If 2023 is the year of the Immaculate Grid — the popular sports trivia game in which you try to name players who have spent time with specific pairs of teams — then this World Series presents a bit of challenge. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers don’t have many famous names linking them, in part because the Diamondbacks are a relatively new franchise, having started play in 1998.
Luckily, Baseball Reference, the Immaculate Grid’s current home, has an easy search tool that can identify anyone who has played for a certain combination of teams. Here are a few of the most significant players who have suited up for both Arizona and Texas:
The biggest name on the list is also an active member of one of these teams. Scherzer is best known for his work in Washington and Detroit, but he was drafted by Arizona and began his career there before going to the Tigers in a huge trade that also sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees. Now a three-time Cy Young Award winner, he was dealt from the Mets to the Rangers this July.
Another Cy Young winner, but a much less prominent member of these two franchises. Keuchel has played for four different teams in the past two seasons, including short, ineffective stints with both Arizona and Texas last year. Over the course of those two stops, he allowed 34 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings in six starts.
If you’re looking for a player who made a significant contribution to both teams, Davis is a solid pick. He made 54 starts during his tenure with the Rangers, including 30 in 2001, when he won 11 games. He later made 93 starts in his three years in Arizona, eating up innings and even winning a playoff game in the 2007 NL Division Series.
Dellucci was taken by Arizona in the expansion draft and played for a championship team in 2001. He entered as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the World Series but was thrown out on a force play at third before the Diamondbacks scored the two runs they needed to win. His best season was in 2005 with Texas, when he hit a career-high 29 home runs.
The father of the Kansas City shortstop with the same name, Witt had two substantial stints with Texas, winning 17 games for the Rangers in 1990 and 16 in 1996. In the final year of his career, he made seven starts and seven relief appearances for the Diamondbacks, then appeared in a couple of their postseason games.
A similar path to Witt’s: Helling had a couple stints with Texas and won 20 games for the Rangers in 1998, then spent one season with Arizona.
Kennedy and Scherzer are linked because he went from the Yankees to Arizona in the deal that sent Scherzer to Detroit. Kennedy went 21-4 for the Diamondbacks in 2011. He’s been a reliever more recently, and he went from the Diamondbacks to the Texas organization via free agency before this season. He’s currently out with a rotator cuff injury.
After Miller was an All-Star for Atlanta in 2015, the Diamondbacks gave up infielder Dansby Swanson to acquire him. That did not work out well for Arizona as Miller went 5-18 over the next three years before leaving for Texas via free agency.
Holland was an All-Star twice with Kansas City and once with Colorado, but he posted an ERA of 4.54 in his one year with Arizona and 7.71 in five appearances with Texas.
Morgan pitched 22 seasons in the major leagues, the last four of which were with Texas and Arizona. He was still mostly a starter for the Rangers at age 39 but went 13-10 with a 6.24 ERA that year and pitched almost exclusively in relief for the Diamondbacks.
Fassero was part of that excellent Montreal team in 1994 and pitched in the majors until 2006. Included in his career were extremely short tenures with Texas (seven appearances and three starts) and Arizona (one appearance for one inning).
Galarraga is famous for losing a perfect game on a bad call when he was with Detroit. But before that, he made his big league debut with Texas, and after his Tigers tenure he spent a year with Arizona.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB