Immaculate Grid, Texas Rangers edition

Chip Stewart
7 min readJul 7, 2023

*** Update at the bottom on how I got to a Rarity Score of 5 on July 9, when the Immaculate Grid gods blessed me with a Rangers/Expos/Royals/Padres day.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been spending your mornings of late geeking out over Immaculate Grid, which is basically Wordle for baseball nerds. And if you’re a Rangers fan, you get a thrill when you see that stylized T pop up in a column, meaning you get to think of some old and obscure guys to fill those spots.

Here’s one of mine from last week, for example:

My Immaculate Grid from June 28; my strong suit is the mid 1980s, as evidenced by Storm Davis and Terry Kennedy as choices there

In recent adventures, I’ve used Jeff Frye (Boston/Texas), Mark McLemore (Texas/Seattle), Rusty Staub (either Nats or Mets/Texas), and obviously Nolan Ryan for some of the bigger categories like 300 strikeouts or 300 wins.

As a reference, if you’re looking for a Ranger to plug in a spot, or just a guy who played all over the place to help increase your odds of a guess, here are some who played all over the place — including Texas, at least briefly.

I even made a whole team, because that’s the kind of thing I like to do. I’m not 100 percent sure these are the guys who’ve played for the most teams, but I’m pretty sure on most of them.

Maybe these are helpful for you as you puzzle over those blank squares. Regardless, I hope you enjoy this exercise in “remember that guy.”

(Note: I’ve updated this since the first post because there are So Many Guys and they all played for the Rangers, it seems)

THE HITTERS

Catcher: Gregg Zaun (10 teams, including Texas in 1999)

Zaun’s 10 teams: Orioles, Marlins, Rangers, Royals, Astros, Rockies, Blue Jays, Rays, Brewers

First Base: Willie Montanez (9 teams, including Texas in 1979)

Montanez’s 9 teams: Angels, Phillies, Giants, Braves, Mets, Rangers, Padres, Expos, Pirates

Second Base: Julio Franco (8 teams, including Texas 1989–93)

Franco’s 8 teams: Phillies, Indians, Rangers, White Sox, Brewers, Rays, Braves, Mets

Third Base: Todd Zeile (11 teams, including Texas 1998–99)

Zeile’s 11 teams: Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies, Orioles, Dodgers, Marlins, Rangers, Mets, Rockies, Yankees, Expos, Mets

Shortstop: Royce Clayton (11 teams, including Texas 1998–2000)

Clayton’s 11 teams: Giants, Cardinals, Rangers, White Sox, Brewers, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Reds, Blue Jays, Red Sox

Outfield: Kenny Lofton (11 teams, including Texas in 2007)

Lofton’s 11 teams: Astros, Indians, Braves, White Sox, Giants, Pirates, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Rangers

Outfield: Marlon Byrd (10 teams, including Texas 2007–09)

Byrd’s 10 teams: Phillies, Nationals, Rangers, Cubs, Red Sox, Mets, Pirates, Reds, Giants, Indians

Outfield: Ruben Sierra (9 teams, including Texas 1986–92, 2000–01)

Sierra’s 9 teams: Rangers, A’s, Yankees, Tigers, Reds, Blue Jays, White Sox, Mariners, Twins

Designated Hitter: Matt Stairs (12 teams, including Texas in 2006)

Stairs’ 12 teams (13 if you count the Nats & Expos as different!): Expos, Red Sox, A’s, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates, Royals, Rangers, Tigers, Blue Jays, Phillies, Padres, Nationals

Utility guy: Jose Hernandez (9 teams, inlcuding Texas in 1991)

Hernandez’s 9 teams: Rangers, Indians, Cubs, Braves, Brewers, Rockies, Pirates, Dodgers, Phillies

And a few bonus hitters…

Outfield: Otis Nixon (9 teams, including Texas in 1995)

Nixon’s 9 teams: Yankees, Indians, Expos, Braves, Red Sox, Rangers, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Twins

Utility: Jerry Hairston Jr. (9 teams, including Texas 2006–07)

Hairston’s 9 teams: Orioles, Cubs, Rangers, Reds, Yankees, Padres, Nationals, Brewers, Dodgers

First Base: Carlos Pena (8 teams, including Texas in 2001 & 2014)

Pena’s teams: Rangers, A’s, Tigers, Red Sox, Rays, Cubs, Astros, Royals

Third Base: Asdrubal Cabrera (8 teams, including Texas in 2019)

Cabrera’s 8 teams: Indians, Nationals, Rays, Mets, Phillies, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Reds

Outfield: Bobby Bonds (8 teams, inlcuding Texas in 1978)

Bonds’ teams: Giants, Yankees, Angels, White Sox, Rangers, Indians, Cardinals, Cubs

Outfield: Todd Hollandsworth (8 teams, including Texas in 2002)

Hollandsworth’s teams: Dodgers, Rockies, Rangers, Marlins, Cubs, Braves, Indians, Reds

Outfield: Nelson Cruz (8 teams and counting, including Texas 2006–13)

Cruz’s teams: Brewers, Rangers, Orioles, Mariners, Twins, Rays, Nationals, Padres (and perhaps another after his release earlier this week)

Outfield: Carl Everett (8 teams, including Texas 2002–03)

Everett’s 8 teams (9 if you include Team Dinosaurs Don’t Exist): Marlins, Mets, Astros, Red Sox, Rangers, White Sox, Expos, Mariners

Catcher: Orlando Mercado (8 teams, including Texas in 1986)

Mercado’s 8 teams (in just 8 seasons): Mariners, Rangers, Tigers, Dodgers, A’s, Twins, Mets, Expos

Outfield: Al Oliver (7 teams, inlcuding Texas 1978–81)

Oliver’s teams: Pirates, Rangers, Expos, Giants, Phillies, Dodgers, Blue Jays

Only 7 teams but still #1 in my Rangers heart. I used him in the Immaculate Grid for the Blue Jays/Pirates square on July 8.

And some notice for first baseman Don Mincher, opening day first baseman for the first Texas Rangers club in 1972, who only played for 5 franchises but was on both versions of the Senators before they moved (once to Minnesota, once to Texas), and also played for the Seattle Pilots in 1969. Mincher’s teams: Senators 1, Twins, Angels, Pilots, A’s, Senators 2, Rangers, A’s again.

Mincher is also one of the very few guys to play for the Rangers and win a World Series title in the same year (this would not be a thing if some people could catch fly balls or ground balls or make pitches, looking at you 2011 club). Mincher was traded with Ted Kubiak in 1972 to Oakland (for Vic Harris and Marty Martinez, of course) and went on to win a title there. One guy above is a Ranger with a ring (Asdrubal Cabrera, who won one for the Nats in 2019 after Texas released him), as is one guy below (Arthur Rhodes, and now I’m having 2011 flashbacks again, help).

THE PITCHERS

Starting pitcher: Mike Morgan (12 teams, including Texas in 1999)

Morgan’s 12 teams: A’s, Yankees, Blue Jays, Mariners, Orioles, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, Twins, Rangers, Diamondbacks

Starting pitcher: Bartolo Colon (10 teams, including Texas in 2018)

Colon’s teams: Indians, Expos, White Sox, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, A’s, Mets, Braves, Twins, Rangers

Starting pitcher: Jamie Moyer (8 teams, including Texas 1989–90)

Moyer’s teams: Cubs, Rangers, Cardinals, Orioles, Red Sox, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies)

Starting pitcher: Gaylord Perry (8 teams, including Texas 1975–77 and 1980)

Perry’s teams: Giants, Indians, Rangers, Padres, Yankees, Braves, Mariners, Royals

Starting pitcher: Jordan Lyles (8 teams and counting, including Texas 2020–21)

Lyles’ 8 teams: Astros, Rockies, Padres, Brewers, Pirates, Rangers, Orioles, Royals

