Two-time American League MVP Juan Gonzalez and two-time All-Star closer Jeff Russell have been selected for enshrinement into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame on July 11.
Gonzalez was conditionally selected in 2013, but he never committed to the Rangers about accepting the honor and wasn’t inducted. The committee decided to elect him this season without any conditions, and there is no word if he will attend the ceremony at Globe Life Park.
Gonzalez was a key cog on the Rangers’ division-winning clubs in 1996, 1998 and 1999, taking home MVP honors in 1996 and 1998. He hit 372 homers and drove in 1,180 runs while batting .293 with a .565 slugging percentage in 13 seasons with the Rangers, who signed him in 1986 out of Puerto Rico.
The Rangers traded him to Detroit after the 1999 season but re-signed him in 2002 for two injury-plagued seasons. Gonzalez was later linked to performance-enhancing drugs, though not directly, and vehemently denied using them after his mention in the Mitchell Report and in the book Juiced, by Jose Canseco.
Gonzalez hasn’t returned to Arlington since his retirement despite multiple invitations.
Russell is first in club history in games relieved (406) and games finished (251) while sitting second in saves (134) and games (445). He led the league in 1989 with 38 saves, and led the Rangers in saves in four seasons.
Michael Young, the Rangers’ all-time leader in multiple offensive categories, declined to be inducted. He preferred to wait a few more years until his children are older and can savor the memories.
The Hall of Fame committee includes living members of the Rangers Hall of Fame as well as longtime media members and club officials.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760