Growing up in Arnett, Oklahoma, pitcher Randy Henry watched Texas Rangers’ stars of tomorrow play for the Oklahoma City Redhawks, the Rangers then Triple-A ballclub. Never did he ever imagine that he would not only get the opportunity to play in Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, but also play for the team he grew up watching.
“I used to watch the Redhawks a lot when they were owned by the Rangers. I lived really close to there which was kind of neat. I like that ballpark,” Henry said. “I actually kind of upset when they went over to the Astros because I always thought it would be cool to play that close to home. I played there in some state tournament games and I played there in All-State games so I’ve been there a lot. ”
From Oklahoma, Henry followed the careers of Rangers’ fan favorites while he continued to develop his own baseball skills as a pitcher.
“Obviously, I always loved to watch old footage of Nolan Ryan throwing,” Henry said. “I was also a big fan of Alex Rodriguez and Pudge.”
Henry posted strong numbers while at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix before being drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 draft by the Baltimore Orioles which was a new experience for him.
“My experience with Baltimore was good. It was kind of different,” Henry said. “I had never been to the East Coast and never lived there.”
Henry worked his way up in the Orioles organization making it to High-A, the Frederick Keys, in 2011. Following the season, the Texas Rangers traded Taylor Teagarden for Randy Henry and a player to be named later. Henry was shocked the trade happened and that he would be joining the team he loved as a kid.
“The trade happened on December 1st on the deadline that day and it really just surprised me. I was working out that day and I hadn’t heard anything about it before it happened,” Henry said. “I actually heard it through Twitter and a couple of reporter people that are my friends before I even actually got the call two or three hours later.”
Despite the shock, Henry said he was happy for the opportunity.
“Anytime you can go somewhere and someone wants you to play for them, it’s a good opportunity. Also, I get to come closer to home,” Henry said. “I’m from Oklahoma so I knew it would bring me closer to home and it’s been a dream to play for the Rangers for a long time.”
Henry spent his first season in the Rangers’ organization with the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans before being promoted to the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders for the 2013 season. Being close to his family was something important to Henry and he said they have definitely enjoyed his time in Frisco.
“My family likes it a lot not only because they come down here a lot but I play in Tulsa which is closer to them,” Henry said. “They enjoy being able to come watch me play more and traveling to different ballparks and see me in different environments. On an off-day, I’ve been able to drive up and see my family when I wouldn’t be able to for six months at a time.”
This season, Henry has been a major part of the Frisco bullpen. In 29 appearances, he has a record of one win and no losses while posting an ERA of 0.96 while striking out 36 batters. Henry has had a few setbacks but feels he has been progressing.
“I was out for a month due to injury and I think that hurt me having to get back into the swing of things all over again kind of like spring training but I think it’s been a really good year and I’ve been learning a lot of different things,” Henry said. “But at the same time, I think there are a lot of things I’m still trying to get better at and need to work on to keep moving my way up.”