Reliever: Jamey Wright (10 teams, including Texas 2007–08)

Wright’s 10 teams: Rockies, Brewers, Cardinals, Royals, Giants, Rangers, Indians, Mariners, Dodgers, Rays

Reliever: Darren Oliver (9 teams, including Texas 1993–98, 2000–01, and 2010–11)

Oliver’s teams: Rangers, Cardinals, Red Sox, Rockies, Marlins, Astros, Mets, Angels, Blue Jays

Reliever: Rich Gossage (9 teams, including Texas in 1991)

Gossage’s teams: White Sox, Pirates, Yankees, Padres, Cubs, Giants, Rangers, A’s, Mariners

Reliever: Joakim Soria (9 teams including Texas in 2013–14)

Soria’s teams: Royals, Rangers, Tigers, Pirates, White Sox, Brewers, A’s, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays

Reliever: Jesse Chavez (9 teams, including Texas 2018–20)

Chavez’s 9 teams: Pirates, Braves, Royals, A’s, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Cubs

Reliever: Jeff Fassero (9 teams, including Texas in 1999)

Fassero’s 9 teams: Expos, Mariners, Rangers, Red Sox, Cubs, Cardinals, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Giants

Reliever: Arthur Rhodes (9 teams, including Texas in 2011)

Rhodes’ 9 teams: Orioles, Mariners, A’s, Indians, Phillies, Marlins, Reds, Rangers, Cardinals

Reliever: Dennis Cook (9 teams, including Texas 1995–96)

Cook’s 9 teams: Giants, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, White Sox, Rangers, Marlins, Mets. Angels

Reliever: Mike Marshall (9 teams, including Texas in 1977)

Marshall’s 9 teams: Tigers, Pilots, Astros, Expos, Dodgers, Braves, Rangers, Twins, Mets

And a few bonus pitchers…

Starting pitcher: Esteban Loaiza (8 teams, including Texas 1998–2000)

Loaiza’s 8 teams: Pirates, Rangers, Blue Jays, White Sox, Yankees, Nationals, A’s, Dodgers

Starting pitcher: Danny Darwin (8 teams, including Texas 1978–84 and 1995)

Darwin’s 8 teams: Rangers, Brewers, Astros, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Pirates, White Sox, Giants

Starting pitcher: Bobby Witt (7 teams, including Texas 1986–92 and 1995–98)

Witt’s teams: Rangers, A’s, Marlins, Cardinals, Rays, Indians, Diamondbacks

Reliever: Ron Mahay (8 teams, including Texas 2003–07)

Mahay’s teams: Red Sox, A’s, Marlins, Cubs, Rangers, Braves, Royals, Twins

Reliever: Ed Vosberg (8 teams, including Texas 1995–96)

Vosberg’s 8 teams: Padres, Giants, A’s, Rangers, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Phillies, Expos

*** UPDATE ***

On Sunday, July 9, I woke up to a grid that this post was almost perfectly designed to handle. Not only Texas Rangers, but also my second favorite team of the ’80s, the Expos (thanks to Al Oliver being traded there), but also another favorite, the Royals (Jim Sundberg), and who didn’t love the Padres back then?

The night before, I was even thinking, “who is objectively the funniest Ranger to play for each other team,” and the debate in my head for the Padres was between Kurt Bevacqua and Johnny Grubb.

Throw in a personal infatuation with Exciting Rookie Oddibe McDowell in 1985 and too much love for the Seattle Pilots courtesy of Jim Bouton’s books, and and you couldn’t have designed a grid more enticing to me.

So that’s how I wound up with a Rarity Score of 5 with the nonsense below.

6 guys so random they couldn’t dig up mug shots for them. Sixto Lezcano deserves better.
Yeah, that’s a personal record. Hard to believe that Oddibe McDowell at 2% cost me the most points. Maybe should’ve gone with Cecil Espy.

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Chip Stewart

Lawyer. Journalist. TCU professor. Viewer discretion is advised.