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Gwen And A Classy Cardinal Crew

SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI.

I don’t even know where to start because this was the best game experience we have had to date.

First of all can I just say that I am NOT a cards fan…especially after 2011. If you don’t know I don’t want to talk about it, just google 2011 World Series. Basically, my heart was broken and just being at Busch Stadium brought back the memories.

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Okay, well now that I think of it most of you won’t google it and I feel like you need to know about it to understand where I am coming from and give you a quick baseball history lesson.

In 1961, MLB awarded Washington D.C. an expansion team after the Washington Senators moved and became the Minnesota Twins. The new team took the same name, Senators, but were a completely different ball club.

And….they sucked.

In 1971 they moved to Arlington, Texas and debuted in the ’72 season.

…and they sucked.

I was born in 1990, and the Texas Rangers…

well, they sucked.

Once I was old enough at least get the idea of what was going on…they finally made their first post season appearance, in 1996. Thank you Johnny Oates. They did so in ’98 and ’99 as well but continued to suck in post season losing back to back post season sweeps to the damn Yankees (excuse the language but it’s fitting).

Then for the next TEN years guess what??

….We pretty much sucked.

(Obviously, not completely we had some GREAT talent…just could never string anything together long enough. Overall, no post season appearances for ten straight years, just sucks).

So basically, growing a Rangers fan was rough, but I fell in love what can I say?

Finally, in 2010 our Rangers break through and make it to the World Series!!! And oh boy, was I excited!! THIS WAS IT! Well not really, we lost to the Giants.

Then in 2011 we do it again! Make it to the World Series to face the Cardinals…and okay boys, “This time we got it!” You can imagine now how badly I wanted this…I’ve waited to see “WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS” with the Texas Rangers logo, since I could walk! I mean this isn’t just a dream…it’s the same 7 year old little girl’s dream, and not to mention I was still recovering from losing the year prior! Going into game 6 we lead the series 3-2. The game was intense!! Almost gave me a heart attack. Going back and forth and we were ONE STRIKE AWAY from a championship…not once, but TWICE! And then….the terrible, horrible, heart breaking thing happened. David Freese comes to bat…works the count to 3-2..and just rips it…hits a bomb…a walk off solo shot and sends the series to a game 7. Did I mention we were one strike away two times?!?!? I can still picture it in my mind, flying in the air headed straight back to center field, in to the batters’ eye grassy field. We lost game 7 too, and I cried.

The thing about baseball is, you can get so close to success that you can taste it. You can see it, feel it, seems like you can touch it. It’s right there. The suspense is so high, your heart is pounding, every thing you’ve ever dreamed of is just lingering in the air waiting to be taken ahold of. In the blink of an eye, the scenario can change. In an instant, your dreams can be robbed, like a thief in the night, so quickly you don’t even know what hit you until moments after. Then as poetic justice would have it you watch the other team celebrate and enjoy the success that you worked so hard for, that floated in your mind and in your heart…and danced in your grasp. Now it’s gone. As fans who have played before, we sympathize with our teams because we’ve been there. We know the roller coaster of emotions the game takes you through and was want so bad to be a part of the high, that we willingly sign up our loyal faith and become vulnerable, knowing it very well could end in heartbreak.

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😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

Okay, so now that you get it. I was not excited to be reminded of that terrible series….especially when I saw the World Series Trophy on display in the UMB Champions Club while on our tour of Busch Stadium. I wanted to break the glass and throw it on the ground to shatter in hundreds of pieces.

The tour was the biggest tour I have been on, there were about 40 people. All of the other tours I have been on have had at most 5 people. Thus, the tour was not as personal as the others but, I’m still glad we went. The Cardinals definitely pay homage to Stan “The Man” Musial, one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. He was a 24-time all star and played 22 seasons with the Cards. If you stand on the Musial Bridge you can see the plaza outside of the park with his statue. We also got to go to the Redbird Club. Holding 3,000 people, it is the largest club level in the majors. If you have tickets in the Redbird club your food and drinks are not included. Also, wallpapered along the walls is the vintage Cardinal baseball card collection of one of the owners of the team. The only player card you will see who did not play for the Cardinals is Satchel Paige. He played for the Browns, another major league team that played in STL.

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You can see the STL arch in mowed into the outfield grass. This started in 2009 when Busch Stadium was awarded the All-Star Game.

