The 2020 Texas Rangers regular season awards conclude with some of the best moments of 2020. Sure, the moments didn’t span along six months like they usually do, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t excitement for fans. Despite only sixty games, there were still a lot of great moments to witness in 2020.
Most Exciting Game of the Year
Winner: Rangers spoil an Astros clinch in first extra innings game at Globe Life Field (Sept 25 vs HOU)
2. Rangers take down the kings of MLB, the Dodgers, in opening game of series (Aug 28 vs LAD)
3. Rangers’ win in Globe Life Field’s first regular season game (Jul 24 vs COL)
I know the circumstances entering this game favor the Rangers, and quite frankly, most of the DFW area didn’t tune in with the Dallas Stars’ Stanley Cup run. However, it doesn’t take away the fight the Rangers team brought on the last Friday of the regular season. First, the Astros were in a clinching scenario and to do that on the road against your rival is enormous. Second, all of the whispers that the Rangers’ should tank surfaced. Finally, the Rangers were down to their final strike. Yes, Ronald Guzman hit a game-tying homer in a situation where he fell behind 0-2 with two outs in the ninth. The Rangers were able to finish the job in the tenth and pick up a win in Globe Life Field’s first extra-inning game and prevent the Astros from celebrating on the field.
Best Individual Game Performance
Winner: Lance Lynn’s complete game at Coors Field (Aug 14 at COL)
2. Anderson Tejeda’s memorable MLB debut in Oakland (Aug 6 at OAK)
3. Rougned Odor ends 2020 in style (Sept 27 vs HOU)
Lance Lynn was dominant in each of his early starts in July and August. He went up against a Rockies lineup that can wear down a pitcher with their power. Lance schooled Colorado the first time on Opening Day, so what does Lynn do for an encore? He does it again and takes domination to a new level. Lance Lynn’s career at Coors Field is stupid; he’s made five starts and allowed nine earned runs. “I enjoy pitching [at Coors Field]. It’s weird, it’s cool, it’s dry, and you don’t sweat. You just have to outlast the other pitcher,” Lance said after his complete game.
After back-to-back singles to start the game, Lynn allowed a total of zero hits and zero walks for the remainder of the game. The Rockies’ only two baserunners were two Rangers’ errors, and Lance still managed to pitch through those. It was one of the best pitching performances in a long time by a Rangers’ starter.
Best Milestone of the Year
Winner: Chuck Morgan’s 3,000 straight game as PA (Sept 26 vs HOU)
2. Globe Life Field’s first game (Jul 24 vs COL)
3. Ten Rangers make their MLB debuts in 2020
Congratulations on 3,000 straight, @TEXPAMAN!!
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) September 27, 2020
Deciding the milestone award was a tough one. I mean, you have a brand new ballpark opening, but three thousand straight games on the microphone is an impossible task. For me, I think about how many times I’ve gotten sick, or maybe an emergency occurred, and for Chuck Morgan to come to work day in and day out for sometimes four to five hours is absurd. Writing about Chuck Morgan was undoubtedly one of my favorite articles of 2020.
We need more Joey Gallo mic'd up content 🤣
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) August 3, 2020
I know the milestone award was tough, but this was the toughest. For the record, Taylor Hearn and Willie Calhoun are hilarious on the microphone as well. I love all of the interactions between these guys, but something about Joey Gallo’s perfectly timed sarcasm makes it better. Joey would be a perfect character in Seinfeld as a side character between Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and George, maybe a more laid back and funnier version of Bania. Nevertheless, a group interview between these guys would be comedy gold for the right reasons. People complain clubhouses shouldn’t be open. You would get less of this if they weren’t.
Best Rangers Zoom Interview Quote
Winner: Mike Minor (Jul 9)
2. Joey Gallo on hitting HRs on the last game of a series, “I’m just going like, why, I haven’t hit a home run in this series, I should probably try this game and see what happens.” (Aug 2 at SF)
3. Jeff Mathis on the ninth inning pinball shot behind the plate, “That was one of the better ones I’ve had in a long time.” (Sept 26 vs HOU)
4. Not a Zoom interview, but Todd Frazier’s first Fox Sports Southwest Interview
— CJ Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) July 30, 2020
I will say this about Mike Minor. He isn’t afraid to say whatever in his interviews. If he thinks he pitched awful, he’ll tell you. He’s an honest individual, and I applaud him for that. With the 2020 season protocols, there were strict rules for pitchers.
They weren’t allowed to lick their fingers. Instead, they let the pitcher carry a wet rag in their back pocket as a makeshift. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News asked Minor about that, and his response was, “I can’t really see myself with a wet rag back there walking around with swamp butt.” Trust me, Mike, I’m 250 pounds living in humid Texas all my life. I know what swamp butt feels like, and let me tell you, it’s unpleasant at times.
Best Lance Lynn Zoom interview Quote
Winner: Lance Lynn’s final start vs the Astros (Sept 24 vs HOU)
2. On Performance and Mentorship balance, “I’ve got more hits in AA than some of these guys.” (Sept 19 at LAA)
3. On getting stronger as the game goes on, “I got a whole lot of body and it takes awhile to get it going where it’s supposed to be.” (Aug 14 at COL)
Lance Lynn steamrolled through 2020, except against the Houston Astros. The Astros were Lance’s kryptonite, and on his final start, he arguably had the worst outing of his career. Emily Jones asked Lance about disappointingly ending his season, and Lynn answered the only way I know he would, “It gives me something to piss me off all offseason, so it’ll be fun.” Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram followed up, asking Lance about his Astros’ struggles, and Lynn responded, “We’ll figure it out.” Short, sweet, and to the point.
I had great guests in 2020, everyone had a terrific insight, and I enjoyed connecting with knowledgeable Rangers’ media. Though I thought a couple of things stood out, my favorite part was talking random stuff with Jared Sandler. It’s a great way to learn more about people and find out that a member of Rangers’ media is as big of a 90s boyband fan as me.
I’m looking forward to next year and making even harder choices for the podcast discussion award.
Best Uniform Combination
Winner: Red Hat and Baby Blue Jersey
2. The Red Hat and Red Jersey
3. Baby Blue Jersey and Baby Blue Hat
The best combination is a combination that the Rangers didn’t showcase in December of 2019. During the “America’s Next Top Model” showcase, we saw the baby blue combination, the full red, the road, the spring training, and the white. While gray and white aren’t colors I like too much (too dull), the best combination was when the club decided to go for the baby blue jerseys and the red hats. I’m not sure that was Joey Gallo’s intention when he “pitched the idea,” but I think it looked fantastic.
It’s also a masterpiece to hit the first homer at Globe Life Field wearing the baby blue uniform. Joey agreed, “It’s pretty cool, I was thinking about it, to be the first home run ever at Globe Life Field and also to be wearing the baby blues so the first time pretty much ever all baby blues and to hit a home run, it made it a little more special.”
The fans also deserve an award for grinding through a tough season. It was a weird one, and despite the outcome, it gave us a perspective on what happens with no baseball. The Rangers look to hit the ground running in 2021, hopefully with more normalcy for fans to experience and get a chance to watch their favorite team in the new palace. You can check out the Players awards and the top plays awards too.
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