Globe Life Park closes its doors with the conclusion of Sunday’s game between the host Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees; ending an era of it hosting Rangers games since 1994.
I don’t do this too often when I write Dallas Sports Fanatic, but I plan to write this article in the first person. The ballpark meant a lot to me personally. It’s where I got hooked on baseball. Some of my fondest childhood memories have taken place there.
For someone that loves the team and the game, there’s no place like it. The feeling you get when you walk through the gate. The murmur of the crowd through its lofty concourses. The distinct “ding” of the electronic ticket readers. The residual smell of beer and hot dogs.
My family and I lived about an hour away from the park, so we never had season tickets or went to more than two or three games a season, but that just made it even more special. As I got older, the fair ticket prices and allure of a summer evening sweating it out in the upper deck was still a tantalizing proposition.
I completely understand why Texas is moving to a new, air conditioned palace across the street. But it’s still a shame that Globe Life Park’s baseball life is ending so soon. The park is a baseball palace- in my opinion, one of the most aesthetically pleasing of its era, especially after its renovations in the 2010’s.
I’ll miss broadcasters referring to the “jet streams” that used to blow through and carry home run balls to the home run porch. As a tribute and a way to say goodbye, here are my personal five favorite moments at Globe Life Park.
5. June 20, 2006- San Diego Padres 6, Texas Rangers 5
This was my second ever baseball game, and the one of two times I ever got to take in a game in a suite as part of a work event with my dad’s company. We met baseball Hall-of-famer and former Minnesota manager Paul Molitor. I distinctly remember my dad telling young, impressionable siblings and I “The suite experience isn’t the usual one for a baseball game.” The scoreboard didn’t matter- this was a special game.
4. May 17, 2019- First game in the press box- Texas Rangers 7, St. Louis Cardinals 3
Shoutout to Dallas Sports Fanatic. The opportunity to cover the team in the press box for a handful of games this summer was one i’ll cherish forever. This game was my first professional sporting event I ever got to cover. Moreover, after three years immersed in school at the University of Missouri to that point, it was special to see St. Louis make its first regular season trip to Arlington since 2006- and earn bragging rights over Cardinals nation for a night.
3. May 11, 2012- Yu Darvish out-shines CJ Wilson in rainy affair- Texas Rangers 10, Los Angeles Angels 3
Texas was coming off a World Series appearance and re-loaded for the 2012 season with the acquisition of Darvish. I remember the excitement after I found out the pitching matchup for this game. Texas fans got to see their new arm duel against a player that spurned the team in the offseason for a division rival and collapsed under pressure in game seven of the 2011 World Series. Because of his this, there was a renewed sense of animosity between the two coming into a weekend matchup.
An early summer rainstorm moved into DFW that weekend and mixed things up. Amid a lengthy delay, while my friends and I scarfed down the park’s famous garlic fries under the cover of the concourse, then-Angels manager Mike Scoscia opted not to send Wilson back out to the mound after recording just one out and giving up four earned runs. Darvish came back to the hill after the break and put together a solid start on the way to an easy win.
2. September 10, 2010- Nelson Cruz’s homer downs Yankees in extras- Texas Rangers 6, New York Yankees 5
This was such a special series for the Rangers. The team was in the thick of the pennant chase for the first time in a decade, but hadn’t locked anything up. Texas kicked off a huge series with the hated Yankees needing to take at least two of three to firmly establish its grip on the division.
Nelson Cruz made it his personal mission to make that happen.
The Ranger slugger smashed a pair of home runs- including the walk-off solo shot in the 13th inning. Texas went onto sweep the series, and eventually clinch the American League West. The number one I remember about this game? New York left a whopping 18 runners on base- more than I had personally ever seen.
1. Rangers clinch American League pennants in 2010, 2011
I wasn’t in attendance for either game. Funny enough, my dad purchased tickets for a potential Game 7 at home if the Rangers couldn’t finish off New York in Game 6 of the 2010 American League Championship Series. We were more than okay that we didn’t see the winner-take all game.
Even watching the game from home, electricity and magnetism of both of these games was palpable. These two victories were a rare glimpse out of the mire that has been the Rangers franchise as a whole. It was hope for a fanbase that, for the most part of its existence, had none. It was Texas thriving on a rare national stage.
Those two Octobers didn’t go as planned for the Rangers. But the memories that remain are some of the fondest for diehard fans. Both of these games were the high watermark for The Ballpark in Arlington, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Ameriquest Field, and Globe Life Park. No matter what it was called, the park was special, and these two memories were at the top of that list.
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