Ian Kinsler, whose combination of speed and power made him the most prolific leadoff hitter in club history, and John Blake, who has led the communication efforts for the franchise for more than three decades, have been selected as the 25th and 26th members of the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame, it was announced today.
Kinsler and Blake will be inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, August 13, prior to the 6:15 PM game with the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Field.
In addition, the Rangers will honor the newest Hall of Fame inductees at the 2022 Texas Rangers Hall of Fame Luncheon presented by Coca-Cola, which is scheduled for Friday, August 12 at Live! by Loews—Arlington, TX, 1600 East Randol Mill Road (76011).
The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m., and a number of Kinsler’s former teammates and Rangers’ Hall of Famers are expected to participate. Tickets and more information can be found at texasrangers.com/halloffame. Net proceeds will benefit the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.
Kinsler holds multiple offensive records for a Rangers’ second baseman and batted .273 with 156 home runs and 539 RBI over 1,066 games with Texas from 2006-2013. He ranks second to Elvis Andrus on the club’s all-time list in stolen bases (172), is sixth in runs (748), places seventh in extra-base hits (428) and walks (462), and is eighth in home runs (156—tied), doubles (249), total bases (1,908), and multi-hit games (335).
He is one of just 13 players, and two-second basemen in Major League history with 30 homers and 30 steals each in multiple seasons, accomplishing that feat in both 2009 and 2011.
Kinsler holds club records for most games started (662) and home runs (109) when hitting first in the batting order, including a team mark of 29 homers when leading off the first inning. He also scored 100+ runs four times, tying Michael Young for the club record.
Kinsler also excelled in the postseason for the Rangers, setting career team marks with a .311 batting average and .422 on-base percentage in 34 games with Texas. He has the only six-hit cycle in a nine-inning game since 1900, tying overall team marks for hits (6) and runs (5) on April 15, 2009, vs. Baltimore. A three-time A.L. Star as a Ranger (2008-10-12), Kinsler was the team’s 2006 Rookie of the Year.
Overall, Kinsler finished his Major League career with a .269 batting average, 257 homers, 909 RBI, and 243 stolen bases in 1,888 games with the Rangers (2006-13), Tigers (2014-17), Angels (2018), Red Sox (2018), and Padres (2019). He also played for Israel in the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing last year. Currently, Kinsler is a Special Assistant, Baseball Operations & Player Development for San Diego.
Blake has spent 34 of his 44 years in professional baseball with the Rangers, originally joining the club as Director of Media Relations on November 1, 1984. He also served as Vice President of Public Relations and Senior Vice President of Communications over two decades in his first stint with the organization that extended through the 2004 season. Blake returned to the Rangers as Executive Vice President of Communications on November 1, 2008, and transitioned into the role of Executive Vice President of Public Affairs this past January.
During his Rangers’ career, Blake has overseen at various times media and public relations, broadcasting, community and player relations, marketing, social media, alumni initiatives, photography, archives, and publications while serving as the principal team spokesman for 34 years. He was responsible for the communications efforts during both the construction and opening of The Ballpark in Arlington and Globe Life Field.
Blake joins Rangers Hall of Fame broadcaster Eric Nadel as the only team employee to work all 52 of Texas’ postseason games. Overall, he has served in a communications role at 30 World Series and 25 MLB All-Star Games. Blake was the 1993 recipient of MLB’s Robert O. Fishel Award for public relations excellence and received the 2004 Harold McKinney Good Guy Award from the Dallas-Fort Worth BBWAA Chapter.
After graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1977, Blake served two years as that school’s Sports Information Director before beginning his baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1979. He was the Orioles’ Media Information Director at the time of his move to Texas in 1984. Blake also was the Vice President of Media Relations for the Boston Red Sox from 2006-08.
The Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame was created in 2003 to honor those individuals who have excelled for the franchise both on and off the field.
To be considered for Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame selection, former players must have spent a minimum of four seasons in a Texas uniform and be retired as an active player for a minimum of one year.
More details on the Hall of Fame pre-game ceremony on August 13 will be announced.
Featured Image: Dallas Morning News