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Rangers History Today: The Fergie Jenkins Trade

The hot stove league got cooking early in the 1973 offseason, and the Texas Rangers nabbed a future Hall of Famer.

On this date in franchise history, the Texas Rangers welcomed Ferguson Jenkins to Arlington.

On Oct. 25, 1973, the Rangers executed perhaps the biggest trade they had made since moving from Washington. Jenkins had won at least 20 games in six straight seasons with the Chicago Cubs. During that span, he finished in the top three in Cy Young voting four times and won the award in 1971 after winning a National League-high 24 games.

In 1972, the streak ended. He went 14-16 and there was chatter that Jenkins was done with the game. The Cubs, perhaps sensing they needed to cash in, found a trading partner with the Rangers. The Cubs sent Jenkins to Texas for third baseman Bill Madlock and utility man Vic Harris.

Oddly enough, that same day, another future Hall of Famer was dealt, as the San Francisco Giants sent slugger Willie McCovey to the San Diego Padres.

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In Texas, Jenkins proved his tepid 1973 season was an aberration. He won a career-best and Rangers-record 25 games, finishing as runner-up for the American League Cy Young.

That was the final high-water mark of Jenkins’ career. He played 1975 with Texas, winning 17 games. Jenkins went to Boston for the 1976 and 1977 seasons, and then returned to Texas for four more season (1978-81). He spent the final two seasons of his career back in Chicago with the Cubs.

With the Rangers, Jenkins went 93-72. For his career he won 284 games, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. Jenkins is also a member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame, and the Cubs have retired his number.

Are we missing a moment from this day in Texas Rangers history? We’re happy to add it. Hit us up on Twitter @PostinsPostcard and let us know what to add. 

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