It's one of the longest currently enduring partnerships between an MLB team and its Triple-A affiliate, but it almost didn't happen.
In 1983, Oklahoma City's partnership with the Phillies ended after a seven-year run.
The franchise was courted by several big league teams, including the Astros, Padres, Blue Jays and even the Phillies making a last-ditch effort to stay affiliated with the then-89ers.
But it came down to the Rangers and the Cubs.
At the time, the Cubs' Triple-A franchise wasn't firmly established in Des Moines, Iowa, and the owners of the then-Oklahoma City 89ers, Bing Hampton and Patty Cox Hampton, also served as vice presidents for the Chicago Cubs.
In the end, though, the proximity between Arlington and Oklahoma City, plus the Rangers' offer of the best Player Development Contract in Triple-A at the time started an affiliate relationship that has endured for nearly 30 years.
Since then, all but three others teams have changed affiliations. Only the Royals (Omaha), Red Sox (Pawtucket) and Cubs (Iowa) have kept their Triple-A affiliations for longer.
The Phillies, who were affiliated with Oklahoma City for seven seasons before the 89ers went with the Rangers, have gone through four Triple-A affiliates in that same time.
The two franchises gave each other stability.
Oklahoma City had been affiliated with Houston, Cleveland and Philadelphia in the 20 years before its partnership with Texas.
The Rangers had been even more mobile with their Triple-A team. Texas blew through three cities in three years before settling with the 89ers. Charleston, Wichita and Denver had all hosted the Rangers' highest affiliate. Tucson and Sacramento were also Rangers' affiliates in the years after the franchise moved from Washington.