Balukjian: Do you remember … Hoss-teria with the 1982 Texas Rangers?

From SABR member Brad Balukjian at Wax Pack Book on May 18, 2015:

Hoss-teria is running wild, brother!

Or at least it was, back in the summer of 1982 in Arlington, Texas. The one bright spot during an otherwise miserable Rangers season came from first baseman Dave Hostetler’s bat.

Hostetler came over to the Rangers at the end of spring training from the Expos along with Larry Parrish in a trade for Al Oliver. He was called up from AAA in late May and almost immediately gave the woeful Rangers something to cheer about, banging a home run in his second game off of the Royals’ Keith Creel.

On June 1, the Rangers were 15-29 and 12.5 games out of first place.

“I think we can win it all,” manager Don Zimmer had said in the Street and Smith’s Official 1982 Yearbook preview after landing second baseman Doug Flynn from the Mets. Zimmer wouldn’t make it through the year. Flynn hit .211.

So as the dog days approached, the Rangers were desperate for something to cheer about. They found their answer in Hostetler, whose nickname “Hoss” perfectly fit his 6’4, 215-lb frame. In the month of June alone, he slammed 10 home runs, prompting the Rangers’ PR department to issue a press release titled “Mightier than the Mightiest,” which showed that Hostetler’s home run pace through his first 100 at-bats surpassed Ruth, Mays, and Aaron.

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Originally published: May 28, 2015. Last Updated: May 28, 2015.