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Fun Fact: It took 2.5 million bricks to build Busch Stadium

Fun Story: We went to eat at a restaurant a couple blocks from the field and in front on an amazing public plaza area. The place was pretty empty, except a couple tables away sat a group of people who were on the tour with us earlier that day. They were going around the table cheersing to different things…to baseball, to the Cardinals, to this, to that. Then, I hear one lady say, “Oh I have one!” Everyone raises their beer. “Cheers to the Ranger fans we met on the tour, God Bless their souls.” I literally laughed out loud. I’m not sure if that lady ever noticed that we were sitting only a couple tables away.

The plaza was called Kiener Plaza. It was a great little area with a fountain that apparently doubles as a public swimming pool for the local children. I don’t think it was intended for that reason, but regardless it was full of them.

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This is me getting all photography on you

I noticed a bar called “The Outfield” on 7th and Walnut outside of the park if you’re looking to pre game. If you walk around the park you can learn more Cardinals history than you can remember just by reading all of the brick memorials. Cool things I noticed during the game included Bank of America ATMs which would have came in handy, considering we walked around down town for an epically long time trying to find one until, I finally decided to walk through the drive through ATM. There were also places where you could get a bottoms up beer. This is where they fill your beer from the bottom up. If you have a good craft beer you can definitely tell a difference, but with stuff like Bud Light…it still tastes like crap. So I decided not to pay for it.

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Yep, thats a drive up ATM…

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I obviously want to cheer for the home team at every park I go to…unless the Rangers are in town. But, this time it’s really hard for me considering the history lesson I gave earlier. Well, I don’t necessarily like the Dbacks either so it was up in the air until about 15 minutes before game time. Until, these two Cardinal “Bros” decided to sit in front of us. Imagine 30 year olds trying to keep the fratastic dream alive with their matching shorts, I don’t care attitudes, and throwing trash on the field. Not only was I already annoyed but, then one of them decides to completely disrespect the National Anthem. He decides to dial a number and talk on his phone, keep his hat on, and continue sitting facing away from the flag throughout the entire song.

YEP! That got us off the fence…Dbacks fans we were.

Thank goodness they didn’t stay longer than an inning.

From then on, we were blessed to sit next to some absolutely incredible people. Gwen Baird and her friends completely changed our outlook on the entire Cards experience. Even though she was there at that infamous game 6 I spoke of, she was delightful. She had some epic STL Cardinal shoes! I could tell she had a great heart when she told me that the bag of goodies she had, including a teddy bear and a small replica bat, was for random little kids that she met at the park! Adorable. Then she proved my great hearted assumption by handing my $60 cash from her and her friends as a “contribution to our trip.” That was the most generous thing I have ever experienced. I just could not believe that someone would do that! Well I guess from then on we were Cards fans….but JUST for the night! She is the epitome of a great baseball fan, she gets it. I promise to get great pictures of Lance Berkman for you, Gwen! Everyone else around us in our bleacher seats were just as nice. This was what I was excited about when I set out to experience baseball with fans from every city. Another fan, Tony Hartman, randomly gave us a Busch Stadium lanyard! This is perfect because I lose the key to car all the time, Patrick usually is responsible for it.

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During the game I really liked that they had an entire scoreboard to keep us update on game around the country. They had updates for the Texas game up the whole time, I was happy. Except we freaking lost to the BoSox. It also rotated through the stat leaders for both the AL and the NL. I definitely had to snap a picture when Darvish was up there! They had the first Asian stir fry booth at a ballpark that I have seen. I’d say the most unique thing I saw was a Build A Bear Workshop. If I were a mini Cards fans, I’d go crazy if I could make my own bear at the ballpark! We also got to see a wedding proposal!!! So cute, I’ve always loved the whole “Will you marry me?” at a ballpark idea!

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We had an absolute blast the whole night. I love baseball, you will only see stuff like I just described at a baseball game. The Cards put on a show too! Offensively 5 homers and defensively striking out 14, defeating the snakes 12-8.

Another awesome part out our St. Louis trip was Paul Goodloe. He was our very first CouchSurfing host and he was absolutely fantastic! He welcomed us into his home and allowed us to stay at his house both nights we were in town. He was great company and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to met he and his lovely girlfriend, Kelcye. THANK Y’ALL!

Like I said, St. Louis was our best experience to date. I still don’t like the Cards, but I love their fans.

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Thank Goodness We Weren’t In Kansas Anymore

I was pretty anxious to get to KC, I heard great things about Kauffman Stadium.

