Memories Made in Nine Innings Last a Lifetime.
August 7, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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, lucky me.