Before they were postseason bound: Rangers

Before they were postseason bound: Rangers

The Rangers are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2012, and here's the skinny on the origins of every player wearing the red, white and blue.

Cole Hamels, LHP
Born: San Diego
DOB: 12/27/83
HS: Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) High School
Minors: Lakewood (A), Clearwater (A+), Reading (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Hamels was the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 NLCS and World Series for the Phillies.
• Surfing is among Hamels' hobbies.
• The Hamels Foundation funds children's programs in Philadelphia and Africa.

Game Date Result
Gm 1 Oct. 8 TEX 5, TOR 3
Gm 2 Oct. 9 TEX 6, TOR 4
Gm 3 Oct. 11 TOR 5, TEX 1
Gm 4 Oct. 12 TOR 8, TEX 4
Gm 5 Oct. 14 TOR 6, TEX 3

Yovani Gallardo, RHP
Born: Michoacan, Mexico
DOB: 2/27/86
HS: Fort Worth (Texas) Trimble Tech
Minors: Beloit, West Virginia, Brevard County (A), Huntsville (AA), Nashville (AAA)
• Gallardo is a huge soccer fan, and his big-screen video soccer game was a huge hit in the Rangers clubhouse.
• The veteran hurler has 12 career home runs as a hitter.
• Gallardo donated a permanent batting facility to his high school, Trimble Tech.

Colby Lewis, RHP
Born: Bakersfield, Calif.
DOB: 8/2/79
HS: North Bakersfield (Calif.) High School
College: Bakersfield Junior College
Minors: Pulaski (A), Port Charlotte (A+), Tulsa (AA), Oklahoma City, Toledo, Sacramento (AAA)
• Lewis is a big NASCAR racing fan and close friend of professional driver Kevin Harvick.
• He revived his career pitching two seasons for Hiroshima of Japan's Central League in 2008-09.
• Has rebuilt several vintage automobiles, mainly Chevrolet, and has a go-kart track in his backyard in Bakersfield.

Postseason
Before they were postseason bound

Derek Holland, LHP
Born: Newark, Ohio
DOB: 10/9/86
HS: Newark (Ohio) High School
College: Wallace State Community College
Minors: Spokane (A-), Clinton (A), Bakersfield (A+), Frisco (AA), Oklahoma City, Round Rock (AAA)
• He is a huge Michigan football fan and got to attend their practices this summer.
• His 60 Feet 6 Foundation was formed to fight pediatric cancer.
• Holland has made significant donations to both his high school and college baseball programs.

Martin Perez, LHP
Born: Guanare, Venezuela
DOB: 4/4/91
Minors: Spokane (A-), Hickory (A), Frisco (AA), Round Rock (AAA)
• His hobbies include singing, and he loves to cook for his teammates in Spring Training.
• Perez built his arm strength as a child by throwing rocks at iguanas.
• He missed 14 months while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Anthony Bass, RHP
Born: Dearborn, Mich.
DOB: 11/1/87
HS: Trenton (Mich.) High
College: Wayne State University
Minors: Eugene (A-), Fort Wayne, Quad Cities (A), San Antonio (AA), Tucson, Oklahoma City (AAA).
• He is the only opposing starter to ever win his MLB debut at Coors Field.
• A fifth-round pick by the Padres, Bass is the highest Draft pick in Wayne State University history, and he hosts a pitching camp there in January.
• His first Major League hit was a three-run triple.

Sam Freeman, LHP
Born: Houston
DOB: 6/24/87
HS: Hebron (Texas) High School
College: North Central Texas College, University of Kansas
Minors: Johnson City (A-), Palm Beach (A+), Springfield (AA), Memphis, Round Tock (AAA)
• Freeman also played football in high school.
• He missed entire 2010 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
• Freeman was acquired from the Cardinals at the end of Spring Training. He was on the Cardinals' playoff roster in 2012 and 2014.

Jake Diekman, LHP
Born: Wymore, Neb.
DOB: 1/21/87
HS: Wymore Southern (Neb.) High
College: Cloud County Community College
Minors: Williamsport (A-), Lakewood (A), Clearwater (A+), Reading (AA), Lehigh Valley (AAA)
• He works to raise awareness from colitis and Crohn's disease.
• Diekman dedicates each game to his late mother, Billie.
• He was acquired from the Phillies, along with pitcher Cole Hamels, on July 31.