The drive from Denver was pretty boring. We took I70, the ‘Mother Road” of Kansas all the way through the state. If THAT was the mother road I don’t want to see anything else in the state. The most exciting thing on the road were the bright red and yellow signs every 20 miles that got us all excited about a zoo with a 5 legged cow and the World’s Largest Prairie Dog. We counted down the miles every time we saw the sign….120 miles….100 miles….50 miles…okay by now I’m super curious….20 miles……5 miles….2 miles….EXIT HERE to Prarie Dog Farm. I was pretty stoked until I saw the most depressing sign of all…

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DANGIT!
These fools had me all excited about their dang zoo…their stupid sign advertisements worked…and let me down. We were not happy.
Along with no zoo, I didn’t find Toto…or ANYTHING else. It was an epically boring drive, up until the end at least. Towards the end of the night, a storm started to brew, and considering the latest tornadic episodes of our country the middle of no where Kansas was the last place I wanted to be during any kind of storm. I definitely freaked myself out staring at storm clouds and driving through wind, constantly checking my weather app as Patrick, in the passenger seat, was engulfed in a book and completely oblivious to the could-be disaster. Well we got through it tornado free and with a great lightening storm.
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Thanks again to Tina Pangle, we had a great set up at the Westin in Downtown. It was right across the street from Union Station, which was awesome inside. We got a great night’s sleep and woke up to my worst nightmare…rain. I mean I LOVE rain…except when it means no baseball. I decided I was going to tour the park regardless of the weather.
Driving to the K was a little confusing at first because my dang Apple Maps took me to absolutely no where. I did figure it out and drove uphill to the park, which sits right next to Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs. There was nothing else atop this hill, so in my car coming over the hill I felt like I had arrived on the Kansas City sports mecca.
I was a little bit late to the noon tour and so I was running around like a crazy person trying to find where to go. The ushers at the park were incredibly helpful and even paged the tour department to make sure they waited for me. The tour started in the Royals Hall of Fame and they even had an exhibit from Cooperstown. After looking to the Hall of Fame, we were escorted to a theatre room that replicated the Royals dugout, with a statue of Buck O’ Neil sitting on the bench. We watched a very well put together show about the history of the Royals organization. When we were passing by the clubhouse I got an up close greeting with Alex Gordon as he passed right by me. He is crazy tall and gorgeous! And probably will show up as my Instagram #ManCrushMonday one day soon.

Kansas City baseball dates all the way back to 1888 with the Kansas City Blues. In 1955 the Philadelphia Athletics moved to town. They stayed there for 11 seasons until moving to Oakland. There was once season that KC was without baseball and in that time the St. Louis Cardinals and the Minnesota Twins periodically would play in KC so that the city wasn’t without baseball. The Royals played at Kansas City Municipal stadium until 1973 when Kauffman Stadium, “The K,” was completed. It is named after their owner Ewing Kauffman. His wife was also instrumental in the building of the park. Kansas City has the second most water fountains in the world behind Rome. Mrs. Kauffman wanted intertwine the city’s love affair with water fountains into their park. Apparently, it “wasn’t in the original budget” and Mr. Kauffman was not willing to incorporate the idea. Mrs. K was persistent though. You now see the largest privately funded water fountain in the world circulating 720,000 gallons of water, creating a beautiful backdrop along the outfield wall.

Dick Howser managed the team for the last part of the 1981 season until 1987 when he died of cancer. Though his career in KC was short lived, he is highly respected and the number 10 is retired in his honor. He turned around a crumbling, young team in 1985 to win their first and only World Series title.

The K has the 2nd largest scoreboard in MLB, Second to only the Seattle Mariners. To give you a perspective, check out the picture of it below the balls on top of the crown alone are 8 feet tall. Another awesome part of the park is the dugout suite. It is right next to the home team dugout and on field level. Definitely a cool perspective.

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The K was also renovated in 2009 adding a wonderful outfield experience. It was awarded the 2012 All Star Game and during the home run derby Mark Trumbo hit a ball so far that it hit the top of the Hall of Fame. That ball now resides as the only non-Royal member in the hall (minus of course the yearly Cooperstown exhibits). During this All Star game, each fan was given either a red, white, or blue t-shirt to wear at the time allotted. There was an arial picture taken from above in which the stadium looked like an American Flag was painted on the seats, thanks to the involvement of all of the fans wearing the correct color shirt. Look closely at the stands in the picture of a picture below and you can see what I am talking about.

