Earlier, the prodigious Ben Dieter posted an article about his top ten Rangers moments http://nolanwritin.com/2014/03/10/top-ten-texas-rangers-moments/ and invited everyone to share theirs. I’m still new to the site, but I thought I’d share a few of my top moments as well.
1. August 1, 1987
A forgettable game in a forgettable year for a forgettable edition of the Rangers, but it was memorable to me. That was the night I attended my first MLB game in person. We sat along the right field line in old Arlington Stadium, right above the Ranger bullpen. Future Ranger skipper Ron Washington hit a first inning homer, but Texas tied it in the bottom of the first on a solo shot from Ruben Sierra. It was all downhill from there, but for a 12-year-old kid, it was an awesome night at the ballpark. Late in the game, as Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams prepared to enter the game, he threw a ball up into the stands. My parents say he was aiming it at me, but I was so focused on the game I didn’t notice and someone else got the ball. Oh well.
2. 1988-89 off-season
The Rangers got serious after the 1988 season. They traded for Rafael Palmeiro and Julio Franco and signed Nolan Ryan. Although the Rangers wouldn’t make their first playoff appearance for eight more years, the busy off-season was a reason to get excited after two lackluster seasons and the new Rangers became some of my all-time favorites.
3. 5,000 Ks
Younger readers don’t understand, but in 1989 in Fritch, TX, Ranger games on TV were rare. Luckily, our stereo could pick up the Ranger broadcasts out of Dallas, so when Nolan Ryan went to the mound, the family gathered around to listen. The anticipation built with each batter. I was so glad it was Rickey Henderson, a player I despised, who took the historic K. The fact that we had to listen to it on the radio makes it that much cooler.
4. August 17, 1996
The third, and to date, last MLB game I saw in person. Juan Gonzales doubled in Darryl Hamilton for the Rangers only run in a 4-1 loss. We sat in the right field stands and I spent most of the night marveling at how gorgeous the Ballpark In Arlington was.
For the record, the other MLB game I’ve watched in person was a 1993 Astros-Marlins game at the Astrodome.
5. The first playoff game
I had a hard time focusing on school or work on October 1, 1996. The playoffs started that night, and for the first time, the Rangers were still playing. Juan Gonzalez and Dean Palmer had fourth inning homers to propel Texas to a win in their very first playoff game. I had visions of the World Series in my head. Of course, the Yankees owned us after that, but that was a special night.
6. On To The World Series
This one is just wrong. I watched on TV as Texas finally slayed the Yankees and headed for the World Series. Why was it wrong? Because my best friend since sixth grade, who HATES baseball, was IN THE STANDS that night. Although we barely put up a fight in the Series, this clincher is still my favorite. Even if I had to settle for watching it on TV
So those are a few of my favorite Texas moments. Feel free to share some of yours, and Go Rangers!