Texas Rangers induct John Blake into Hall of Fame
ARLINGTON, Texas — Recognized as the “best possible person in baseball media relations for the past 25+ years” by Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis, longtime Rangers executive John Blake was inducted Saturday in the Rangers Hall of Fame.
Blake, now the Rangers’ executive vice president of public affairs, has worked as a baseball public relations professional since joining the Baltimore Orioles in the late 1970s. But he’s spent most of his professional career with Rangers, where he wrote the team message and promoted the team’s players, including Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez and fellow inductee Ian Kinsler.
Former Rangers general manager and current TV analyst Tom Grieve inducted Blake. Grieve will retire from the stand after this season.
Grieve said baseball was one of the constants in Blake’s life and hailed his hiring in the 1980s as instrumental in lifting the franchise out of the doldrums of a losing franchise. He also said that the way Blake and his team handled Ryan’s 5,000th strikeout in 1989 was one of the reasons Ryan decided to extend his stay at Arlington beyond his scheduled season. He played for Rangers until 1993.
“In 1985, Rangers were a struggling franchise,” Grieve said. “(former owner) Eddie Chiles was trying to change that. One of the first things he did was hire John Blake.
In addition to the traditional plaque, Blake received an electric blue bat with his name on it. Like the rest of the Hall of Famers, he received a blue Rangers Hall of Fame blazer.
Blake was accompanied by his wife and two children. He thanked them and the Rangers organization for his induction. He referenced the mural painted on the side of first base at Globe Life Field, which depicts many great players and milestones that have come to the franchise. He said it was only fitting that his induction took place in the franchise’s 50th season and he is honored to have seen many players and the milestone depicted in this mural.
“It all comes down to the relationships and the people I’ve met along the way,” Blake said.
There were several video messages for Blake at the ceremony, including Rangers Hall of Famer Charlie Hough, former Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, former Rangers manager Ron Washington, Ryan, former president and former Rangers owner George W. Bush,
Blake is in his 44th year in professional baseball. He joined Rangers as the team’s Media Relations Manager. Previously, he was assistant public relations manager and media information manager for the Baltimore Orioles from 1979 to 1984.
He served 20 years with the Rangers from 1984 to 2004, spending some of that time in a competing position with the Dallas Stars when both teams were owned by Tom Hicks. After spending three seasons with the Boston Red Sox from 2006 to 2008, Blake returned as the Rangers’ vice president of media relations.
Blake is already a member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame, where he was inducted in 1995.
Blake is the fifth front office executive inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame. The first was Grieve. After that, former team president Tom Schieffer was inducted in 2014, then Chuck Morgan, known to most as the Rangers’ public announcer, but holds the title of executive vice president, entertainment, promotions. and producing.
Ryan, who served as the team’s president and chief executive from 2008 to 2013, was one of the first Rangers Hall of Famers since he was a player from 1989 to 1994.
Other Rangers Hall of Famers present include Jim Sundberg (2003), Ferguson Jenkins (2004), Tom Grieve (2010), Eric Nadel (2012), Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez (2013), Tom Schieffer ( 2014), Michael Young (2016), former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene (2019), Adrian Beltre (2021), Chuck Morgan (2021), and Victor Vandergriff, the son of former Arlington Mayor Tom Vandergriff ( 2004). Vandergriff is credited with helping lure former Washington senators to Arlington ahead of the 1972 season.
Other former Rangers present were Frank Catalanotto, Chris Davis, Craig Gentry, Colby Lewis, Doug Melvin and David Murphy.
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