ARLINGTON, Texas — It was fitting that Michael Young was at Globe Life Field on Saturday to induct Ian Kinsler into the Rangers Hall of Fame on Saturday.
After all, they were double-play partners for the Rangers, with Young playing shortstop and Kinsler playing second base on the Rangers’ 2010 and 2011 World Series teams.
Few players know Kinsler as well as Young, and he wholeheartedly praised Kinsler’s approach and passion for the game and for the Rangers. He said he enjoyed watching Kinsler grow up from a rookie to becoming a big part of those teams, and a player who had two 30-30-30 seasons (doubles, home runs and stolen bases).
“He was the kind of player that didn’t need to go 3-for-4 to have a great game,” Young said.
Now the pair will be partners in the Rangers Hall of Fame, too. Young was inducted in 2016, shortly after his retirement from baseball. Young is the Rangers’ all-time hits leader.
Kinsler, with his wife Tess — whom he met during his career — and his two children, said that he looked up to Young his entire career.
“It was really hard for me to put all of this down on paper and describe this roller-coaster ride,” Kinsler said. “I felt so lucky to be playing baseball 365 days a year. It was something that I loved.”
Along with the traditional plaque, Kinsler received a power-blue bat with his name on it. Like the rest of the Hall of Famers, he received a blue Rangers Hall of Fame blazer. Young put the blazer on Kinsler during the ceremony.
Video messages for Kinsler included former teammates Mike Napoli, Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz, Mitch Moreland, former Rangers president Nolan Ryan and former Rangers manager Ron Washington.
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Washington was one of the people that Kinsler personally thanked. Washington managed the 2010 and 2011 World Series teams.
“He was the perfect guy to lead that group,” Kinsler said.
The Rangers drafted Kinsler in the 17th round of the 2003 MLB Draft, and he worked his way through the minor league system to earn a roster spot coming out of spring training in 2006, replacing Alfonso Soriano at second base. Kinsler played eight seasons for the Rangers, hitting .273 with 156 home runs and 539 RBI. He was a three-time All-Star and helped the Rangers reach the World Series in 2010 and 2011, their first appearances in the Fall Classic.
Kinsler also became the fourth Ranger for the cycle while going 6-for-6 on April 15, 2009, which also happened to be Jackie Robinson Day. He had at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases for the Rangers twice and left the franchise as its stolen base leader.
He was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Prince Fielder after the 2013 season. Kinsler played four season in Detroit, earning another All-Star Game berth and winning his first Gold Glove. He spent 2018 with the Los Angeles Angels before he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. There, he helped the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series, along with former Rangers teammate Mitch Moreland.
He ended his career with San Diego in 2019.
Other Rangers Hall of Famers in attendance included Jim Sundberg (2003), Ferguson Jenkins (2004), Tom Grieve (2010), Eric Nadel (2012), Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez (2013), Tom Schieffer (2014), Michael Young (2016), former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene (2019), Adrian Beltre (2021), Chuck Morgan (2021) and Victor Vandergriff, the son of former Arlington Mayor Tom Vandergriff (2004). Vandergriff is credited with helping to lure the former Washington Senators to Arlington before the 1972 season.
Other former Rangers in attendance were Frank Catalanotto, Chris Davis, Craig Gentry, Colby Lewis, Doug Melvin and David Murphy.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard