The season is over. The ballpark is closed. No more Texas Rangers baseball at Globe Life Park. Next year they move across the street into Globe Life Field. Seating capacity will be smaller but it will be in a park with a retractable roof. No more sitting in sweltering summer heat. No more rain delays or postponements.
I attended two of the last six games. Both with different perspectives. I witnessed milestones in both games. Memories that I will cherish forever. The following are my stories (cue the Law and Order “dun-dun” sound).
Thursday, September 26th
This season was very special for me. After eight seasons of writing about the Rangers for several sites I was brought on board with Dallas Sports Fanatic. My biggest goal was achieved when we were given media credentials. It was so surreal that first time when I found myself standing on the field watching batting practice. Standing by the steps of the Rangers dugout I turned around and Elvis Andrus was sitting there. He looked at me and gave me a head nod as if to say hello. Then I’m in the press box and I see people like Evan Grant and Levi Weaver who I have followed forever. Am I really here? The clubhouse experience. The post game interview session with manager Chris Woodward.
This was my last game in the press box and the most memorable. I witnessed milestones by two Texas players. First there was Elvis Andrus stealing his 300th career base, adding to his list as the all-time leader in club history. That was followed by Mike Minor’s achievements sprinkled with a bit of controversy. His milestones were most wins in a season (14), most innings pitched in a season (208.1) and his first career season of 200 strikeouts. The strikeout record was the one that was met with controversy. A foul pop-up was intentionally let drop so that Minor could reach the goal which he did on the next pitch. The press box was mixed with writers for the Rangers and Red Sox and the reaction to the dropped ball was met with very mixed reactions. Personally, I liked it.
I LOVE the Rangers dropping this pop up to let Mike Minor try to get his 200th strikeout. It’s a meaningless game, so why not?
Are there real people who are mad about this? pic.twitter.com/TwhPSOJefH
— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) September 27, 2019
Sunday, September 29th
It was the final game. My good friend Junior had bought us tickets. We sat in section 326 which has always been my favorite. Sitting above home plate with a full view of the stadium is what I love about it. Plus we were shaded and had the breeze whipping around us.
Lance Lynn was the starter. My final two games saw the Rangers two best pitchers getting wins against the Red Sox and the Yankees. Lynn reached two milestones as far as Texas Rangers pitchers are concerned. It was his 24th consecutive game with 100+ pitches breaking Colby Lewis’ record and his 32nd game overall breaking Nolan Ryan’s season record. He came out of the game to huge applause and a tip of the cap.
— Rangers Nation (@RangerNationDAL) September 26, 2019
One favorite memory was how Chuck Morgan recognized Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia for his retirement on the big screen. Sabathia eventually appeared from the dugout and tipped his hat to the crowd to a huge applause. We were all unified baseball fans at that point. It didn’t matter who he pitched for. It was a very classy move.
The announcement of the all-time players at the end of the game was amazing. Not all of the players showed up but those that did were met with great fan fare. Except for the guy in front of me who kept shouting “hall of shame” when Rafael Palmeiro was announced.
The home plate ceremony and parade was well done. It reminded me of my last game at Arlington Stadium in 1993 when they did something similar.
Overall I was happy because Texas closed it out with a win, but sad because it was the last game I would ever see there.
By the way the final score was Texas 6-1 over the Yankees. When Texas beat the Yankees in the 2010 ALCS to move on to their first World Series the score was 6-1.
Farewell, my friend.
Until next season I’ll see you in the new cheap seats!
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