Harrah, Sierra in Rangers Hall of Fame
All-Star sluggers comprise 2009 class for Texas
ARLINGTON -- Toby Harrah, the first Ranger ever selected to an All-Star Game, and Ruben Sierra, a four-time Rangers Player of the Year, have been selected as the 2009 class of the Rangers Hall of Fame.They will be inducted on Aug. 1 before the Rangers' game with the Mariners at the Ballpark in Arlington, becoming the 11th and 12th members of that distinguished group. "This means a lot," Sierra said. "I just want to say thank you to God and thank you to the Rangers for being a part of the history of Rangers baseball. I'm not a guy to say much, but right now I feel so great to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Rangers." Harrah, originally signed by the Phillies and taken by the Washington Senators in the Minor League draft, came west with the franchise in the 1971 move to Texas and was one of the Rangers' best players in their first decade. "It's an honor. This is great news for me, my wife and my family," Harrah said. "Coming from Washington, being an original Texas Ranger, makes it even more special to me. I've always been a Texas Ranger at heart and always will be. I'm very thrilled." Harrah was selected to play in the All-Star Game in 1972 as a shortstop but missed the game because of injury. He went on to be selected again in 1975 and 1976. He was also the Rangers' Player of the Year in 1975, when he hit .293 with 20 home runs and a career-high 93 RBIs. He moved to third base in 1977 after the Rangers signed free-agent shortstop Bert Campaneris, and he hit .263 with a career-high 27 home runs plus 87 RBIs. He slipped to .229 with 12 home runs and 59 RBIs in 1978 and was then traded to the Cleveland Indians. Harrah returned to the Rangers in 1985 and had one more good year at second base, hitting .270 with nine home runs, 44 RBIs and 113 walks. He also had a .432 on-base percentage, which stood as the club record until Milton Bradley broke it last year with a .436 mark. Harrah retired after the 1986 season and went on to manage at Triple-A Oklahoma City in 1987-88 before joining the Rangers' coaching staff in 1989. He managed the team for 76 games at the end of the 1992 season. He has spent the past six years as the Detroit Tigers' Minor League hitting instructor, but he still lives in Fort Worth. He is among the Rangers' all-time leaders in several categories, with 1,220 games (fifth), 4,188 at-bats (seventh), 582 runs (seventh), 1,086 hits (eighth), 176 doubles (seventh), 546 RBIs (seventh), 668 walks (second), 143 stolen bases (second) and .361 on-base percentage (fifth). "The big thing, when [fans] came to watch me play the game of baseball, I did everything to help the team win," Harrah said. "Whether it was bunt for a base hit, break up a double play, make a diving catch, make a good relay throw or hit a home run, I feel like I could do all these things to help us win a game." Sierra made his debut for the Rangers on June 1, 1986, in Kansas City and hit a home run off Charlie Leibrandt in his second at-bat. For the next six years, he was the Rangers' best player, a switch-hitting combination of power and speed. He was the Rangers' Player of the Year from 1987-89 and again in 1991. In his first full season, he hit .263 with 97 runs scored, 30 home runs and 109 RBIs, and he followed that by hitting .254 with 23 home runs and 91 RBIs. But his best year was in 1989, when he hit .306 with 29 home runs and a league-leading 119 RBIs. He also led the league with 14 triples, a .543 slugging percentage and 344 total bases. He was selected to the All-Star team and the Silver Slugger team, but he finished second to Milwaukee outfielder Robin Yount in the Most Valuable Player voting. The Sporting News selected him as the American League Player of the Year. In 1991, Sierra hit .307 with a career-high 110 runs scored along with 25 home runs and 116 RBIs while being named to the All-Star team for a second time. He was also selected again in 1992, but he was traded along with Jeff Russell and Bobby Witt to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Jose Canseco. "I would have liked to have played with the Rangers for my whole career," Sierra said. "I was upset about that, but I learned it was a business. I would have liked to have stayed with the Rangers and had more years like 1989 and 1991 and all those All-Star Games, have a super career and have a big statue of me in front of the stadium. But it always doesn't happen like that. God always has something for you, and now I'm being inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame." He returned to play for the Rangers in 2000-01 and again in 2003. He still holds the Rangers' career record with 44 triples. He is also fifth with 645 runs and 1,281 hits, and fourth with 180 home runs and 742 RBIs. The Rangers selected Ruben Sierra Jr. with their sixth-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, and they have already signed him. "I feel very proud that my son has signed with the team that I started with," Sierra said. "I hope he has a great career with the Rangers -- like me or better." Harrah and Sierra join pitchers Nolan Ryan, Ferguson Jenkins, Charlie Hough and John Wetteland; third baseman Buddy Bell; catcher Jim Sundberg; outfielder Rusty Greer; and manager Johnny Oates as uniformed members of the Rangers Hall of Fame. Also inducted are former Arlington mayor Tom Vandergriff and the late broadcaster Mark Holtz.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.