Top 10 All-Time Moments at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
The Texas Rangers opened Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in 1994. The Rangers, at the time, had a star studded lineup that was led by All-Stars such as Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez. The Rangers would make the playoffs multiple times during the late 1990's, but struggled to win a game at home, losing their first eight postseason attempts.
Since it's inception, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has given Rangers fans many moments to enjoy. With that said, let's take a look at some of the greatest moments in the Rangers history on their home turf.
10. Unveiling of "Rangers Fan" Statue
The Texas Rangers honored a long time fan who lost his life after falling during a game when he tried to catch a ball thrown into the stands by Josh Hamilton.
The statue resides in front of the home plate gate, and features the 39-year-old firefighter who lost his life, holding hands with his son. They are talking baseball coming out of the ballpark and are wearing Rangers shirts.
Hamilton to this day still keeps in touch with the family.
9. Rafael Palmeiro Hits Home Run Number 500
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On May 11th 2003 Rafael Palmeiro hit his 500th home run off Dave Elder of the Cleveland Indians. Palmeiro would reach the milestone during his second stint in Texas, where he eventually totaled ten seasons.
A moment of this magnitude usually top lists such as this, but the steroid allegations dropped this amazing moment to the bottom.
Palmeiro became the 19th player to join the 500 home run club.
8. First Postseason Home Game
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More than 50,000 Texas Rangers fans packed into Ranger Ballpark in Arlington for Game 3 of the 1996 ALDS. Some of of the fans had been watching and waiting for a chance to watch playoff baseball since the Rangers came to town in 1972.
Once again it was the New York Yankees who ripped the hearts out of the home crowd by rallying in the ninth inning for a 3-2 win. Darren Oliver pitched a gem, going eight strong innings. Then in the ninth, Oliver gave up back to back singles and was pulled in favor of reliever Mike Henneman who couldn't get out of the jam, allowing both inherited runners to score.
The end result was devastating, but the fact that a home game was played in Texas was a step in the right direction.
7. First Post Season Home Victory
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The Texas Rangers once again had to try and beat the New York Yankees, the team which had dominated them in the late '90s. It took the Rangers eight attempts, but they finally put victory in the win column.
The Rangers handed Colby Lewis a five-run lead that the bullpen protected for a 7-2 victory for the first postseason victory.
The win was much sweeter since it took them so many tries to get it done and it came against the team that had dominated for the past few seasons.
6. Ivan "Pudge" Rodiguez Retires and Throws out First Pitch
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez announced his retirement from baseball after 21 seasons. His announcement was made right outside the Texas Rangers Hall of fame at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Pudge played the first 12 seasons of his career with the Texas Rangers, and is one of the best all-around catchers in baseball history. His career highlights include winning ten straight gold glove awards, ten straight All-Star selections, and was named AL MVP in 1999.
Pudge capped off his retirement by throwing out out the first pitch from home plate to second base in a game against the New York Yankees.
5. Juan Gonzalez' Last Game as a Ranger
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On July 13, 2003, Juan Gonzalez played in his last home game as a member of the Texas Rangers, going 1-for-4 against the Kansas City Royals and ending his remarkable tenure with the franchise.
He donned the Rangers uniform for a total of 1,400 games and posted a batting line of .293/.342/..563 while slugging 372 home runs and driving 1,183 runs.
Juan-Gone or Igor as he was referred to by the Rangers' faithful, left an indelible mark in the franchise record books, but will mostly be remembered for his mammoth homers, timely hitting, and his million dollar smile,
4. First World Series Win in Franchise History
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Colby Lewis once again toed the rubber for the Texas Rangers as they hosted a game in the 2010 World Series for the first time since the park opened in 1994.
The Ranges came into the game down 2-0, but Colby Lewis came ready to shut down the San Francisco Giants. He mowed them down allowing just two runs en route to the franchises first World Series win by a score of 4-2.
Rangers fans rocked the stadium, chanting “Col-by! Col-by! Col-by!” throughout the game, and also threw back a home run by the Giants' Andres Torres.
3. ALCS Game 6 Win Sends the Rangers to the World Series
The great Alex Rodriguez was set down swinging sending the New York Yankees home and confetti flying in the Arlington air. It was finally over. The Texas Rangers were on their way to the World Series.
The 6-1 win gave the Rangers a huge sigh of relief, and fans were able to finally release almost four decades of pent up frustration. Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run double and Nelson Cruz smacked a two-run homer in the fifth inning, and the celebration was on.
Colby Lewis, who's lone run came on a wild pitch, was dominant for Texas as he mowed down the mighty Yankees with ease,
2. Original Opening Day
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Rangers Ballpark in Arlington had it's inaugural opening day on April 1, 1994, against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Texas Rangers lost to the Brewers by a score of 4-3. The crowd fell silent when All-Star slugger Juan Gonzalez rapped into a double play with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning.
The park itself incorporated themes from many of baseball historic ballparks. The roofed home-run porch in right field is reminiscent of Tiger Stadium, and the red-brick facade and big arches are similar to Ebbets Field.
Central features include a four story office building in center field that encloses the park, and Greene Hill in center serves as the batters eye. Fans are able to run onto the grassy expanse to retrieve home runs during games and batting practice.
1. Kenny Rogers Pitches a Perfect Game
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Kenny Rogers, also known as "the gambler", pitched a perfect game for the Texas Rangers during Ranger Ballpark in Arlignton's inguinal season.
Rogers pitched a gem into the ninth, but was saved when center fielder Rusty Greer made a diving catch for the first out of the inning to preserve the perfect game. Rogers needed only 98 pitches and struck out eight batters.
Rogers became the 14th pitcher in baseball history to reach this historic feat, and to this day remains the only pitcher to throw a perfect game in Rangers' history.