2017 Texas Rangers Winter Caravan begins January 12; Caravan presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors

Rangers personalities to make appearances at 12 Academy Sports + Outdoors locations in January

Plans have been finalized for the 2017 Texas Rangers Winter Caravan. Presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Rangers players, coaches, broadcasters, and alumni will make appearances 12 Academy Sports + Outdoors locations in Texas during January and February as part of the Winter Caravan.
 
The complete schedule of Rangers appearances at Academy Sports + Outdoors locations (all are open free of charge to the public; schedule of participants is subject to change; number of autographs to be signed may be limited depending on location; please visit www.academy.com or texasrangers.com for complete details):
 
Thursday, January 12, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 210 North New Road, Waco, TX 76710
Scheduled to Appear: Tony Barnette, Matt Bush

Friday, January 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 3204 I-30, Greeneville, TX 75402
Scheduled to Appear: Tony Barnette, Matt Bush

Wednesday, January 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 12250 Research Blvd., Austin, TX 78759
Scheduled to Appear: Jeff Banister, Steve Buechele, Sam Dyson, Eric Nadel

Wednesday, January 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 8050 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75243
Scheduled to Appear: Joey Gallo, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Jared Hoying

Thursday, January 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 1101 West Arbrook Boulevard, Arlington, TX 76015
Scheduled to Appear: Sam Dyson, Brett Nicholas  

Sunday, January 22, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 3305 Dallas Parkway, Plano, TX 75093
Scheduled to Appear: Andrew Cashner, Delino DeShields

Sunday, January 22, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 1701 South Cherry Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76108
Scheduled to Appear: Robinson Chirinos, Will Middlebrooks

Monday, January 23, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 8668 South Broadway Avenue, Tyler, TX 75703
Scheduled to Appear: Delino DeShields, Will Middlebrooks, Tom Grieve 

Tuesday, January 24, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 3201 Lawrence Road, Wichita Falls, TX 76308
Scheduled to Appear: Steve Buechele, Delino DeShields, Will Middlebrooks

Friday, January 27, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 5836 North Tarrant Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76137
Scheduled to Appear: Jeff Banister, A.J. Griffin, Tanner Scheppers

Thursday, February 2, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 1523 West State Hwy. 114, Grapevine, TX 76051
Scheduled to Appear: Shin-Soo Choo, Andrew Faulkner

Friday, February 3, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Academy Sports + Outdoors, 3950 John Knox Drive (at Cedar Run Road), Abilene, TX 79606
Scheduled to Appear: Andrew Faulkner, others TBA
 
The participants at each Academy Sports + Outdoors appearance on the 2017 Winter Caravan will be updated at texasrangers.com as they are confirmed.
 
The FOX Sports Southwest Winter Caravan Express will be at selected Academy Sports + Outdoors appearances on the Rangers Caravan. The 2017 Rangers Winter Caravan is sponsored in part by FOX Sports Southwest, CBS11/TXA21, and 105.3 The Fan.
 
2017 RANGERS WINTER CARAVAN TO MAKE STOPS IN ROUND ROCK AND FRISCO
 
The 2017 Texas Rangers Winter Caravan will also be making stops at the homes of the team's top two farm clubs, Dell Diamond in Round Rock and Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.
 
Tuesday, January 17: Event with the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond, 12 noon
The Rangers will make a stop at Dell Diamond, home of their Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express. The event will be held in the United Heritage Conference Center and doors will open at 11:00 a.m.
Tickets for the luncheon are on sale through the Round Rock Express ticket office (512-255-2255) and online at www.RoundRockExpress.com. Individual general admission tickets are $50. Fans can also reserve a table of eight for $320. The event, presented by Cody Pools, will begin at noon with an autograph session for ticketed attendees following the program.
Scheduled to Appear: Jeff Banister, Steve Buechele, Sam Dyson, Eric Nadel, others TBA
 
Saturday, January 28: Event with the Frisco RoughRiders at Dr Pepper Ballpark, 10:30-1:00 p.m.
The Rangers will make a stop at Dr Pepper Ballpark, home of their Double-A affiliate, the Frisco RoughRiders.
 
12:00-1:00 p.m.-Free public autograph session at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
 
Scheduled to Appear: Jeff Banister, Elvis Andrus, Robinson Chirinos, Chi Chi Gonzalez, A.J. Griffin, Tanner Scheppers. More information is available by going to ridersbaseball.com.
 
An updated listing of Texas Rangers appearances open to the public can be found at texasrangers.com.
 
ELVIS ANDRUS NAMED RECIPIENT OF 2016 RICHARD DURRETT HARDEST WORKING MAN AWARD
 
Shortstop Elvis Andrus is the recipient of the 2016 Richard Durrett Hardest Working Man Award, it was announced today by the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
 
This is the third year that the local BBWAA chapter has presented the award to a player who demonstrates significant improvement over the previous season or seasons. It is named in memory of Richard Durrett, who covered the Rangers for over a decade for the Dallas Morning News and ESPN Radio before his sudden passing on June 17, 2014 at the age of 38.
 
In 2016 Andrus set career highs with a .302 batting average (44 points higher than in 2015), 8 homers, and 69 RBI while stealing 20+ bases for the eighth consecutive season. 
Andrus will be honored at the 2017 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner, which takes place on Friday, January 20 at Gilley's Dallas. Tickets for the dinner, which will honor a number of baseball personalities and feature appearances by Texas Rangers past and present, are now on sale at www.texasrangers.com/awards. Tickets for the Dr Pepper Awards Dinner are priced at $100.00 each with tables of ten available for $1000.00. Net proceeds benefit the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. The dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m.
 
Gilley's Dallas is located at 1135 S. Lamar St. in Dallas. The 2017 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner is also sponsored by FOX Sports Southwest, CBS11/TXA21, and 105.3 The FAN.
 
MINOR LEAGUE SIGNINGS: The Rangers have signed C Steve Lerud (pronounced luh-ROOD) and RHP Jaye Chapman to minor league contracts. Lerud has received an invitation to major league spring training camp, while Chapman will be in minor league camp.
 
Lerud, 32, has spent time with eight different organizations in a 14-year professional career, including batting .229 with one home run and 19 RBI over 60 games with San Francisco's Double-A Richmond affiliate in 2016 after being released by Seattle on April 6. In his minor league career, Lerud has caught 34.1% (329 CS/965 SBA) of attempted base stealers. He saw his only major league action with Philadelphia in 2012-13, when he was briefly teammates with Cole Hamels and Michael Young, combining to go 2-for-15 in 9 games with the Phillies. Lerud was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 2003 June draft, spending seven years in the Pirates system during a span in which current Rangers manager Jeff Banister was the Bucs' minor league field coordinator. In addition to Pittsburgh (2003-09), he has seen stints in the Kansas City (2010), Baltimore (2010-11), Philadelphia (2012-13), Atlanta (2014), Washington (2015), Seattle (2016), and San Francisco (2016) systems.
 
The 29-year-old Chapman had a 9-3 record with 19 saves and a 4.02 ERA (24 ER/53.2 IP) over 53 relief appearances with Milwaukee and Tampa Bay affiliates last season. The right-hander was acquired by Tampa Bay in a trade on July 10 and finished the season at Double-A Montgomery, going 3-2 with a 4.43 ERA (10 ER/20.1 IP) and 26 strikeouts against 4 walks over 22 relief outings. He saw his only major league action with the Chicago Cubs in 2012, compiling a 3.75 ERA (5 ER/12.0 IP) over 14 relief appearances with the club in September and October.