Pulaski Rangers

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1997-2002

 

The Pulaski Rangers of Pulaski, Virginia, played six seasons in the Appalachian League. In this time, they served as a Rookie level affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The team identity began in 1997, when Texas established an Appy League franchise, causing the league to expand from nine teams to its present ten. Calfee Park, built in 1935, had been home to several previous franchises and team identities, and had been vacated since the Pulaski Braves left town in 1992.

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As one would expect of an Appalachian club, the team identity hewed very close to that of the parent club. In this case, the team wore blue and red uniforms that were basically hand me downs from Texas, with the Rangers nickname emblazoned across both home and road jerseys. The team logo, which was featured on the caps, was a blue diamond with a ranger-badge star and the letters PR superimposed diagonally in front.

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The list of major league alumni from Rookie level teams is typically sparse, but, anecdotally speaking, the Pulaski Rangers had only a small percentage of their players over the years even manage a cup of coffee in the bigs. However, the percentage of that small percentage of players who had solid major league careers seems relatively high. So it’s less quantity and better relative quality. The biggest name is two-time All Star C.J. Wilson, who made his pro debut in 2001 with Pulaski. Others include Mike Lamb, Colby Lewis, and Aaron Harang.

The end of the Pulaski Rangers came following the 2002 season, and it’s tough to guess why this happened. Perhaps the parent club needed the cash, especially after doling out Alex Rodriguez’s huge contract. Perhaps Texas liked the facilities in Spokane better–after all, they still remain affiliated with the Northwest League club nearly twenty years later. Either way, the franchise was sold to Toronto, and they became the Pulaski Blue Jays, then the Pulaski Mariners, and then what they are today–the Pulaski Yankees.

 

 

Ephemera

 

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Another shot of Lewis. Did I mention that images are pretty sparse for this team?
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A look at the white jerseys

 

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