Memories Made in Nine Innings Last a Lifetime.

Mayor Tom Vandergriff, with team owner Bob Short, throws out the first pitch when Major League Baseball came to Texas.
Mayor Tom Vandergriff, with team owner Bob Short, throws out the first pitch when Major League Baseball came to Texas.

 

Lucky me.

I was there when they announced a Major League team was coming to Arlington.

I was there when Tom Vandergriff and others announced in that Arlington motel conference room that the team would be called the Texas Rangers.

Then I watched as they unfurled the logo.

I was there for games in the first stadium.

I was there for games in the new stadium.

I was there to watch games in person.

I was there to watch games on TV.

I was there as the team improved and to increasingly hear the pronouncement:

“Hello, Win Column!”

When it began to be said more than it not said.

Pudge Rodriguez
Pudge Rodriguez

I was there the night Pudge hurriedly dropped his mask, rushed back to try to catch a foul-tipped ball, watched it go beyond his reach into the stands, paused, helped himself to a nacho from a lady’s food tray on the front row, ate it, smiled at her, thanked her, then nonchalantly went back behind the plate, went back to work.

Delightful.

I was there when they said the Rangers would never – never, never, ever – make it to the World Series.

And then I was there when they did.

And then did it again.

I was there to enjoy baseball since my childhood days of mowing a lawn to earn the price of a game ticket and a Coke and peanuts and popcorn and riding my bike with a brother and our buddies on their bikes for miles to LaGrave Field and watching the Fort Worth Cats as a proud, bona fide member of the Knot Hole Gang in right field.

I was there.

Still am.

And I was there, via television, when Pudge was appropriately and deservedly inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

Then I was there, again via TV, when the Rangers made the impossible possible – and swept the Angels in a July three-game series in similar fashion:

With walk-off home runs.

Lucky me.

Lucky, lucky me.

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