Apr 6, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of Rangers Ballpark as a B-1 bomber flies over during the national anthem prior to theTexas Rangers playing against the Chicago White Sox during opening day at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Twenty years ago today the Texas Rangers played their first game at Globe Life Park, which then was named The Ballpark in Arlington. I wasn’t there for the first game, but I was there for some games that summer. The only things I remember was how big it seemed over the old ballpark. Also, I loved the look and feel of it, it reminded me of the older ballparks and still does to this day.
A walk down memory lane: Before the Texas Rangers moved to the then, Ballpark in Arlington, they played at Arlington Stadium.
"“The last game was played in Arlington Stadium on October 3, 1993, resulting in a 4-1 win by the visiting Kansas City Royals, witnessed by 41,039 fans (it was also the final game in the career of Hall-of-Famer George Brett (baseball)” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Brett_(baseball)”>George Brett).” (Arlington Stadium – Wiki)"
Construction of the ballpark: The official groundbreaking on the ballpark was on October 30, 1991, but actual construction didn’t begin until April 24, 1992. Below is a clip from the 1993 Winter Caravan to the ballpark. The very first game at the ball park was on April 1, 1994 against the New York Mets in an exhibition game. The Rangers lost that game 10-7.
First regular season game: The first regular season game was played today, 20 years ago against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Rangers won their home opener and they have continued to bring excitement to the ballpark since that day. Also, during that inaugural year for the ballpark, Kenny Rogers pitched a perfect game. And as we know, shortly after that the Texas Rangers made the playoffs and recently the went to the World Series back-to-back in 2010 and 2011.
Today, the Texas Rangers will recognize that anniversary as the first 15,000 fans entering the park will receive an AT&T 20th Anniversary Ballpark Replica. Former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, who played a key role in the building of the new ballpark, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday. Catching Mayor Greene will be former Rangers outfielder David Hulse, who singled in the first inning of that game for the first hit in the park’s history. – (From the Texas Rangers press release)
It’s been a great first 20 years of baseball at Globe Life Park, I’m looking forward to many more years of baseball there as I’m sure you are too. I’ve heard some stories from fans that were at the April 11, 1994 game, I hope to be able to share them later today, so check back.