20 Stadiums in 20 Days – The Ballpark In Arlington
Before I get started with my visit to the home of the Texas Rangers, I’ll answer the question I asked last time about my visit to Coors Field. If you recall, I said there was something unusual about Hideo Nomo’s no-hitter on September 17, 1996.
Nomo is best known for his body-twisting windup. On the night of the no-hitter, he pitched almost the entire game from the stretch! Due to the poor footing on a wet mound, he abandoned his windup after the first inning.
Just some more baseball trivia to fill up your mind!
The Ballpark In Arlington
My husband and I traveled to Texas in May 1997 to visit my brother, who lived in Irving at the time. In case you’re not familiar with Texas, Irving is in between Dallas and Ft. Worth.
[unrelated aside: My brother has since moved, to another town in the DFW area called Flower Mound. Flower Mound? Is there anyone else besides me who finds this name funny?]
Of course, we wanted to go to a game! On May 18, 1997 we saw the Rangers take on the Yankees at what was then known as The Ballpark In Arlington.
As you can see, the stadium appears to be out in the middle of nowhere, in a large field. And it was, sort of. There may have been more construction around there since then.
The scoring started right away, with Juan Gonzalez hitting a two-run homer for the Rangers in the bottom of the first. Charlie Hayes then hit a solo shot for the Yankees in the top of the second. The starting pitchers, David Cone for the Yankees and Darren Oliver for the Rangers, settled down after that.
The weather during the game was beautiful and sunny, and let me tell you, it gets hot in Texas in May! This particular day was umbrella day at the stadium, and I could have used mine to shield myself from the sun rather than rain.
[another aside: Since the umbrellas wouldn't fit into our luggage, we had to carry them on the plane on the way home. I wonder if we'd even be allowed to now, given the current regulations for air travel! Not that we could have used them as weapons, they weren't very sturdy.]
The Rangers held on to win the game, 4-2. Cone took the loss, pitching the whole game. Oliver got the win, with ex-Yankee John Wetteland getting the save.
In the effort of full disclosure, I must point out that this was not our first visit to the stadium, though it was the first time we saw a game there. In February of 1996, on a previous visit, we took a tour of the stadium. I guess not too many other people were thinking about baseball in February, as we were the only three people on the tour. So it was like our own private tour!
Here is a shot of my brother and husband sitting in the dugout:
And one of my brother and I (or me? I’m not sure which is correct) at the top of the dugout steps:
I’m the one on the left.
Everything looks very wet in these pictures because the field was being watered at the time. After the tour, we ate lunch at the Friday’s located beyond the right-field stands. My brother got one of the largest burgers I have seen:
It looks like it’s the size of his head!
The Ballpark In Arlington has undergone a few name changes in the intervening years. It was known as Ameriquest Field for three years before settling on its current name, Rangers Ballpark In Arlington. Still kind of a long name – what it needs is a catchy nickname! I’ll put my mind to it another time.
Up next, Comiskey Park.