Raised in the Austsin, Texas area, I have been a fan of Texas baseball team as long as I can remember. I grew up attending Arlington Stadium, and idolizing players like Pete O'Brien, Pete Incaviglia, and Steve Buechele. The Rangers fielded competitive teams during those years, but always failed to reach the post-season. Eric Nadel's Texas Rangers: The Authorized History documents the team's history beginning with their transition from the Washington Senators to the Texas Rangers in 1972.
Eric Nadel is on his way to Cooperstown, as he has been the radio voice of the Rangers since 1979. He has displayed extensive dedication to his craft, and even became fluent in Spanish during the 1990's, when the Rangers lineup was dominated by Latin players.
The Authorized History covers in detail the Rangers first division championship. While I think Nadel goes too far in defining the 1996 season as a "prelude to a championship", there is a lot of good information and stories. To me, a "prelude to a championship" should foreshadow something greater than an AL West title.
Things began to turn around in 1994 when the Texas team moved to the Ballpark in Arlington. The team was in first place when the season ended due to the players strike. The club missed the playoffs the following year, but subsequently won the AL West in 1996, 1998, and 1999.
As the Texas Rangers have now moved past the Alex Rodriguez/Chan Ho Park/Tom Hicks era, the book should probably be updated. The 2010 Texas Rangers appear to have the best team in franchise history, and a lot has happened since the book was first published in 1997.