Posted by: Namar | October 31, 2011

Rangers here, Rangers there, Rangers, Rangers everywhere

Long before Josh Hamilton; before catcher Hal King singled off Andy Messersmith for the first base hit in Texas MLB history (in a 1-0 loss to the California Angels in the team’s first game), there were other Texas Rangers.

“Ranger” is from Middle French se ranger, to take up a position, also from ranger to set in a row, and before that, renc, to line up (which later became rank). The original Texas Rangers, (from the 1820s, and were founded as a volunteer corps), set up a ‘row’ in a way, to prevent Native American Indian attacks. Later the Rangers became lawmen; their exploits have become legendary. In 1835, the year before the Republic of Texas was born, the rangers became an official, full-time corps that was paid to defend the frontier.

The United States annexed Texas in 1845 and protection of the frontier became a federal responsibility; the rangers then reverted to a volunteer, militia-type organization. Under John Coffee (Jack) Hays, they fought in federal service during the Mexican War, winning national attention for their skill and bravery. Reorganized in 1874, the rangers–with the gradual end of the Indian wars–became a statewide law-enforcement agency responsible for suppressing feuds and riots, controlling cattle thefts, and capturing train robbers. Since 1935 they have operated as a branch of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Bass Outlaw, a Texas Ranger, had some important hits in his day.

As for the Josh Hamilton-Elvis Andrus bunch, they’ll be back next season, trying to posse-up and track down that “Worl’ Champeen-chip’ gang.

Good Luck.

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