Rangers Games – The Perfect Opportunity for Father-Son Bonding
Last Monday night was a magical night for Rangers fans. My son just turned 10 years old the first part of September. We hadn’t had a chance to throw a birthday party for him yet, so me an my wife decided to buy a pair of Rangers playoff tickets and take him to his first ever postseason game. More after the jump.
We’ve been to many regular season games. We try to make eight to ten games a year if our schedules allow. After experiencing my first postseason game last year at the World Series, there is no doubt that the feeling in the ballpark is totally different. Playoff games are electric.
The energy inside Rangers Ballpark yesterday was almost more than I could handle. It was the first time I had taken my oldest son to the game with just me. It was a chance for a little father-son bonding. I was a little emotional with the whole situation. Hopefully, this will be a time he will remember long after I am gone. You just can’t put those moments in to words.
The game was supposed to have been played on Sunday afternoon. We drove to Arlington and were about 20 minutes from the stadium when we heard on the radio that the game had been postponed due to rain. We were both really bummed that we would not be seeing the baseball game that day, but boy was it worth the wait!
We got to the stadium when the gates opened at 12noon on Monday. We wanted to be there early enough to see the Rangers batting practice. After a quick trip to the gift shop to buy a playoff hat, we grabbed some lunch and then went to the home run porch to try to catch a home run ball. We were standing just above the Rangers bullpen when Josh Hamilton hits a towering shot. It landed right in front of us, but inside the bullpen. A man standing there had a contraption made from kite string and something on the end of it to pick up balls. He had obviously done this before. He fished the ball out of the bullpen and handed it to my son! A Josh Hamilton home run ball! We could have left right then and there and I think he would have been happy. I’m glad we didn’t.
We watched a little more batting practice and then slowly made our way to the upper deck to find our seats. We sat there for nearly two hours just waiting in anticipation for the crowd to file in and the first pitch to be thrown. We sat there and talked about who was going to have the game winning hit. I argued that it would be Josh Hamilton or David Murphy. He insisted on Mitch Moreland or Nelson Cruz. Man was he right.
The game was about to start and the PA announcer, Chuck Morgan, announced that it was “baseball time in Texas.” The chills ran all over my body and stayed there through the National Anthem and introduction of the players. The crowd of more than 51,000 fans screaming at the top of their lungs and waving the white rally towels as the screen in center field encouraged the upper decks to yell “Texas” and the lower decks to yell “Rangers.” They had to have been able to hear us clearly down the road at Six Flags!
The game was everything we hoped it would be. The one thing we didn’t count on was extra innings. Nelson Cruz tied up the game at 3 a piece in the 7th inning with a home run. Then in the bottom of the 11th with bases loaded Cruz hits a grand slam to end the game 7 to 3! Me and my son got to witness the first ever game-ending grand slam in postseason history! I’ve never experienced anything like it. The fact that me and my son have that memory together is priceless. Now I sound like a Mastercard commercial.
As we were leaving the stadium and walking down the ramps from the upper level, the crowd was still cheering. The sound was almost deafening coming from the concourse with everyone taking turns chanting “CRUUUUUZZZ” and then “NELLIE!” Fans who brought Texas flags to the game were stopped on the ramps, waving the flags over the railings. The chill bumps were back. This was a magical day.
I’ve included a few pictures from the game – including one with the bases loaded just before Cruz’s grand slam. I also included the picture I took of the home plate celebration after Cruz crossed the plate! Here is some Youtube video from a fan in the stands of what I like to refer to as “the shot heard round the world.”
We have a chance for you to win tickets to home game 3 of the series. This game may not be necessary, but if played, it will take place next Saturday, Oct. 15th! Enter to win on the 96X Facebook page before 5pm on Thursday!
Editors NOTE: The above Rangers Ticket contest has concluded. Congratulations to Kimberly Boomer of Tyler who is the lucky winner of this exciting Home Game’s Tickets!