Former Texas Rangers outfielder Juan Gonzalez will be honored on the field prior to Friday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, it was announced today. Gonzalez will sign autographs on the concourse before the game, throw out the first pitch, and receive his Texas Rangers Hall of Fame jacket in a pre-game ceremony.
Evan Grant notes that this is believed to be the first time Gonzalez has made a public appearance at a Rangers game since 2004, when Gonzalez played for the Kansas City Royals. Gonzalez was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2015, but did not appear for or participate in the ceremonies.
Juan made his Rangers debut in 1989 as a 19 year old, also getting a cup of coffee in 1990, but didn’t become a fixture in the majors until 1991, when he appeared in 142 games for the Rangers. He was a tremendous offensive force for the Rangers throughout the 1990s, and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award in both 1996 and 1998.
After the 1999 season, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers, along with Danny Patterson and Gregg Zaun, in a massive deal that saw the Tigers send to Texas Gabe Kapler, Justin Thompson, Frank Catalanotto, Francisco Cordero, Bill Haselman and Alan Webb. The Tigers offered him a substantial contract extension to avoid losing him as a free agent after the 2000 season, but he passed, and ended up playing for the Cleveland Indians in 2001. Juan returned to Texas for the 2002 and 2003 season, played for the Royals in 2004, and re-joined Cleveland for 2005, though he appeared in just one game that season.