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Luckily, the rain started to clear up a couple hours before game time and it turned out to be a beautiful night for baseball. We got a free KC Royals T-shirt thanks to T-shirt Tuesday at the park…it is an XL though so I gained a new PJ shirt. Before the game we noticed that their was a much older fan base than some of the other parks. During the game you could hear the sounds of the water fountains, which is definitely unique to that stadium. The screen was seriously massive, I cannot believe there is one bigger. The lion mascot, Sluggerrr, was highly involved in the game and the in between inning festivities on the scoreboard. The crowd had a chance to meet Sluggerrr by texting the correct answer to a trivia question that came on the board after the first inning. The winner was announced in the top of the 5th. The away scoreboard cycled through electronically and if you tweeted with the hashtag #RoyalsTweets your tweet may be feature on one of the screens that runs across the second deck.

Two cool things I noticed about shopping at the K were that they had a full New Era store and you can buy game used Royal memorabilia.

There is a red seat that sits right behind home plate and is the Buck O’ Neil legacy seat. Buck was the first black coach in Major League Baseball. This is seat is rewarded to a member of the community for doing some kind of awesome service to another or a member of a meaningful community service organization. It is a reward for the people, nominated by the people. They are recognized on the scored board after the 2nd inning. Unfortunately the home team lost to the Twins 3-0.

I was super excited to meet up with MegaBus Matt at this KC game! Matt is doing a 25 day, 25 game tour to raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and he only budgeted $700!!!! I won’t steal his thunder because his story is incredible, so check it out for yourself. http://www.megabusmatt.com He is an awesome person and I am lucky that our journeys’ will meet again in DC and to get to catch another game with him.

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KC is also very proud of their contribution to breaking the color barrier in baseball. They were home to the most well know Negro League team, the Kansas City Monarchs. Most have heard of this team because Jackie Robinson played for them before becoming the first ever African-American MLB player for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Buck O’ Neil was the manager of the Kansas City Monarchs and played a great role in creating the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located in the famous “18th & Vine” district. This area was made popular during the 40s and was a birthplace of Kansas City Jazz.

The Museum was incredible! We watched a short documentary on baseball history….which I am always down to learn more. The Field of Legends was an imitation field with statues of a player at each position including Satchel Paige pitching and Josh Gibson behind the plate. I definitely daydreamed about what it would be like to actually be on the field with these amazing people…best daydream ever. The museum was full of information we spent a couple hours during filling our heads and taking in some incredible baseball history. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the museum…you will just gave to go for yourself!

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And of course we HAD to get some authentic KC BBQ while we were in town. We went to world famous Arthur Bryan’s, it was totally cliche and totally delicious. I also saw so much excitement over the Boulevard Brewing company, it is a local favorite. I tried their Pale Ale with our BBQ lunch and I must say it was pretty good too, a great version of a Pale.

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Kansas City was surprisingly more awesome than I expected with a ton of stuff to do. And I think “The K” was absolutely gorgeous.

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I though that sign was quite fitting.

There’s No Place Like Home!

Can I just say that walking in to the Pro Shop at the Ballpark in Arlington was like heaven! I’ve been surrounded with Angels fans and Angels gear and Angels rally monkeys and Angel Flags and Blah Blah Blah for WAY too long. I needed some Ranger in my life. I actually wanted to buy the whole store but then I couldn’t pay for the rest of my trip, so I settled for a cute Rangers shirt for my little baby nephew to wear to the game when I come to Anaheim. I was really stoked to see some old friends! Like a school reunion! Thanks to Blake Lemons, Drew Smith, Zach McKim, Jordan Hartsell, Caitlin Collins, Mackenzie Johnson, and Shondra Carter for coming out to see me and experience our first game of the trip!

It’s crazy how much you don’t really appreciate things or how you think of them when you grow up next to them. I know people who grew up in LA, but have never been to Hollywood Blvd and people come from all over the globe to just to walk down the street and take pictures of a marble star that people walk all over. The same goes for me I grew up going to Texas games but I had never done the tour. And also explains why I forgot to take lots of pictures and why I forgot to get my MLB passport stamp….dangit.

