In order to start exercising the writing muscle a bit, I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions for top-5 lists. You know, prompts to get the brain going. The ninth one is a combination from my friend Ben (who I have amazing amounts of common interests with), who asked for…
My Top Five Moments With The Texas Rangers & Top Five Players:
- 11 Straight Opening Days with Kid1. We did a dance every year where I told her we didn’t have tickets, she pretended to buy the lie as she headed off to school in Rangers gear, and then I’d check her out in time for us to catch all of batting practice, eat ballpark food and take in a game.
- October 30, 2010: Game 3 of the World Series. A bucket-list item for me was to see a World Series game in person, so when my team played in my city it was a no-brainer. I got to go to the game of my life with the woman of my life (who I think enjoyed watching me as much as the experience)…and I saw one of the best at-bats I’ve ever seen by Mitch Moreland (who saw 11 pitches until he got the one he wanted and then parked a 3-run homer over our heads), Josh Hamilton homered, and Neftali Feliz with a save.
- May 16, 2013: Being there in person when Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish went head-to-head in a pitching match-up, and Verlander was gone early in the third. Darvish went through 8th without his best stuff. I loves me a good pitching matchup, and the Rangers won 10-4.
- May 16, 1997: There was nothing special about the game against the Yankees (We won 6-0) really, but I was supposed to be at my seminary graduation. I’d decided that they’d taken enough of my money (charge me for my own graduation ceremony and party weekend? It was a lot of money to me at the time) and time away from my family…so, good seats next to the Ranger bullpen and full foodie (which we never did due to finances) with two pigtailed blue eyed blonde daughters was a fantastic way to get the “closure” everybody told me I was supposed to have. Kid1 got a ball autographed by reliever Xavier Hernandez.
- October 16, 2010: Rangers/Yankees Game 2. Colby Lewis bulldogged his way through a tough Yankee lineup and that Ranger lineup of Andrus/Young/Hamilton/Guerrero/Cruz/Kinsler/Murphy/Molina/Moreland pounded Phil Hughes early and often. A 7-2 win that made you feel like we just might knock them out of the playoffs…and we did.
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. The best catcher I ever saw play (and I saw Johnny Bench in his prime) and he changed the way the other team played because they couldn’t be aggressive at the plate or on the bases. We got spoiled with that guy.
Josh Hamilton (2010 & 2011 only). Good grief what a terror that guy was. He played hard, he stole bases, he crushed baseballs, he played solid defense. He’s an enigma for sure, but those two seasons he was mythical.
Rusty Greer. Like everybody else, I know. But what’s not to like? He knew the game and played hard, which helped him overcome his physical limitations. He hit close to .300, gave you 20 homers and 85 RBI and stole bases…and his defense was really good, too.
Adrian Beltre. Like Pudge, we’ve been spoiled. He plays hurt, he is a gold glove third baseman, hits for power (we’ll see how long that continues), and his average is solid, too. I’d be surprised if we don’t see him in the Hall of Fame.
Colby Lewis. I like how tenacious he is and yes, I know he gives up a home run or two every game. But think about where this franchise would be without his playoff starts from the three spot and this year he was 17-9 and started 33 games (eating up 204 innings)…and when the team needed him to stop the bleeding in the early months, he took the ball and stopped losing streaks. I wish he’d gotten the playoff start against Toronto…one of the very few moves I didn’t like from Jedi Banister.
Honorable mention: Michael Young, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Will Clark, Rafael Palmiero.