Seven. Yes, seven days is how long we have to wait until our Texas Rangers play their first game of 2015 in Arlington. Texas will begin their three-game series against the Houston Astros on April 10 at 3:05 p.m. The Rangers announced the scheduled events for the home opener and it should be an exciting day!
If you have never been to a Rangers Opening Day game the best advice I can give you is to arrive early. The traffic around the Ballpark is hectic enough on regular game days the season opener is magnified by thousands. OK, maybe not thousands but it gets congested early, think I-35 or I-635 in Dallas at 8:30 in the morning. See my point?
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Thankfully, the team understands this, too. The cash parking lots at the Ballpark (Globe Life Park in Arlington, I will never get used to saying that, ugh!) will open at 9:00 a.m. and the gates to the Texas Rangers’ glorious cathedral will open at 12N. And if you were not planning on getting there early, keep in mind MLB has mandated that every fan is required to walk through metal detectors this season.
Retired United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Nicholas Bradley will throw out this year’s ceremonial first pitch. Staff Sergeant Bradley was deployed to Iraq where he served with the 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces and flew more than 200 Surveillance Missions for troops outside the wire or ‘safety zone.’ In 2008 while on a Protective Services Mission, his vehicle was struck by an IED. He has had 16 surgeries and continues physical therapy.
Local musician Joel LaGrone will perform Texas, Our Texas prior to Texas Governor Greg Abbott making a “Texas Toss” to my favorite catcher Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez before the only MLB teams in Texas are introduced. I don’t know who thinks of what to call the events that happen between the Rangers and Astros but for Pete’s sake please stop making them sound so hokey!
Texas Rangers fans (Astros fans, too I suppose) will also be treated to the United States Air Force Band of the West from Lackland, TX Air Force Base performing the Star Spangled Banner. The 301st Fighter Wing Air Force Reserve F-16 unit has flyover duties this season.
Left-handed pitcher Derek Holland is set to start for the Rangers home opener and will face Houston Astros’ right-handed pitcher Collin McHugh. You can catch the pregame show, Rangers Live on FOX Sports Southwest at noon, followed by the game at 3:00 p.m. FSSW will air several special programs before the game including ‘In My Own Words: Jeff Banister.’
Opening Day is only three days away and before you know it we’ll be hearing the two sweetest-sounding words to a Texas Rangers fan at the Ballpark – PLAY BALL!
NEVER. EVER. QUIT.