Well, this time I wasn’t skipping the tour. Bob was our tour guide and he was incredibly knowledgable. We toured with two Detroit fans, and it was fun to poke fun and give each other crap the whole time. My favorite part was getting to sit in the dugout. I kinda went crazy, my heart was beating fast and I was just plain star struck, like a little kid. The Ranger’s picked the first base dugout when the park was first built because it is the first one that gets shade. They are smart. I’m actually upset I didn’t have the courage to leave a love note in Craig Gentry’s helmet! He wears a 7 1/8 inch in case you were curious. Alexi Ogando is currently on the DL and therefore when I brushed shoulders with him in the hallway I was caught way too off guard to even think straight…basically I need to get it together! I learned that there is a room called the Ryan Room right behind the dugout. It doubles as a training room but it was Nolan Ryan’s idea to increase the size of the room to allow pinch runners or new batters or just anyone feeling a little stiff during the game. The suites have names from different Hall of Famers and lots of them played for the Yankees…so of course my Yankee friend Shondra was going crazy about that.

In case you didn’t know: It is up to the starting pitcher what color the Rangers wear for their home games.

The game that we went to was one of the greatest pitching match ups that has happened this season. Darvish VS Verlander. I love that they play Soulja Boy’s “Crank Dat” when Yu pitches, pretty fantastic and made me smile. There was a ton of talk about how Rangers have not had a huge challenge yet this season and blah blah blah…well we rocked Verlander, one of the best pitchers in baseball currently. Until he came to Arlington at least… we put up 8 runs on him the first 3 innings…7 of which came from the 3rd. AND two of them were walked in! BULLPENNNNNNN!!!! He didn’t last past that. And he racked up his second loss in a row.

Darvish lasted a little longer than usual. He threw through the 8th and had a career high of 130 pitches. He allowed 7 hits and 4 runs but with the run support, it was no issue. With a 10-4 win over the Tigers, he is now 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA.

Some of the things that made me feel at home about the park were some things I remembered from being a little girl. When the Tigers went to the bullpen the scoreboard doesn’t let him go easy. They play a cartoon with a Texas Ranger batter with oversized cowboy boots on who stomps to the mound and kicks the opposing pitcher out…and I love it. I can sing my heart out to “Deep In The Heart Of Texas” in the middle of the 5th and there is the Texas Legends race in the middle of the 6th. This is where mascots dressed as Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Sam Houston race around the field. That’s also an exciting experience. If you don’t know who they are…you’re not a Texan so don’t worry about it. I’m wondering if this replaced the dot races that used to happen at the ballpark. They would pass out little Ozarka cards with a red, green, or blue dot and people dressed in Dot Mascots would race around the park. And people would cheer for the card that they got. As a little girl I was sneaky and I would take one of every color…I’m too competitive to lose to my dad and that method was foolproof! At the top of the 7th they do the ‘Steal a Base’ where they have a young kid run from outfield to pick up third base and bring it back and if they do it under a certain time they get to keep it. I’m always jealous of that…I would so get back in time and I want a real base!! Obviously we play “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch but if you stay standing you can dance to a southern classic “Cotten Eyed-Joe” immediately after.

All of these traditions are what makes one fall in love with their home field. I know that as a 22 year old I can come to the park and sing the same songs and look forward to the same same activities that I did when I was 5. It brings you back to that place and just puts a smile on your face and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I loved being back home and I loved watching Texas whoop up on the Tigers. I can’t wait to watch Texas again on Memorial Day.

What I learned from my friends that did the tour with me was that only in baseball do you have a connection between players, fans, and managers. It’s different than other sports. It’s like you can understand one another on a different level and you can feed off their passion.

Well the bar is filling up across the street from Minute Maid! Which tells me its about time I get ready for the game….Rootin for the home team tonight!!! Royals @ Astros

Texas Love is Patient

THE Texas Rangers.

I’m fanatical about them.

Before I tell you about the Verlander vs Darvish game that I went to on 5/16 here is a little bit of history about my favorite team and their park.

Everything’s bigger in Texas…including the love for our Rangers.

Yes, It has been heartbreaking the last three seasons. I’ve cried, yelled, and been speechless on more than one occasion. So please, don’t remind me how many times we were one out away or one strike away. I’m fully aware and I am still healing.

I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember. Some of my favorite childhood memories are going to the Ballpark in Arlington with my dad and my glove. Pudge was my hero! Most little girls want tea parties and dress up…not me. I wanted baseball. I still want baseball, and when I’m at a Rangers game I feel like I’m home.

