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Rangers History Today: Reunion With Rafael Palmeiro

On this day, one of the best sluggers in Rangers history returned to Arlington on a five-year contract.

On this date in Texas Rangers history, the Rangers re-signed first baseman Rafael Palmeiro after moving on from Will Clark.

The date was Dec. 1, 1998, and the Rangers re-acquired Palmeiro five years after the Rangers decided to move on from him and signed Clark to a five-year contract. Clark played first base for the Rangers from 1994-98. Palmeiro moved on and signed with the Baltimore Orioles, where he too signed a five-year contract.

The ironic thing, of course, is that while Palmeiro replaced Clark with the Rangers, Clark ended up replacing Palmeiro with the Orioles in 1999.

Plus, Palmeiro seemed to really want to come back to Texas. He reportedly had more money offered from the Orioles and Palmeiro went around his agent to sign a five-year, $45 million deal with the Rangers, which really worked out for both parties. Palmeiro’s second five-year stint included 214 home runs (including his 500th career home run), 608 RBI and a .284 batting average.

Clark, already fighting a myriad of injuries, was out of baseball by the end of the 2000 season.

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The signing also came nearly 10 years to the day that the Rangers first acquired Palmeiro. Back in 1988, at baseball’s Winter Meetings, the Rangers sent Paul Kilgus, Mitch Williams and Steve Wilson, along with infielder Curtis Wilkerson, and two minor league players to be named later to the Chicago Cubs to acquire Rafael Palmeiro and pitcher Jamie Moyer.

Also on this date …

Dec. 1, 1979: Rangers third baseman Buddy Bell wins his first Gold Glove. Bell would win six in a row as the best fielding third baseman in the American League.


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