Tanner Scheppers, RHP
Born: Mission Viejo, Calif.
DOB: 1/17/87
HS: Dana Hills (Calif.) High School
College: Fresno State
Minors: Frisco (AA), Oklahoma City, Round Rock (AAA)
• He pitched on the 2008 Fresno State team that won the College World Series but did not pitch in the postseason because of a shoulder injury.
• Scheppers was drafted by Baltimore and Pittsburgh prior to being taken by the Rangers as the 44th overall pick in 2009.
• Among his hobbies are body-boarding.

Sam Dyson, RHP
Born: Tampa
DOB: 5/7/88
HS: Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit
College: University of South Carolina
Minors: Dunedin (A+), New Hampshire, Jacksonville (AA), New Orleans (AAA)
• He was a freshman All-American at South Carolina in 2008.
• Dyson was drafted by the Nationals (2006), A's (2009) and Blue Jays (2010). He finally signed with Toronto.
• He went to same high school as Lou Piniella and Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan and was Sunbelt Player of the Year as a senior.

Keone Kela, RHP
Born: Los Angeles
DOB: 4/16/93
HS: Chief Sealth International (Wash.) High School
College: Everett Community College
Minors: Hickory (A), Spokane (A-), Myrtle Beach (A+), Frisco (AA)
• He was a fire science major at Everett.
• Kela once pitched a game in high school three days after his wisdom teeth were pulled.
• The rookie is of Hawaiian heritage.

Shawn Tolleson, RHP
Born: Dallas
DOB: 1/19/88
HS: Allen (Texas) High School
College: Baylor
Minors: Ogden (A-), Great Lakes (A), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Chattanooga (AA) Albuquerque (AAA)
• He is best friends with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and played on the same youth baseball team in North Texas.
• Tolleson and his wife, Lynley, have made a mission trip to Zambia and also support Not for Sale and Exodus Road, two organizations that fight modern sex slavery.
• The Rangers closer was Baylor's team MVP as a freshman.

Spencer Patton, RHP
Born: Urbana, Ill.
DOB: 2/20/88
HS: South Central (Ill.) High School
College: SIU Edwardsville
Minors: Idaho Falls (A-), Wilmington (A+), Northwest Arkansas (AA), Omaha, Round Rock (AAA)
• He was All-State in both basketball and baseball in high school.
• Patton won a Gold Glove for his fielding in college.
• He was traded to the Rangers on the same day he pitched in the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game.

Andrew Faulkner, LHP
Born: Aiken, S.C.
DOB: 9/12/92
HS: South Aiken (S.C) High School
Minors: Hickory (A), Myrtle Beach (A+), Frisco (AA), Round Rock (AAA)
• Turned down a scholarship to University of South Carolina to sign with the Rangers.
• His favorite hobby is bow hunting.
• Faulkner was a starter through the Minors before being switched to the bullpen in July.

Nick Martinez, RHP
Born: Hialeah Fla.
DOB: 8/5/90
HS: Belen Jesuit (Fla.) Prep
College: Fordham
Minors: Spokane (A-), Hickory (A), Myrtle Beach (A+), Frisco (AA), Round Rock (AAA)
• Martinez was mainly an infielder in college but drafted as a pitcher by the Rangers.
• His father had him take pitching lessons in high school against Martinez's objections.
• Spearfishing in the Florida Keys is among his hobbies

Chris Gimenez, C
Born: Gilroy, Calif.
DOB: 12/27/82
HS: Gilroy (Calif.) High School
College: University of Nevada
Minors: Mahoning Valley (A-), Lake County (A), Kinston (A+), Akron (AA), Buffalo, Columbus, Tacoma, Durham, Round Rock (AAA)
• He was hit by a pitch 75 times in his first three seasons in the Minors.
• Gimenez pitched a scoreless inning for the Rangers in 2014.
• He was All-Conference as an outfielder in college.

