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Rangers fans get their first taste of Globe Life Field Monday with the Season Approaching

Photo: Alex Plinck

Rangers fans get their first taste of Globe Life Field Monday with the Season Approaching

Lost in the roster and injury news of Monday, a historical feat happened in Globe Life Field’s short history. For the first time, Rangers’ players experienced living fans in the stands at Globe Life Field. For thirty-two games (two exhibition games), seats were empty, people without the ability to change facial expressions were in seats, and pre-recorded sounds played in the ballpark. Despite the valiant efforts, it didn’t capture the atmosphere of an actual baseball game. Even Rangers manager Chris Woodward loved it. “I thought it was awesome to see a bunch of fans with our hats, jerseys and to hear the crowd noise. Cheering for us the right times, the lineup, all of the above,” Woodward said to me.

The Rangers went through Spring Training averaging about 1,500-2,000 fans per spring game. On Monday, players like Joey Gallo let out their excitement for a bigger crowd back at home. “It’s a different vibe right now, knowing that there’s going to be fans here,” Joey said to me with a massive grin on his face. “We’ve played here for over a year, but we’ve never played here with fans. There have been games here with fans but not our team.”

Well, Joey is right. Globe Life Field hosted thirteen games with fans in 2020, all in the Postseason with the Dodgers, Rays, and Braves on the field (averaging eleven thousand a game). Despite a small crowd Monday, it was clear to hear woos, boos, cheers, and just random screaming (something we all missed). For Chris Woodward, there was excitement inside him too before the game. “We went through an entire year last year. For those that came to the playoff games, you got to see it with fans, but they weren’t our fans.” Early in the NLCS, Rangers fans came and went but by the end of the World Series, the crowd was dominated by the Dodgers’ faithful.

The game itself was a typical end of Spring Training game. The Rangers’ didn’t provide much offense, and Jordan Lyles pitched decent enough for a final tune-up. A key came in the sixth with Hyeon-jong Yang. Yang struggled to throw strikes in the inning leading to three walks and a two-run double. He couldn’t complete the sixth as Jimmy Herget finished the inning. Chris Woodward admitted nerves hit some, even Isiah Kiner-Falefa. “I think everybody was fired up,” Woody told me. “Kiner admitted there was a little bit of nerves, he said he was shaken in his first at-bat. I was nervous whenever it was Opening Day or the first time you’re playing in a big stadium again It’s good to get out of the way.”

The night was a breath of fresh air and an open roof. Chris Woodward mentioned authentic crowd noise before Monday’s game. “It is an exciting time. We can get to hear our fans instead of that annoying crowd noise, that fake crowd noise that we had all last year.” The crowd cheered for Joey. They cheered during Chuck Morgan’s staple “It is Baseball Time in Texas!” They also gave Matt Bush a round of applause in the eighth inning. Overall there was a paid attendance of 12,911 including first responders that didn’t attribute to that figure.

It was a feeling that Joey Gallo wanted to experience himself without any opinions. “I think for me, I just wanted to experience it on my own and just see how it is without anyone else’s opinion,” Joey said to me. “It’s going to be nice to have these two games to figure that out before the home opener jumps on us.” I also asked Joey if someone like Cody Bellinger, who knows Joey well, gave him insight into the crowd noise. “I didn’t ask him too much. That’s a good point. Maybe I should ask him how it sounds.”

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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