasons with Texas.
He was a two-time All-Star for the Rangers, making the team as a starter in 1988 and a closer the next year. He won a career high 10 games in the 1988 season and had a career high 38 saves in 1989.
Russell began pitching exclusively in relief in 1989 and finished his career with 186 saves. His 134 saves with the Rangers are the second most in club history.
Michael Young was also eligible for induction this year but opted to pull his name out of consideration. Young, who is a lock for the honor, wanted to wait until his three sons were older before being considered because if it happens he wanted them to be able to remember it. His oldest son is nine and his youngest is two.
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