Robinson Chirinos, C
Born: Punto Fijo, Venezuela
DOB: 6/5/84
Minors: Boise (A-), Lansing (A), Peoria (A), Daytona (A+), Tennessee (AA), Iowa, Durham, Round Rock (AAA)
• Chirinos was the recipient of the inaugural Richard Durrett Hardest Working Man Award in 2014. The award, named after a local sportswriter who passed away at 38, is given annually to the Rangers player who demonstrates significant improvement over the previous season or seasons through hard work
• Chirinos has his own foundation to assist children and families in Venezuela.
• He began his career as an infielder in the Cubs organization before being converted to catcher.

Bobby Wilson C
Born: Dunedin, Fla.
DOB: 4/8/83
HS: Seminole (Fla.) High
Minors: Provo (A-), Cedar Rapids (A), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Arkansas (AA), Salt Lake City, Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Reno, Durham (AAA)
• His high school team went 31-0 and won the Florida 5A state championship.
• One of his teammates was former Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman, and the scout who signed him was Casey's father, Tom.
• Wilson was acquired on waivers from the Rays on July 31.

Carlos Corporan, C
Born: Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
DOB: 1/7/84
HS: Francisco Oller, Catano (P.R.) High
College: Lake City (Fla.) Community College
Minors: Helena (A-), Beloit (A), West Virginia (A), Brevard County (A+), Huntsville (AA), Nashville, Reno, Oklahoma City (AAA),
• He set up charity Smiles for Carlos in memory of his son Carlos Jr., who passed away at 16 months because of heart troubles.
• Corporan played shortstop in high school and third and first base in college before being converted to catcher as a professional.
• He hit a home run off Yu Darvish with one out in the eighth inning on Aug. 12, 2013, while with the Astros to break up a no-hit bid.

Prince Fielder, DH
Born: Ontario, Calif.
DOB: 5/9/84
HS: Eau Gallie Melbourne (Fla.) High School
Minors: Ogden (A-), Beloit (A), Huntsville (AA), Nashville (AAA)
• Fielder is chief spokesman for Going to Bat Against Bullying, an online educational program designed to help students promote an anti-bullying environment.
• Fielder was the Rangers' 2015 nominee for the Heart and Hustle Award.
• He and Cecil Fielder are the only father-son duo with 50-homer seasons each.

Mitch Moreland 1B
Born: Amory, Miss.
DOB: 9/6/85
HS: Amory (Miss.) High School
College: Mississippi State.
Minors: Spokane (A-), Clinton (A), Bakersfield (A+), Frisco (AA), Oklahoma City, Round Rock (AAA)
• He has served as the Rangers' chairman of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund's equipment drives for RBI programs in Dallas and Arlington, as well as West, Texas, a town that was devastated by an industrial explosion in 2013.
• He was a Louisville Slugger High School All-American
• Moreland is a big outdoorsman and has season tickets to Mississippi State football games.

Mike Napoli 1B
Born: Hollywood, Fla.
DOB: 10/31/81
HS: Charles Flanagan (Fla.) High School
Minors: Butte (A-), Cedar Rapids (A), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Arkansas (AA), Salt Lake City (AAA)
• Napoli received the Tim Wakefield Award for his community service while with the Red Sox and is involved in multiple children hospital charities.
• He was a High School All-American at the DH position.
• His 2014-15 offseason included surgery to help correct his sleep apnea.

Rougned Odor 2B
Born: Maracibo, Venezuela
DOB: 2/3/94
Minors: Spokane (A-), Hickory (A), Myrtle Beach (A+), Frisco (AA), Round Rock (AAA)
• His younger brother is also named Rougned and played for the Rangers in the Dominican Summer League.
• Uncle Rouglas Odor is a hitting coach in the Indians organization.
• Rougned made the All-Tournament team as a second baseman in the 2009 World Youth Baseball Championships.

Hanser Alberto, IF
Born: San Francisco de Macoris, Domincan Republic
DOB: 10/17/92
Minors: Spokane (A-), Hickory (A), Myrtle Beach (A+), Frisco (AA), Round Rock (AAA)
• His father, Tony, is a well-known sports-talk show host in the Dominican Republic.
• Alberto's nickname is "Radio," because he loves to do play-by-play around the batting cage and on the bench.
• Alberto won a Gold Glove as a top defensive shortstop in the Minor Leagues last season.

