The Texas Rangers: A Fan’s Memory

By Ryan Crowe,

6:27 p.m. 10/27/2011: Every Texas Rangers fan is going through the same scenario in their minds right now – they are remembering their first trip to a Rangers game, and are still amazed how far this team has really come.

For the better part of 40 years the Texas Rangers were the also-rans of baseball – former Rangers beat writer Mike Shropshire’s memoir of his time covering the team is called  ‘Seasons in Hell‘ for good reason.  The Rangers, for most of our collective lives, have been awful. Those days are gone, but old times are not forgotten.

Granted, Rangers fans had their ‘wow’ moment last year, the season that ended with the Rangers in their first World Series.

But this year has been different.  We fans have been able to sense from the team that they KNOW they are going to win their first World Champion crown.

As an old-school Texas Rangers fan, I’m going to go off script for a moment and write from the heart.

No, that does not mean I’m going to hate on everyone and call them a bandwagoner, or call out their true Rangers fan creds – I freely welcome you to the wagon, I’ve just been sitting here longer.

No, this little trip down memory lane is just that, a collection of memories that every Rangers fan can emulate – you all have your stories and emotions that are coming out as you watch.

I’ve been a Rangers fan since I was 6.  I guess I could have said I’ve been one since birth, but the truth is I was a fan of the A-Team first, then the Transformers, then my Hot Weels. But I discovered baseball in 1985, and the Rangers have had my heart since.

NPR’s Robert Krulwich recently had an article about how we become fans of our father’s teams.  As a child of divorce I have to say that was not the case for me.  I became a fan of my mother’s team.

momrangers The Texas Rangers: A Fans Memory

My mom was one of the few women I’ve met over the years who was truly passionate about baseball.  I know there are plenty of women out there who love the game, but I didn’t know them as intimately as I did my mom.

My mom and I easily went to hundreds of games when I was growing up.  She worked at a place where tickets were easy to come by, so we spent a lot of time in old Arlington Stadium, sitting along the 3rd base line and watching such powerhouse players as Oil Can Boyd, Don Slaught, and the great Bobby Witt.

bb564 The Texas Rangers: A Fans Memory

I can’t explain cheering for Bobby Witt other than to say I recently came across his 1991 Fleer baseball card (the ones with the really bright yellow border) – so memories flood back of me sitting in our seats underneath the Diamond Suites.  I carried a bag with me to hold a scorecard, some peanuts, and my baseball cards.

Those memories are made much more real each time the Rangers inch closer to the ultimate celebration in baseball.  It’s almost like living through that as a fan gives you much more license to cheer than if you never experienced the bad years.  We’ve had plenty of bad years.

I no longer have my mom here to cheer with during these games, but I know that if she were here she’d be cheering as loud as anyone.  She would be one of those fans who dropped everything to get to St. Louis Wednesday only to have it called for rain.  She wouldn’t have complained either – she’d make the most of the visit with other fans.

So tonight, Rangers fan, as you watch Game 6 remember those long summer nights at Arlington Stadium or the Ballpark, and think about the people who you watched them with.  Cheer for these Rangers, because they are about to do something truly special for you – they are about to win the World Series.

Play Ball!

P.S. – We know you have your memories, please share them below, or email them to

  • Mary Beth Harrington

    My Mom was from the Chicago area so every year we would go see the Rangers play the White Sox. It should be noted that my father did not like football. One year, we went to the game (always in June, always hot) and the game went into extra innings (again happended every time). Not sure how many extra innings but we were leaving the park at 2:00 am. My cousin from Chicago was with us and there was a huge accident on I-30 on the way back to Dallas. It was so big and so bad that the police had us drive down the opposite way on the entrance ramp and side roads to get home. My cousin remakred how no one knows how to drive in Texas. I suggested we were just efficient! Dad said never again – and he was right.

    • Mary Beth Harrington

      Oops typed too fast and waa thinking that my Dad liked football. Obviously I meant he did not like baseball!

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  • Patrick Turner

    You would thing Bobby Witt was pitching out of the bullpen last night when the Rangers lost in 12 innings. As Charilie Brown says: AAAUUUUURRRGGHHHHHH.

    Maybe Friday night we can win and eliminate this jinx!!

  • Aimee

    What an AWESOME game last night! No matter what side you’re on, you have to say thank you to both teams for such a great series! I must say though, go RANGERS! They’re a class act team, from all the players, to RON WASHINGTON and Nolan Ryan. What a great group of old school guys doing it for the love of the game. A true team putting out a team effort and I can’t get enough of Ron Washington. I love watching him strut in the dugout, watching his arm wind around and around faster and faster when his player is running the bases. His sheer excitement for his team. LOVE IT! I’ve always been a huge fan of Nolan Ryan and I was at the game when he put Robin Ventura in a headlock. Mr. Ventura thought as a young man he was going to take Nolan down, well, he didn’t. Nolan stayed put, only charged a little, let Robin attempt to attack him, then BAM, he gets Robin in a headlock. GREATNESS! What irony is this? As soon as Nolan helps to purchase the team, they enter the World Series shortly thereafter. Irony at its best. Karma at its best. We have to win this tonight, I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown, my mother is swallowing heart medication at a rapid pace, I’m late to work every day, I don’t know how much more I can take. You deserve this as a team Rangers, you are great in every sense of the word. Let’s go RANGERS! Let’s go RANGERS!

    • Becky

      Aimee what a great game to have seen in person!!! You go girl!!

  • Becky

    I too grew up watching the Rangers with my daddy. When I ived here as a child we went to so many home games I cannot for the life of me remember how many!! Back then you got to see a concert after many games….which was too fun….Sadly I lost my daddy in 2007, but I KNOW deep in my heart he is in Heaven watching the game and going crazy, cherring, yelling, holding his head in his hands and shaking it when we made an error, but still rooting for the Rangers to WIN WIN WIN!!! In memory of my daddy, Jerry Woods, I hope the Rangers come through for you and bring the championship back home!!

    GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!

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