Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Texas Rangers in Consecutive World Series? Who Would Have Thought?

It was about this same time last year that something I had once thought impossible was about to happen. I was attending a World Series game in Arlington, Texas to watch my beloved Texas Rangers go up against the San Francisco Giants. To make this even better, I would be attending with my oldest son (CDog) and my son-in-law (he doesn’t have a street name yet).
Somehow CDog had gotten tickets. It was Game 3, the first ever played at the Ball Park and we would see the only Rangers win of the series and included in that was a round tripper from Josh Hamilton. We did not win the Series, but it was an experience I will never forget.

Not long ago I was with a friend as we watched the Rangers play Seattle in Safeco Field. I was there on business and happened to have a day free and Texas was in town. My friend (who is a Cardinal fan) seemed flabbergasted that I had only been to 1 World Series game. I am sure it did not dawn on him that while the Cardinals had 17 pennants up until that time, 2010 was the first for the Rangers. With teams like the Cards, Yankees and Red Sox a trip to the Fall Classic is just another part of the season, but for the Rangers and fans like me, it is still like that first trip to Six Flags when we were kids. Hopefully, the playoffs and W.S. will be normal for us too one day, but I hope it never becomes routine.
There have been good times and bad as fans of the Rangers. One of the best web sites detailing the dark side can be found at Stormeyes (No doubt Cub fans will tell us we don’t know what bad times are like). I can remember as teenagers, driving the 45 miles or so to the old Arlington Stadium and plunking down $3.75 for excellent seats and getting to see Ted Williams as their Manager. (Ted, by the way hated Texas). The club averaged 100 losses during the first three years in Arlington and in 1977 had a replacement Manager (Eddie Stanky) quit after only one game.
The debut of David Clyde, a Texas high school phenom, only days after his high school graduation in 1973 probably saved the franchise, yet ruined what could have been a promising career. Managers such as Williams, Rader and Showalter set the franchise back, while at the same time the dugout has seen the likes of Martin, Zimmer, Herzog, Valentine and the forever loved Johnny Oates.
There have been the selfish such as A-Rod, Bobby Bonds, Juan Gonzalez and the ever unpopular Lee Mazzilli. The disgraced; Palmeiro, Canseco and Howe. But there have been many more that we remember fondly like Harrah, Sundberg, Hargrove, Jenkins, Pudge, Perry, Bell, Greer and of course Nolan Ryan. You could add the entire 2011 roster (including manager Ron Washington) not only because they are winners, but they seem a perfect match for what the state of Texas needs to see in a baseball team.
I will probably not make it to the Series this year. I certainly am not going to go out of my way, even though I am only a few hours from both St. Louis and Dallas. Last year’s trip was such a special occasion for me that I want to always remember it just as it was. One of the best days of my life. (Now if you have a free ticket, don't hesitate to call).
The Rangers have now been in Arlington for 40 seasons. From owners to fans, it has been a unique, fun, miserable, exciting and sometime just plain goofy four decades……….. But you know………. Dat’s Da Way Baseball Go!.................... GO RANGERS!

1 comment:

  1. I think that it is great to have a team like the Rangers in the World Series: especially for two consecutive years. The days of watching the Yankees and the Red Sox compete each year was getting old. I look forward to watching them possibly clinch their first title. Don't feel bad either, I have never been to a World Series game in my life.