|The Rangers began as The Washington Senators version 2.0. After the original Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961, the AL agreed to place an expansion team in the U.S. capitol.
The "replacement" Senators remained in the Beltway through the 1971 season until they moved west to Arlington, Texas for the 1972 campaign. The best finish in D.C. came in 1969 when Howard's 48 homers and 111 RBI paved the way to 86 wins and a 4th place finish. Williams made the trip to Texas but a pair of 100-loss seasons in 1973-1974 chewed him and two other managers up.
Billy Martin molded young talent (including MVP Jeff Burroughs) and created excitement about the new Rangers. By 1977 Martin was gone (of course) and four managers shuffled through. Despite the instability, the Rangers won a franchise record 94 games, finishing 2nd to the Royals. In 1978 the team again finished as bridesmaid.
The early 1980s brought some more managers (Pat Corrales, Don Zimmer, Doug Rader, Bobby Valentine) with mixed results. Valentine sat at the helm for parts of seven seasons, finally being fired in 1992. Replacement Kevin Kennedy had a winner in 1994 but the player strike and cancellation of the World Series cost the team it's first post-season berth.
The 1990s Rangers boasted Juan Gonzalez (two-time MVP), Ivan Rodriguez (1999 MVP), Dean Palmer, Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Rusty Greer, Mark McLemore, and Lee Stevens. Rarely did the pitching staff match the bats, and as a result the team exited the playoffs in the first round in 1996, 1998, and 1999. Two of those defeats came at the hands of the Yankees, who quickly became the Rangers rival in the latter part of the decade.
After the 1999 season the Rangers pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal, sending Gonzalez to Detroit for several young players, including Justin Thompson and Gabe Kapler. The team stumbled in 2000, but re-armed itself in 2001 with the signing of Alex Rodriguez. The superstar shortstop inked the largest contract ($256 million) in history, coming over from the Mariners. Veteran slugger Andres Galarraga also joined the team for 2001, giving the Rangers the best offense money could buy. Unfortunately money can't get everything. The 2001 Rangers were terrible, finishing last. Rodriguez paid dividends - setting a ML record for home runs by a shortstop, but the rest of the team (minus Frank Catalanotto, who had came from Detroit in the Gonzalez deal) slumped.
In 2004 the Texas Rangers finished in 3rd place in the American League West Division with a 63-99 record.
In 2006 the Texas Rangers finished in 3rd place in the American League West
Division with a 80-82 record.