The Texas Rangers‘ dominance of the American League West continued in 2016, with the franchise clinching its second straight division title Friday with a 3-0 win over the Oakland Athletics.

The Rangers provided video of the final play to clinch the franchise’s seventh division title:

The team also showed footage of the ensuing locker room celebration:

Closer Sam Dyson came ready for the party with a mask that was sure to protect his face:

While there is still a few years left for things to play out, the Rangers are putting themselves on the short list for best AL team of the decade with five playoff appearances, four division titles and two World Series appearances since 2010.

After getting off to a slow start in April and May, the Rangers took over first place in the AL West on May 29 with a 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. They never looked back from that moment, expanding their lead to a season-high 10 games on June 22. 

The Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros did put together strong runs in the second half, with both teams still threatening in the wild-card race, but those two teams went a combined 11-27 against the Rangers in 2016. 

It’s a testament to the Rangers’ talent and character that they are making another postseason appearance. Their run differential of plus-12 is only eighth in the AL, but they have made up for it with an incredible and historic record in one-run games. 

In a 3-2 win earlier this week against the Los Angeles Angels that got the Rangers’ magic number down to three, Ian Desmond delivered one of those one-run wins with a walk-off single:

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said that win, which was the team’s 46th come-from-behind victory in 2016, represented who they are as a unit. 

“That has been our DNA this year. We didn’t give up until the last out, until the last pitch, and it’s contagious,” said Andrus, per the Associated Press (via the New York Times). 

Desmond is emblematic of everything that has gone right for the Rangers in 2016. He turned down a seven-year, $107 million extension from the Washington Nationals prior to the 2014 season, per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post

After Desmond struggled through 2015 with a .233/.290/.384 slash line, the Nationals’ only offer to him was a one-year qualifying offer to help him rebuild his value. 

Instead, once again betting on himself, Desmond turned the Nationals down and wound up not signing until February 29, two weeks after spring training started, when the Rangers came calling. He turned in an All-Star performance and is once again in line for a huge deal this offseason. 

This season was not all smooth sailing for the Rangers. Yu Darvish didn’t debut until May 28 while still rehabbing from Tommy John surgery the previous year and went back on the disabled list for one month after making just three starts. 

Starting pitchers Derek Holland and Colby Lewis both spent time on the 60-day disabled list with injuries. Prince Fielder was a mess at the plate early in the year and was forced to retire in August after spinal fusion surgery. 

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels did strike gold at the trade deadline, acquiring catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Milwaukee Brewers and outfielder/designated hitter Carlos Beltran from the New York Yankees to boost their lineup. 

Thanks to strong performances all season from Desmond, Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Cole Hamels, Matt Bush, Dyson, rookie Nomar Mazara and an aggressive front office not afraid to take big swings, the Rangers are celebrating with champagne right now and await another shot to win the franchise’s first World Series. 

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