On August 6, 2005 the Texas Rangers retired the number 26 in honor of late manager Johnny Oates in front of a crowd of 34,632. Oates became the 14th full-time manager of the club on October 14, 1994. He spent six seasons at the helm, from 1995-2001, leading the Rangers to their first three division titles and Postseason appearances in franchise history ('96, '98, and '99). In 1996, Oates shared the American League Manager of the Year Award with Yankees skipper Joe Torre, and in 1999 he led the team to a then-record 95 wins.
In his five seasons in Arlington, Oates compiled a record of 506 - 476 and a .515 winning percentage. On August 2, 2003, the organization honored Oates by inducting him into the inaugural class of the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame. Known for his steady leadership and strong values, Oates passed away on Christmas Eve 2004.
CAREER: No Ranger will ever wear number 34 again and it's quite possible that no pitcher will ever have a career like Nolan Ryan.
Ryan holds numerous major league pitching records, including most strikeouts (5,714), most no-hitters (7), most games with 15 or more strikeouts (26), and most strikeouts in a single season (383). With the Rangers from 1989-1993, Ryan threw his sixth and seventh no-hitters (June 11, 1990 and May 1, 1991) along with recording his 5,000th strikeout. Ryan was the only pitcher to strike out 16 or more batters after the age of 40, accomplishing the feat three times. He was the first American League pitcher to strike out nineteen men in a nine-inning game (August 12, 1974). His 27 major league seasons are the most played by anyone in baseball history. Over his career, the struck out an average of 9.55 batters per nine innings pitched, while allowing opposing batters a .204 batting average.
Ryan had his numbered retired by the Rangers on Sept. 15, 1996. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999. He is the only Major League player to have his number retired by three teams. The Houston Astros retired the number 34 on Sept. 29, 1996 and the California Angels retired the number 30 on June 16, 1992.