On this date in franchise history, the Texas Rangers reunited with a Hall of Fame pitcher.
On Dec. 14, 1977, the Rangers acquired Ferguson Jenkins in a trade with the Boston Red Sox. In exchange, the Rangers sent left-handed pitcher John Poloni and cash to Boston. Jenkins had previously spent two seasons in Texas in 1974-75. Poloni, after logging only seven innings in two appearances with the Rangers in 1977, never pitched again in the big leagues.
In 1974, Jenkins finished second in the American League Cy Young voting after he led Major League Baseball with 25 wins and 29 complete games, all while posting a dominant 2.82 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Jenkins didn’t repeat the same success in 1975 when he led MLB in home runs allowed. The Rangers ended up trading Jenkins to Boston in exchange for Steve Barr, Juan Beniquez and a player to be named later, which ended up being Craig Skok.
Jenkins’ second stint in Texas lasted twice as long as his first, becoming a stalwart in the Texas rotation from 1978-1981. His best season in that four-year run came in 1978, when he finished sixth in the AL Cy Young voting after going 18-8 with a 3.04 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
In his six total seasons with the Rangers, Jenkins compiled a 93-72 record, 3.56 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. His Major League career spanned a total of 19 seasons, and he was most known for his 10 years with the Chicago Cubs, where he was a three-time All-Star and won the National League Cy Young in 1971.
Jenkins was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. In 2004, the Rangers inducted him into the club’s Hall of Fame as well.
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