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Looking into Age 40+ Rangers Players

With the signing of Omar Vizquel this week to a minor league contract, it occurred to me that he might have been the second oldest player to sign with the Rangers. The oldest would be Nolan Ryan of course, but I thought Omar might be second, so I decided to look it up.
Broke out baseball-reference.com which lists the age of players in a calendar year. As I started looking into it, I found some interesting stats about the ages of Rangers players. Here’s some bullet points (this also assumes Vizquel will play in Arlington in 2009):

  • The oldest player period was Nolan Ryan. He was 46 years, roughly 7.5 months when he threw his last pitch in 1993.
  • Omar Vizquel was the second oldest signee for a first time Ranger at 41 years, 9 months.
  • If Omar Vizquel plays as a Ranger on his birthday, he will be just the third second player to play at age 42 (the first being Charlie Hough, the second being Nolan Ryan). If he wants to overtake Hough, he’d have to play as a Ranger in 2010, which is unlikely, as Hough was 42 yr, 8 mo, 3 weeks old when he played his last game as a Ranger on Sep 28, 1990.
  • The number of players who have played in a Rangers uniform at age 40 or older is smaller than you think. Just eleven. I thought it’d be more than that.
  • There were a couple years with more than one 40+ Ranger at a time. Not surprisingly, they all involved Nolan Ryan. They were 1992 (Nolan/45 & Brian Downing/41), 1991 (Nolan/44, Downing/40), 1990 (Nolan/43, Hough/42), & 1989 (Nolan/42, Hough/41),.
  • The first player ever to play as a Ranger at 40 was Gaylord Perry in 1980 when he was 41.
  • When the team was the Senators, there was never a 40+ player.
  • The “youngest oldest player” was aged 34. This happened in four seasons (66-68 & 71). Oddly enough, they were all years in Washington. The Rangers have never had a 34 year old be the oldest player
  • Some notable names that appeared on my research as “Top 3 Oldest Players for that Year” are.. Minnie Minoso (37, 1963), Don Zimmer (34, 1965), Frank Howard (35, 1972), Rico Carty (33, 1973), Toby Harrah (37, 1986), Goose Gossage (39, 1991), Mickey Tettleton (36, 1997), Mike Morgan (39, 1999), Sammy Sosa (38, 2007)
  • Sandy Alomar Sr (34, 1978) & Sandy Alomar Jr (39, 2005) are the only father/son duo on this age list. :)

Here is the complete list of players who have played as a Ranger at age 40 or higher. Again, this assumes that Omar Vizquel will play as a Ranger after April 23rd.
46 – Nolan Ryan (1993)
42 – Omar Vizquel (2009)
42 – Charlie Hough (1990)
41 – Brian Downing (1992)
41 – Gaylord Perry (1980)
40 – Kenny Lofton (2007)
40 – Kenny Rogers (2005)
40 – Andreas Galarraga (2001)
40 – Tony Fossas (1998)
40 – Rick Honeycutt (1994)
40 – Tom Paciorek (1987)
A caveat about the above information. While bbr is the source for my data below, it doesn’t seem to take into account the age of a player if his age changed in the season. I just went with the bbr number, as it would have been far too much work to see what the birthdate of every Rangers player was and figure it out that way. :)
Click through to the full story, as I included the complete research data from the entire franchise here. I chose the top 3 ages for each season, because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. :) If you’re reading this on a feed reader (or one of those sites that steals rss feeds to make their own stories), then you need to visit my site to get the whole thing.

Texas Rangers Years
2008:

37 – Eddie Guardado
36 – Adam Melhuse
34 – Frank Catalanotto

2007:

40 – Kenny Lofton
38 – Sammy Sosa
36 – Ron Mahay

2006:

39 – Eric Young
37 – Brian Shouse
36 – Ron Mahay

2005:

40 – Kenny Rogers
39 – Sandy Alomar, Jr.
38 – Doug Brocail

2004:

39 – Kenny Rogers
37 – Brian Jordan, Eric Young, Doug Brocail, Jeff Nelson
36 – Scott Erickson

2003:

38 – Chad Kreuter
38 – Rafael Palmeiro
37 – Ruben Sierra

2002:

37 – Rafael Palmeiro
36 – Anthony Telford
35 – Dave Burba

2001:

40 – Andres Galarraga
38 – Randy Velarde, Ken Caminiti
37 – Jeff Brantley

2000:

35 – Kenny Rogers, Rafael Palmeiro
34 – Mike Munoz, Ruben Sierra, Bill Haselman, Luis Alicea
33 – John Wetteland

1999:

39 – Mike Morgan
36 – Jeff Fassero
34 – Mark McLemore, Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Kelly, John Burkett