Elvis Andrus SS
Born: Maracay, Venezuela
DOB: 8/26/88
Minors: Danville (A-), Rome (A), Myrtle Beach, Bakersfield (A+), Frisco (AA)
• His older brother Erold played in the Yankees and Rays organizations and was in Minor League camp with the Rangers in 2011. They appeared in the same Cactus League game on March 15, 2011, against the Dodgers.
• Andrus loves listening to music and carried a portable stereo around the backfields in Spring Training so the Rangers could work out with music.
•  He was the Rangers 2014 winner of the Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award.

Adrian Beltre 3B
Born: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
DOB: 4/7/79
Minors: Savannah (A-), San Bernadino (A), Vero Beach (A+), San Antonio (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Beltre was the Rangers nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award in 2014 and 2015.
• His numerous charity targets include baseball programs in the Dominican Republic and multiple children's programs.
• Beltre has become a connoisseur of wines and race horses.

Ryan Strausborger, OF
Born: Elkart, Ind.
DOB: 3/4/88
HS: Osceola (Ind.) High School
College: Indiana State
Minors: Minors: Spokane (A-), Myrtle Beach (A+), Frisco (AA), Round Rock (AAA)
• He was All-Missouri Valley Conference as a junior in college and honorable mention all-academic.
• Strausborger also played basketball and set a high school record for most baskets in his home gymnasium.
• In 2011, he was selected as the best defensive outfielder in the Carolina League and was the Rangers' Minor League Defensive Player of the Year.

Will Venable, OF
Born: Greenbrae, Calif.
DOB: 10/29/82
HS: San Rafael, (Calif.) High School
College: Princeton
Minors: Eugene (A-), Fort Wayne (A), Lake Elsinore (A+) San Antonio (AA), Portland , Tucson (AAA)
• He scored 1,010 points in four years of basketball at Princeton. He and former Rangers pitcher Chris Young are the only two players to ever be named first team All-Ivy in both basketball and baseball.
• Will's father, Max Venable, had a 12-year Major League career and is now a hitting instructor in the Mariners organization.
• Venable was the Padres' Most Valuable Player in 2013 and a nominee for the Hank Aaron Award.

Josh Hamilton, OF
Born: Raleigh, N.C.
DOB: 5/21/81
HS: Athens Drive (N.C.) High School
Minors: Hudson Valley (A-), Charleston (A), Orlando, Frisco (AA), Louisville, Round Rock, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City (AAA)
• His autobiography, "Beyond Belief," was written after the 2008 season.
• Hamilton appeared in a series of videos titled "I Am Second" that chronicled his recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.
• He hit a record 28 home runs in the first round of the 2008 Home Run Derby.

Delino DeShields, OF
Born: Gaston, Ga.
DOB: 8/16/92
HS: Woodward Academy (Ga.)
Minors: Greeneville (A-), Lexington (A), Lancaster (A+), Corpus Christi (AA)
• His father, Delino, is a former Major League second baseman and his sister Diamond plays basketball at the University of Tennessee.
• DeShields was one of the top running backs in the state of Georgia in high school.
• While in the Astros organization in 2014, he suffered a fractured cheekbone when he was hit in the face by a pitch from Phil Klein. The two ended up as teammates on the Rangers this year.

Shin-Soo Choo, OF
Born: Busan, South Korea
DOB: 7/13/82
HS: Busan High School
Minors: Wisconsin, Lake County (A), San Bernadino, Inland Empire (A+), San Antonio, Akron (AA), Tacoma, Buffalo, (AAA),
• He was the MVP and best pitcher of the 1999 President's Cup, Korea's most prestigious high school tournament, and in the 1999 and 2000 Busan City Championships.
• Choo donated $100,000 to the Korean Cultural Center of Dallas and hosted local children from Korean School Association to Legoland Discovery Center at Grapevine Mills Mall.
• He helped Korea win the gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games and also played on the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Drew Stubbs, OF
Born: Atlanta, Texas
DOB: 10/4/84
HS: Atlanta (Texas) High School
College: University of Texas
Minors: Billings (A-), Dayton (A), Sarasota (A+), Chattanooga (AA), Louisville, Albuquerque, Round Rock
• He hit a game-winning triple for Team USA in the gold-medal game against Japan at the 2004 World University Baseball Championship in Taiwan.
• Stubbs was the Longhorns' co-MVP in 2006 as well, named Big 12 co-Player of the Year, and one of five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award.
• He was also a two-time Academic All-American at the University of Texas.