The Texas Rangers held what looked like a typical clubhouse celebration after winning the ALDS on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg. However, if you watched closely, the Rangers’ first postseason series victory in franchise history had one major difference during the locker room scene on TV: they were partying with pop instead of champagne and beer.
The players were showering each other with the contents of green plastic bottles of Ginger Ale. It was a nice touch by the Rangers that allowed them to include slugger Josh Hamilton in soaking in the victory.
When Texas clinched the AL West Championship in September, Hamilton, who had a well-documented battle with drug and alcohol abuse that sidetracked his career, avoided the alcohol-drenched celebration. He didn’t want to send the wrong message and said of the celebration: “It's not for me. I'm not saying that I wouldn't have liked to have been in here with them. I just felt like it was in my best interest if I didn't participate.”
This time, the Rangers were prepared, and one of the favorites for American League MVP was able to join in the festivities.
In today’s sports world, it’s rare to see athletes that go out of their way to make a classy gesture. But we have seen it the last two nights in baseball, with the Giants halting their on-field celebration of the NLDS series win over the Braves to applaud Atlanta skipper Bobby Cox after his final game on Monday. Then tonight, the Rangers sacrificed their booze for a teammate. It wasn’t going to be difficult to cheer for the Rangers to beat the Yankees in the ALCS, but now they have given me a true reason to pull for them.