Texas Rangers All-Time Strikeout Leaders
The Texas Rangers were the Washington Senators when they broke into the league in 1961, and moved to Arlington (Dallas area) in 1972. The franchise has three playoff appearances but no championships or even World Series appearances. And led by Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, they have fielded some pretty good pitchers over the years. Here is a list of the Rangers/Senators’ all-time leaders in strikeouts to date:
Charlie Hough (1452)—Knuckleballer Charlie Hough pitched for 25 years in the majors, proof that a pitch like that can keep you in the game a long time. Hough pitched for the Rangers from 1980 to 1990, and he leads the franchise in strikeouts with 1452. Hough’s best season was 1987, when he had career highs in wins (18-13) and strikeouts (223) with a 3.79 ERA. Of course, he also walked 124 batters that season.
Bobby Witt (1405)—Bobby Witt was somewhat of a journeyman, and pitched for the Rangers from 1986 to 1992 and again from 1995 to 1998. He ranks second in Rangers’ history with 1405 strikeouts, and Witt’s best season was 1990, when he had career best numbers in wins (17-10), earned run average (3.36) and strikeouts (221).
Kenny Rogers (1201)—Kenny Rogers is another journeyman who pitched in Texas three different times—from 1989 to 1995, 2000 to 2002, and 2004 to 2005. Rogers ranks third in franchise history with 1201 K’s, and his best overall season was arguably 1995, when he went 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA and tied a career high with 140 strikeouts.
Nolan Ryan (939)—It isn’t so amazing that Nolan Ryan struck out 939 batters while with the Rangers from 1989 to 1993. What’s amazing is that he did this while in his 40’s, wrapping up a stellar 27-year career with Texas. In fact, Ryan, who ranks fourth in team history in K’s, struck out 301 batters in his first season with the team at the age of 42, and he pitched two no-hitters while with Texas. 1989 was his best season with the Rangers, when Ryan also went 16-10 with a 3.20 earned run average.
Fergie Jenkins (895)—Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins had some of his best years with the Cubs, but he also had two stints with the Rangers, from 1974 to 1975 and again from 1978 to 1981. Jenkins ranks fifth in franchise history with 895 strikeouts. His best season in a Rangers’ uniform was 1974, when he finished second in the AL Cy Young voting by going 25-12 (career high in wins) with a 2.82 ERA and 225 K’s.
Kevin Brown (742)—Kevin Brown began his career in Texas, where he pitched from 1986 to 1994, and he ranks sixth all-time for the team with 742 strikeouts. Brown had a career high 257 strikeouts while with San Diego in 1998, but his best overall season may have been with the Rangers in 1992. That year, Brown had a career high in wins (21-11) with a 3.32 ERA and 173 strikeouts.
Jose Guzman (715)—Jose Guzman pitched for the Rangers most of his relatively short career, from 1985 to 1992, and he ranks seventh all-time for the franchise with 715 strikeouts. Guzman had his best overall season with the Rangers in 1992, when he was 16-11 with a 3.66 earned run average and career high 179 strikeouts.
Rick Helling (687)—Rick Helling was a late bloomer of sorts, as he began his career in Texas in 1994, pitching there until 1996 and then after a short stint in Florida returning to the Rangers, and pitching there until 2001. Helling, who ranks eighth in Rangers’ history with 687 K’s, had his best season with the team in 1998, when he had career highs in wins (20-7) and strikeouts (164) with a 4.41 ERA.
Gaylord Perry (575)—Gaylord Perry only pitched in Texas a few seasons during his 22-year career, from 1975 to 1977, but he ranks ninth in franchise history with 575 strikeouts. Perry’s best season with the Rangers was 1977, when he went 15-12 with a 3.37 earned run average and 177 K’s.
Dick Bosman (573)—Dick Bosman is the only pitcher on this list who began his career with the Senators, pitching for them from 1966 to 1971 and then with the Rangers from 1972 to part of 1973. Bosman ranks tenth in the team’s history with 573 strikeouts, and his best season with the franchise was 1970, when he had career highs in wins (16-12) and strikeouts (134) with a 3.00 ERA.