by Patrick Despain
As we get older in life, things in our memory banks fade away. If you are young, there are things that aren’t on video that you can’t experience. A few weeks ago Eddie Middlebrook wrote his All-Time Greatest Texas Rangers 25-Man Roster series. The starting outfield was Frank Howard, Josh Hamilton and Juan Gonzalez. On the bench was Rusty Greer, one of Eddie’s all-timers when it comes to the Rangers. One of our friends began to debate us about Greer’s placement on the team, claiming that he wasn’t worthy of inclusion, but players like Ruben Sierra (and other outfielders) should be on that team before Rusty. In my mind, I thought Eddie was correct and our buddy was wrong. At the same time, it’s a list and everyone has their own opinion of something like this.
I began to question my memory. Was Rusty as good, better or worse than I remember? His career started over 20 years ago, so was he THAT good? He was never an All-Star. He didn’t win any Gold Gloves or Silver Sluggers. He only hit 119 home runs in his career. There isn’t a lot of video in the MLB archives or on YouTube to go back to. But there are memories and Baseball-Reference.com to consult. Memories of The Red Baron diving all over the field, getting timely hits and doing many interviews on local radio. Still today, he is the favorite all-time Texas Ranger for many fans.
Rusty Greer played 9 MLB seasons, which was cut short due to injury. He hit .305 for his career and finished with a career 119 OPS+. His career OBP is .387 and in 1999, he walked 97 times while striking out on only 63 occasions.
If you look at his stats, it’s not on par with Pudge or Juando, who won MVP’s with the Rangers, but Rusty Greer’s career was great. While many fans remember and love Clyde Thurman “Rusty” Greer, there are quite a few who do not, for a number of reasons. With the success of the Rangers in the past decade, that brings new fans that don’t remember him and every year young fans flock to the game who are too young to have witnessed his all out efforts every single night, for 9 years.
|162 Game Avg.||162||697||604||101||184||41||4||19||97||5||2||82||88||.305||.387||.478||.865||119||289||14||3||1||7||3|
With a player like Rusty, he did so many memorable things that have fallen through the cracks in our minds. However, a few moments have been saved on video for our enjoyment.
Spoiler alert in this one, you get to hear the great Mark Holtz and a signature call…….or two.
Although he was never the best player on the division winning teams of 1996, 1998 and 1999, those teams aren’t as successful without him. He was as integral as anyone. Rusty posted seasons of 5.3, 4.6, 3.8 and 3.2 WAR. He was the guy that fans considered “clutch.” Greer was the guy late in a game that delivered more times than not. He was simply terrific and deserving on Eddie’s list. He’s a Texas Rangers Hall-of-Famer, and deservedly so. Not bad for a 10th round draft pick from the University of Montevallo in Alabama.
Rusty Greer, Texas Ranger Legend.