The Texas Rangers started as the Washington Senators. In 1961 after the original Senators moved to Minnesota, Major League baseball granted the nation’s capitol with one of four expansion teams that year. They took the same name as the old team, but were a completely new ball club.

In the first years the team was a joke. Literally. “Washington: first in war, first in peace, and still last in the American League.” They only had one winning season as the Senators. Fans stayed away while the Orioles only 45 miles away won four pennants and two World Series from 1966-1971. Bob Hope, the club’s GM, got approval to move to Arlington, Texas for the 1972 season. Arlington Mayor, Tom Vandergriff was definitely open to the idea. The team was officially named theTexas Rangers after the famous Texas Rangers law enforcement.

The Senators’ last game was chaos. Fans were livid. After the Security guards walked out early, around 10,000 fans entered the game for free. With the Senators up 7-5 in the top of the 9th, fans raided the field for souvenirs. With no bases left, no security, and fans everywhere the umpire called the game. The Senators forfeited their last game to the Yankees.

Moving to Arlington was an ideal location. Dead center of the Metroplex, halfway between Fort Worth and Dallas, the team would be able to attract a huge fan base. It pains me to say our first game on April 15, 1972 we lost to the Angels. I guess the only good part about that is that the next day we beat them. The very first Texas Rangers victory was over the Angels.

Turnpike Stadium, later named Arlington Stadium for the MLB team, was built as a minor league park in 1965. The vision of the stadium was to attract a Major League team and therefore was built to major league speculations and with the ability to expand seats when needed. The stadium had the largest bleacher section in the Major Leagues. “Bat Night” was a promotional night where kids under 12 would receive bats to bang on the bleachers to create a deafening sound. With a struggling team, this was often the only sell-out night of the year. I’m proud to say Arlington Stadium was the first in the Majors to sell nachos…I love nachos. Until 1978, the stadium had the ability to be used as a football field. That changed when they permanently fixed seats and added an upper deck. The biggest draw back to the stadium was the heat. It’sTexas, and it’s HOT. Summer temperatures often rise over 100 and no to mention the ridiculous amount of humidity. You can walk outside and two minutes later feel like you just got out of the pool. The Stadium didn’t have a roof, so there was no blocking the rays of the Texas sun. I can only imagine the sunburns that were created. For this reason most of the Rangers home games were played at night. This is still true today. Another early tradition that still stands is the playing “Cotton Eyed Joe” during the 7th inning stretch. It is always fun to do a little dancin’ after your stretchin’.

Arlington stadium, unfortunately, never saw a post season or an All-Star game. Only two players, Cal Ripkin Jr. and Oddibe McDowell, hit for the cycle and Mike Witt pitched the 11th perfect game in MLB history. Perhaps Arlington Stadiums best moments were Nolan Ryan’s 5,000th strike out and 7th no-hitter.

With Arlington Stadium aging and becoming less functional for the team, plans for The Ballpark in Arlington began. With George W. Bush as part owner the new stadium broke ground on October 10, 1991. When Bush was elected Governor ofTexas, he left his position with the Rangers.

The Ballpark in Arlington brought the same home plate, foul poles and some of the bleachers from the old field. The bleachers are now painted green but if you could find chipping paint you can experience the original Arlington Stadium. Those bleachers have since been removed and replaced with The Batters’ Eye Club. True baseball fans will notice glimmers of other parks in the architecture. The roof top double-decker outfield porch clearly copies Tiger Stadium, Fenways out-of-town scoreboard, which has been replaced by a video board, was depicted in the outfield wall, the irregularities of the outfield fence are similar to Ebbets the white fences in centerfields’ upper deck are reminiscent of old Yankee Stadium ( actually office buiildings…it’s a good thing I don’t work there I’d never get anything done), and the outer structure combines arches of original Comiskey and red brick of Camden Yards. Outside the park, on the north and west sides, is the Rangers Walk of Fame. Brick panels with the rosters of every team since the Senators moved to Texas in 1972. As for the MVP, Gold Gloves and other awards, there are special markers to set them out from the rest.

The Rangers Hall of Fame is an exciting attraction for the baseball enthusiast. Vandergriff Plaza in center field is fun for the family. Here you can find a statue of Tom Vandergriff ( the father of theTexas Rangers) and Nolan Ryan. And if you’re expecting a home run, run to Greene’s hill, jump the fence and race the 10 year old boys for the ball before it rolls down the hill. Greene’s Hill is the all green batters eye located in center field. It is name after ex Arlington Mayor, Richard Greene, and is definitely a home run ball magnet.