1998:

40 – Tony Fossas
36 – Scott Bailes, Greg Cadaret
34 – Will Clark, Bobby Witt

1997:

36 – Mickey Tettleton, Terry Clark
35 – Ed Vosberg
34 – Mike Devereaux

1996:

35 – Mickey Tettleton, Rene Gonzales, Dave Valle, Kevin Gross
34 – Mike Henneman, Jeff Russell, Ed Vosberg
33 – Dennis Cook

1995:

39 – Danny Darwin
36 – Otis Nixon
35 – Mike Pagliarulo (There were about 7 or 8 guys at 34, too)

1994:

40 – Rick Honeycutt
38 – Jay Howell
36 – Butch Davis, Bruce Hurst, Tom Henke
 

1993:

46 – Nolan Ryan
36 – Gary Redus, Steve Balboni, Charlie Liebrandt
35 – Butch Davis

1992:

45 – Nolan Ryan
41 – Brian Downing
37 – Floyd Bannister

1991:

44 – Nolan Ryan
40 – Brian Downing
39 – Goose Gossage

1990:

43 – Nolan Ryan
42 – Charlie Hough
33 – Thad Bosley

1989:

42 – Nolan Ryan
41 – Charlie Hough
37 – Buddy Bell

1988:

40 – Charlie Hough
37 – Jim Sundberg
34 – Larry Parrish

1987:

40 – Tom Paciorek
39 – Charlie Hough
35 – Darrell Porter

1986:

38 – Charlie Hough
37 – Toby Harrah
36 – Bob Jones

1985:

38 – Bill Stein
37 – Cliff Johnson, Charlie Hough
36 – Toby Harrah

1984:

39 – Jim Bibby
37 – Bill Stein
36 – Charlie Hough

1983:

37 – Larry Biittner
36 – Bill Stein
35 – Charlie Hough

1982:

35 – Bill Stein
34 – Charlie Hough
33 – Doc Medich

1981:

38 – Fergie Jenkins
34 – Al Oliver, Bill Stein
33 – Larry Cox, Charlie Hough

1980:

41 – Gaylord Perry
37 – Fergie Jenkins
36 – Bud Harrelson, Rusty Staub

1979:

37 – Bert Campaneris
36 – Fergie Jenkins
34 – Dock Ellis, Sparky Lyle

1978:

36 – Bert Campaneris, Paul Lindblad
35 – Fergie Jenkins
34 – Sandy Alomar Sr.

1977:

38 – Gaylord Perry
35 – Bert Campaneris, Jim Fregosi, Darold Knwoles, Paul Lindblad
34 – Willie Horton, Mike Marshall, Steve Hargan

1976:

39 – Joe Hoerner
37 – Gaylord Perry
34 – Fritz Peterson, Jim Fregosi (the only position player over the age
of 29 this year)

1975:

36 – Leo Cardenas, Gaylord Perry
35 – Willie Davis, Bill Hands
34 – Cesar Tovar, Clyde Wright

1974:

35 – Leo Cardenas
34 – Larry Brown, Bill Hands
33 – Duke Sims

1973:

36 – Sonny Siebert
33 – Rico Carty
31 – Jim Fregosi

1972:

35 – Frank Howard
34 – Don Mincher
30 – Ted Kubiak, Marty Martinez, Paul Lindblad, Casey Cox

     
Washington Senators Years
1971:

34 – Frank Howard
33 – Don Mincher, Curt Flood
30 – Tommy McCraw

1970:

37 – Johnny Roseboro
35 – Pedro Ramos, George Brunet, Lee Maye
33 – Joe Grzenda, Frank Howard

1969:

35 – Camilo Pascual
34 – Lee Maye
33 – Bob Humphreys

1968:

34 – Camilo Pascual
33 – Fred Valentine
32 – Bob Humphreys

1967:

34 – Jim King
33 – Camilo Pascual
32 – Fred Valentine

1966:

34 – Don Blasingame, Dick Phillips, Joe Cunningham, Ron Kline
33 – Jim King
31 – Tom Cheney

1965:

38 – Roy Sievers
36 – Steve Ridzik, Ryne Duren
34 – Don Zimmer, Marshall Bridges

1964:

37 – Roy Sievers
35 – Steve Ridzik
33 – Don Zimmer, Marshall Bridges, Bill Skowron

1963:

37 – Minnie Minoso
34 – Steve Ridzik
33 – Jim Piersall, Hobie Landrith

1962:

39 – Gene Woodling
36 – Dale Long
35 – Danny O’Connell

1961:

38 – Gene Woodling
37 – Mike Garcia
35 – Dale Long