Rangers' legacy on display for Opening Day

Rangers' legacy on display for Opening Day

Rangers' legacy on display for Opening Day
The Rangers will recognize the club's first 20 years before Friday's home opener, with outfielder Jeff Burroughs and pitcher Charlie Hough taking part in the ceremonial first pitch.

The 2010 American League champions begin their 40th year in Arlington against the Red Sox at Rangers Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. CT. The game is sold out.

The Opening Day ceremonies will also include the official raising of the 2010 AL Championship Flag, which will take place prior to introductions of the 2011 team.

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Burroughs won the Rangers' first AL Most Valuable Player Award in 1974, producing 25 home runs, 118 RBIs and a .301 batting average. The franchise's first power hitter, Burroughs combined for 102 homers and 383 RBIs from 1973-76. He had 30 homers in 1973. Burroughs made his Major League debut in 1970 with the Washington Senators and had 240 homers and 882 RBIs in a 16-year career. He will throw the ceremonial first pitch to reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton.

Hough won Rangers fans over with his knuckleball and was the anchor of the club's pitching staff in the 1980s. He had at least 14 wins in seven consecutive seasons from 1982-88. He is the club's all-time leader with 139 wins, 2,308 innings, 98 complete games and 1,452 strikeouts. Hough, a six-time selection as the club's pitcher of the year, was in the first class of inductees to the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2003. He won 213 games in 25 seasons. Hough will throw to reliever Darren Oliver.

"As we recognize the Rangers' 40th season in Texas, we felt that the first-pitch ceremony should reflect the history of the club," Rangers chief executive officer and president Nolan Ryan said. "Jeff Burroughs was the first great offensive star for the Rangers in the 1970s, and Charlie Hough was the club's ace throughout the 1980s. It is very appropriate that they take part in the opening day activities."

A moment of silence will be observed prior to the game for the late Tom Vandergriff, the individual most responsible for bringing Major League Baseball to North Texas, and for the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Gates open at noon on Friday. Parking lots will open at 10 a.m. CT. All fans 21 years of age and older will receive a Rangers Opening Day magnetic schedule.

Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.