I have been quite busy these days with vacation and being a new stay at home mom.  But I was able to take in a Texas Rangers game while on vacation this past week.  I was very excited about seeing my Rangers play the Colorado Rockies.  There is something about going to a game as opposed to watching it on television.  Like with any sporting event, being there is AWESOME.  You get all the sights and sounds you don’t see on television.  You may get a little bit, but not all of it. 

Any way, this was going to be my first game in The Ballpark.  I had gone to a Rangers game back in high school with my youth group to the old stadium.  We sat in the cheap seats on metal bleachers on a hot August afternoon in Texas.  If you have EVER been to that part of Texas in August you know what I had to endured that day.  It was HOT!  With that being said, this past Saturday was a reminder of why I would rather attend a game in the evening in Texas than a mid afternoon game.  It was a beautiful day for baseball.  Sun was shining, a little breeze, and a couple of clouds in the sky.  But as I said this is Texas.  It was HOT!!!  When I sat down on my seat, I thought I had given my rear end third degree burns.  Luckily, if you gradually sat there for a bit, you became acclimated to the seat.  But the sun had no mercy on all of us Ranger fans that day! 

My sons, despite the weather, enjoyed their first professional baseball game.  They were both decked out in Rangers gear (see picture to the left).  By the way, it was Michael Young bat day.  That is my husband standing behind my boys.  My youngest has a favorite player (same as his mother’s favorite player), he is Mike Napoli.  Napoli plays catcher and at times first base for the Rangers.  My oldest has taken to Mike Napoli too.  I believe it is because of their mother they cheer more for Napoli.  However, they can cheer any of the Rangers.  It doesn’t matter to me.  

It was a rough day for all of us.  I had to make a visit to the first aid station for an ice pack.  I usually try to tough it out on days like this, but I am not as young as I used to be.  Ever since that bad case of heat exhaustion several years, I have to watch my time out in the heat/humidity.  The ice pack was a God send.  But it was still HOT!  Every once in a while a random cloud would cover the sun.  But the sun was vicious.  My little one and hubby seem to being surviving, but my oldest, like me was struggling.  We decided to leave in the 5th inning.  I wanted to stay through the whole game, but it was already 11-1 (Rockies).  Plus we had to head back to Lubbock that day as well which is a 6 hour drive.  So, we decided to head on home.

Despite the shortened time at The Ballpark we had a blast.  Prior to the game on Saturday, we took a tour of The Ballpark on Thursday.  We got to see the press box, a ballpark suite, and sit in the Rangers dugout, among other things.  The coolest thing, was getting a peek into the Rangers locker room.  Normally, you would not get to see inside, but someone came out of the locker room just as the group was passing by.  He held the door open and we got to see inside.  It was pretty neat.  Tried to coax the little one to “run” into the locker room so mom would have to go get him.  But he would help his mom out.  Oh well, I aimed my camera and snapped a photo.  Upon closer inspection of the picture, I got Yu Darvish’s locker!  We also got to see an area where they unloaded Rangers equipment bags.  And while looking in the cage, I see #25!  That’s right…Mike Napoli’s bag!  I know it is kinda cheesy of me, but hey….I am a rabid baseball fan!

That’s the adventure of our Rangers experience.

Musings by a Baseball Fan

I love watching the Texas Rangers play baseball!  I am a little biased on this front, but if you haven’t had a chance to watch them play, you are missing out on the most entertaining team around.  They are the reason I have rediscovered my love for America’s game.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love my NASCAR and my football, but there is just something about baseball that I truly love.  This game has been around since the 19th century.  It has seen many changes, but the core of it has remained the same.  To quote a famous movie line…”you throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball”.  It is simple as that.

I have been a fan of baseball since I can remember.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are watching baseball games with my parents.  We used to go to the Amarillo Gold Sox minor league games.  They were the farm team for San Diego Padres back in the day.  We would always sit behind the visitors dugout because we could sit in the box seats for a fair price.  It was fun.  Because they were part of the San Diego Padres farm system, the San Diego Chicken would come and visit from time to time.  If you do not know who the San Diego Chicken is, well, then you don’t know baseball.  I still have my autographed photo of the Chicken.  The Padres were supposed to come play the Gold Sox for an exhibition game, but due to the baseball strike is was a no go.  Let’s just say I was very disappointed baseball fan.

I remember hearing about the Big Red Machine from my father.  He is the reason I am a huge fan of Pete Rose.  I know he gambled on baseball, but I still believe he should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  He was amazing to watch on the baseball diamond.  Along with Pete Rose, I loved watching Johnny Bench behind the plate.  He is the best catcher of all time.  Pudge Rodriguez, a former Ranger, is right up there in my book next to Johnny Bench.  I consider Nolan Ryan the best pitcher of all time–hands down.  He is the strike out king and has seven no hitters.  I am pretty sure Robin Ventura feels the same way even after his beat down by Mr. Ryan.  Nolan Ryan has turned the Rangers into a championship caliber team.  They have made their way to the last two World Series.  Granted they didn’t win and they came thisclose to winning it all last year, but I remember when the Rangers were the joke of baseball.  I believe Roger Clemens was one of the best pitchers in baseball.  My love of baseball wants to believe he didn’t start using steroids until he left Boston.  I followed his career during that amazing season in 1986.  He was just fun to watch. I think his own ego got in the way.  He had to remain Roger Clemens and to do that well, sometimes players just have to turn to illegal things.   Does he have Hall of Fame numbers?  Sure, but they are tainted in the minds of many baseball fans.  Same thing could be said when McGwire and Sosa were racing towards that 61 home run mark back in 1998.  If the Hall of Fame decides to allow these players into the Hall of Fame, it should be denoted these accomplishments happened during the Steroid Era.  As a history person, you can just hide the bad part of your history, you have to study it and accept it, so maybe we don’t repeat the mistakes down the road.

I am hoping to catch a Rangers game this year.  I haven’t been to a professional baseball game since moving from Houston to Lubbock back in 1998. There is just something about attending a live game you have to experience.  Most television broadcasts do their best to capture the game, but they miss out on all the atmosphere that makes baseball America’s pastime.

Just some musings from a baseball fan!