The park opened in 1994 with an exhibition game against the Mets on April 1 and the first actual game against the Brewers on April 11. The next year Johnny Oates was brought on as the manager and the park hosted its first All Star Game. In 1996 Oates lead the team to see it’s first Division Series victory and was later awarded Manager of the Year. That year AL MVP went to Rangers Outfielder and one of the most feared RBI producers in the game, Juan Gonzalez. Oates also led the team to two consecutive AL West titles in 1998 and 1999 but neither year could they get past the Yankees…suffering two back to back sweeps in the ALDS.

As a Rangers fan, I’m used to inconsistency. You could find Texas Rangers in the dictionary definition of the word. We never failed to put star players on the field. Big names have worn Texas on their shirt : Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, Rustry Greer, A-Rod, Alfonso Soriano, Mark Teixeira, Michael Young, Hank Blalock, David Dellucci, Sammy Sosa, Frank Catalanotto, Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli… and so many more. But we haven’t been able to take it all. I just want one World Series!

Whether is declaring bankruptcy or being one shy of MLB team strikeout record in one game and three days later smashing the record for runs by one team beating the Orioles 30-3 or leading the AL West the entire season only to lose the title in game 162 to a fairy tale team…being a Rangers fan is nothing but roller coaster ride. I can say though that the first two years of Nolan Ryan owning the team we had a World Series appearance…maybe we just have to be patient, I have faith, I love the Rangers, always have, always will.

 GO RANGERS!

Summer Is Coming!

30 ballparks. 1 summer. 1294702 times plans have changed.

I have always been taught never to give up on your dreams.

Yes, I am still going on a 3 month road trip to see one game at all 30 MLB parks, just not as originally planned. But hey nothing is perfect the first time…ask Yu.

This trip has been the one of the most exciting and the most frustrating things I have ever planned in my entire life. It is crazy how many obstacles are thrown at you when you decide to follow through with your dreams. I think it’s God’s way of determining how bad you want it and if you truly deserve it. Well I want this trip to happen, bad. And it is going to. So here’s the update.

The name of my blog pretty much describes me. Baseball is stitched in my soul. Call me weird because I am a girl and it should be something like shopping or nails or hair or something. Don’t get me wrong, I’m probably the girliest TomBoy you’ll ever meet. Trust me I can shop till I drop, fix my  hair, and get a manicure any day of the week. But, I am obsessed with baseball. It could be because playing softball my entire life was my escape from reality or it could be that I just really like a guy in baseball pants 😉 But regardless, I love it and I could watch it all day, every day. That is why this blog is “Everything Baseball, From a Girl.” I may be a girl but I know what I am talking about when baseball is the subject. Along with the baseball chatter, you’ll also hear stories from my summer trip, and we will surely be debating who the hottest man is baseball is eventually.

Our trip will last from May 14-August 10.

SUMMER IS COMING!!!

 

I am now going with my friend Patrick Smith and you can follow him at http://wayupinthenosebleeds.wordpress.com

He is in school for videography and plans to make some awesome videos during the trip so get excited to see them! I will also be updating this blog constantly. Along with seeing the country and baseball parks we will be seeing A LOT of America’s Starbucks for blogging updates and video editing sessions.

My goal is to write a book titled Stitched In Our Soul, Why America Loves Baseball.  On the trip I will be gathering as much information as I can about people and why the fell in love with the game. I want to learn something different from each park and each fan base. Baseball is America’s Pastime and it’s time to find out why.

Check the schedule at the top of the page!

 

Always remember to ROOT FOR THE RANGERS!

 

Worth Noting

After the anticipation that Anaheim had for the mighty Josh Hamilton…he has not broken Mendoza Line yet…

After the anticipation Josh Hamilton had for the great city of Anaheim…their Opening Night looked pretty empty while losing to the A’s. I’m sure glad he found such a great Baseball Town.

Berkman is hitting .480 with a bomb and 7RBIs…loving it.

More good news is even though its very, very, early the Rangers are currently in 1st place in the AL (tied with A’s) and only one game behind 1st in the league (The Braves and the Upton bros) without Hamilton, Napoli, or Young.

And, also congrats to Nick Tepesch on your debut…you earned that pie in the face!