Special assistant Maddux in, Palmeiro, Rogers out
Pitching great elected to Hall; ex-Rangers off ballot with less than 5 percent of vote
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were happy to see special assistant Greg Maddux voted into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, but two of their former players were knocked off the ballot.
Rafael Palmeiro was taken off the ballot after his fourth try, in which he failed to receive 5 percent of the vote. Palmeiro was named on just 25 of 571 ballots cast, putting him at 4.4 percent of the vote. Kenny Rogers received just one vote in his first year on the ballot.
The Rangers have five former players who are in the Hall of Fame, and they are all pitchers: Nolan Ryan, Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Bert Blyleven and Rich Gossage. Ryan is the only one from that group who was inducted as a Ranger. Former Rangers manager Ted Williams and one of his coaches, Nellie Fox, are also in the Hall of Fame.
Maddux never played for the Rangers, but he is entering his third season as a special assistant. He is the brother of Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux.
"On behalf of everyone here with the Rangers, I want to congratulate Greg on his election to the Hall of Fame," general manager Jon Daniels said in a statement. "His accomplishments are well-documented, and it's an honor for us to work with one of the true greats. In addition, he has made an impression on all of us with his passion for and knowledge of the game, his willingness to share it with all, and his ability to keep things loose and have fun. His approachability and humility are rare, particularly for someone who has accomplished so much."
Palmeiro finished his career with Hall of Fame credentials, including 3,020 hits and 569 home runs. He joined Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Eddie Murray -- all in the Hall of Fame -- among the four players with at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs in his career. But his chances of making the Hall of Fame were crushed when he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and suspended in 2005 while with the Orioles. That was the final season of his career.
The Rangers won't have another significant player on the ballot until former catcher Ivan Rodriguez becomes eligible three years from now. Juan Gonzalez, who was the American League Most Valuable Player in 1996 and 1998, stayed on the ballot for just two elections, earning just 4 percent of the vote two years ago.
Darvish to miss Awards Banquet
As expected, pitcher Yu Darvish will not attend the Rangers Awards Banquet on Jan. 24 in Grapevine, Texas. Darvish, who lives in Japan in the offseason, will be honored as the 2013 Rangers Pitcher of the Year.
Darvish issued a statement through the club, saying: "I am honored to be the 2013 recipient of the Texas Rangers Pitcher of the Year Award. I would like to thank my teammates, the coaching staff, the front office, and most of all, the fans, for their support. Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to accept the award in person.
"At this time, my No. 1 priority is preparing for the 2014 season, and traveling roundtrip from Japan would be too difficult at this point in my training. I want to thank the fans for their understanding; you truly are the best fans in baseball. I am looking forward to the 2014 season and pursuing my ultimate goal: bringing a World Series Championship to Texas."
Darvish was 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA and a league-leading 277 strikeouts in 2013. He was second in the balloting for the American League Cy Young Award.
The Rangers will honor Minor League pitching coaches Brad Holman and Jeff Andrews, and professional scout Scot Engler at the banquet. Holman and Andrews are co-recipients of the third annual Bobby Jones Player Development Man of the Year Award, and Engler will receive the Don Welke Scout of the Year Award.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.