The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 11, 2014

Rangers mark 20 years in ballpark

ARLINGTON, Texas — A perfect game, Major League Baseball’s first regular-season interleague game and consecutive World Series for the Texas Rangers.

Those are some of the highlights over the past two decades at the Texas ballpark that has also been home to four AL MVPs, used to have a Hall of Fame pitcher sitting in the front row and been the site of the franchise’s best seasons.

The 20th anniversary of the first regular-season game played there is Friday, when the Rangers host Houston in the opener of a 10-game homestand.

When Texas played its 1994 home opener against Milwaukee, the Brewers were still in the American League and there weren’t even teams yet in Arizona or Tampa Bay. George W. Bush was part of the Rangers’ ownership group before his two terms as Texas governor and then two terms as president of the United States.

Here are some things that stand out over 1,619 regular-season and postseason home games in the stadium that opened as The Ballpark in Arlington, after 22 seasons across the parking lot at old Arlington Stadium:

Rangers win pennant:Under Friday night lights at home on Oct. 22, 2010, Texas clinched its first AL championship. Neftali Feliz got former Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez on a called third strike to end Game 6 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees, the team that had ended the Rangers’ only three previous playoff appearances.

Texas lost the World Series in five games against San Francisco. The Rangers made it two AL titles in a row in 2011 when they beat Detroit in six games, also clinching at home, before losing the World Series in seven games to St. Louis.

Home of MVPs:Juan Gonzalez was a two-time AL MVP (1996 and 1998), before catcher Ivan Rodriguez (1999), Alex Rodriguez (2003) and Josh Hamilton (2010) won the award while playing in Texas.

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