I don’t exactly know when this happened, but the Texas Rangers are the real deal. This is hard for a Rangers fan to truly articulate. I have lived in Dallas just about 40 years now. I lived and died with the Rangers as a kid. Check that, died with the Rangers because they never ever won anything. I grew up at a time when you actually listened to baseball games on the radio. I spent just about all my summer nights as a kid outside throwing the baseball and listening to the Rangers. They lost, but it was cool because baseball was fun.
Fast forward a few years later and I became an Atlanta Braves fan. I became a Braves fan for a few reasons. Number One is because they were always on TV on TBS at a time when you could really only watch the Braves or the Cubs. Number Two was the great Dale Murphy. I didn’t abandon the Rangers, but I rooted for the Braves who were in the National League and also awful, so it seemed alright. Then a funny thing happened to the Braves, they became good. I took my first adult vacation with my now wife driving to Atlanta to watch them play. I drove with friends to the World Series on 1996 and was lucky enough to see a pretty incredible 1-0 game against the Yankees.
I had a team who actually won games. I didn’t forget about the Rangers, but they were still the same old team. They had good players, but the Texas heat always got us. It wasn’t any fun to be a real Rangers fan because there was never even a chance. They did have a couple of good teams in the late 90’s but of course they were buzzsawed by the Yankees, a team who always gets what they want. Of course looking back now we know those Ranger teams of the late 90’s were one big Petri dish of steroids, so I am glad I didn’t have some emotional attachment.
In the last decade I have drifted away from baseball. The strike pretty much killed my interest in the game, and I never really came back. I am a huge NBA and Premier League soccer fan these days. A funny thing has happened the past couple of years with our little Rangers. The Rangers are a damn good baseball team. Since Nolan Ryan arrived on the scene he has built a team that is the real deal. The guys are fun to watch and the team does whatever it takes. Yes, they have lost in the past 2 World Series, but we don’t even care. I feel like they are a team of destiny, it is only a matter of time.
Today I saw that Roy Oswalt signed with the team. This is a player that just about all of the good teams wanted. He’s a pitcher and he chose the Rangers. The same Rangers who were for 35 years a place to go and die. It’s a pretty amazing turn of events. I saw the headline and wasn’t even that surprised. Are the Rangers the new Yankees? Maybe they could be? It’s a pretty crazy thing at least for me anyway. I don’t think I will ever get used to this one.