Last Friday (April 5th) was a gorgeous & fun spring day in Arlington, Texas for the Texas Rangers Home Opener against the Los Angeles Angels (Division rivals) & Josh Hamilton (former Ranger). Ever since the schedule was released, there has been a lot of tension in the air about opening day and Josh returning to Arlington in an Angel’s uniform.
I was a little worried the day before the game… It was cold, rainy and the local weather forecast wasn’t looking that good. Well, it turned out to be a gorgeous day and I was very happy. It was the best day we have had in North Texas this year. The sky was clear blue and the temperature (mid to high 60s) was just perfect for an opening day game. Opening day is one of my favorite days of the year!
As always, we had a large tailgate party right off of Ball Park Way and about 200 hundreds yards from the main entrance to the Ball Park. The tailgating started five hours before the first pitch @ 1:08 pm and ended about 6:30 pm. It’s was a blast seeing everyone (customers, partners, old & new co-workers, dedicated opening day partyers, etc) again that has been participating in opening day celebrations over the years!
The Ball Park looked great! A few modifications to the park had been made that were really nice. The Cuervo Club that was located behind home plate was remodeled and renamed. It’s now called the Capital One Club. It was a very popular spot before and during the game. We visited the Capital One Club at / about the 3rd inning and the place was packed. Another really great enhancement to the park was the brand new concession area called the ’60 Foot Six, which is located right under the Capital One Club. The area has really been opened up and also houses the new location of my favorite beer vendor (Beers of Texas). The area also serves up the Beltre Buster (a pound of beef and 8 ounces of bacon) and the famous Boom Stick (a two-foot-long hot dog that cost $26 and can feed a family of six).
Josh Hamilton batted 4th in the line up and he got his chance at the top of the second inning to show all the fans what he could / should do. When Josh was introduced and started walking to the plate, he was greeted by tens of thousands of boos. It really was overwhelming. I couldn’t boo Josh. Yes, I was upset with Josh during the last six to eight weeks of the 2012 season …. Josh has many demons and so much talent. I wish him well and hope he can overcome his distractions. Josh has the potential to be one of MBL’s greatest hitters ever. The booing got to Josh mentally and he went on to strike out. Which drew huge cheers from the fans. Josh didn’t have a very productive day at all. After hearing his live interview during the mid morning time frame, I just knew it wasn’t going to be a pretty day for him. I thought … Josh you have had over six months to prepare for your Opening Day interview against the Rangers…. Oh well!
With 48,845 fans in attendance and Derek Holland (The Dutch Oven) starting at the mound …. The Texas Rangers went on to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 3 – 2 and win their fifth consecutive home opener! It was a great game! One that I will always remember! Go Rangers!