Baseball season brings new hope and new dreams to baseball fans of every team. This year, with a little luck here and there, the home team may just win it all.
Since the Texas Rangers came to Arlington, Texas, in the early 1970s, Rangers fans have had those hopes and dreams crushed relentlessly. That all changed when Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels teamed up to transform the Rangers into winners. Back-to-back World Series appearances, even though the Rangers lost, gave their fans reason to hold on to those hopes and dreams.
Entering the 2013 season, Rangers fans have plenty to be excited about, and reasons to be optimistic.
The following is a list of 10 things that make it great to be a Rangers fan going into this season:
1. The Ballpark in Arlington
There may be no better place in the league to watch baseball than the Ballpark. Every seat in the house has a good view, and the atmosphere is electric. The Ballpark should be on every baseball fan’s bucket list.
2. Yu Darvish
Darvish showed last year he had the talent to pitch in the American League. With one year under his belt, the sky is the limit for Darvish this season. Twenty wins and some postseason awards are not out of the question if he adds what he learned last year to that talent.
3. Matt Harrison
After winning 18 games last season, Harrison gives the Rangers two #1 pitchers for the first time in a long time. The combination of Harrison and Darvish could be what the Rangers need to retake the West.
4. Andrus and Profar
Elvis Andrus has shown he is a great shortstop, making spectacular plays in the field. Jurickson Profar is the top prospect in baseball, according to all the experts. Rangers fans just may get to see something remarkable if they get on the field at the same time.
5. Josh Hamilton Returns April 6
Josh Hamilton was a roller-coaster ride without breaks the five years he played in Texas. The only constant thing concerning Hamilton were the fans. They supported him through thick and thin. Hamilton turned his back on the fans, even talking them down after he signed with the Los Angeles Angels. On April 6, 49,500 of them will come to welcome him back to the Ballpark; it should be interesting.
Rangers fans are passionate tailgaters. Walk along the streets outside the Ballpark wearing a Rangers jersey and you will without doubt be invited to join the party. Great food, cold beer and new friends are waiting.
Last year’s late-season collapse left every Rangers fan waiting for next year. Next year is here, and Ranger fans are ready to put the debacle in Oakland behind them, ready to cheer their Rangers back to the playoffs and possibly the World Series.
The fireworks display after a Rangers hitter deposits a baseball in the outfield stands electrifies the crowd. High-fives, fist pumps, and wild screams follow every home run. I cannot wait for the first one of the season.
9. Hello Win Column
After every game the Rangers win at home, the scoreboard flashes, “Hello Win Column.” Legendary announcer Mark Holtz made the saying popular, and it has become part of Rangers history. It always reminds me of games gone by, and I can still hear Holtz saying it after a win.
10. The Golden Tones of Eric Nadel
Rangers fans have been blessed by listening to Nadel for years. No announcer in baseball paints a better picture of a game on radio than Eric Nadel; 81 times a year, Nadel takes Rangers fans inside visiting ballparks, making them feel like they in the stands. I could not imagine listening to a road game without Nadel making the call. His narrating of a “Page From Baseball’s Past” is one of the greatest things a baseball fan can ever hear. I listed this one last — very easily could have been first on the list. Nadel is an artist. He paints pictures with words, and some become instant masterpieces. Nadel is the “Picasso” of baseball radio.
J. Brackston has been an avid Texas Rangers fan since they moved to Texas from Washington D.C… He has rooted for the good teams and bad teams, and watched 100’s of games at the old Arlington Stadium and The Ballpark in Arlington.