In 2010 the Texas Rangers’ success made allot of people take notice of who they were, what they stood for, and the brand of baseball Texas Rangers play. Many became fans. A new growing fan base meant the fans were searching for their identity. Just as a team takes on the identity of its manager, the fans take on the identity of the team. Our team has young players, new additions, and veterans, but all play hard with heart, professionalism, mental toughness, and resiliency that can’t be quantified in a box score or a stat. The fans have taken hold of those qualities and begun to have the same identity. In a summer filled with record heat the fans showed up and set a fan attendance record for a season. People didn’t show up just to do the wave but became more engaged in the games than ever. The bandwagoners picked up along the way in 2010 were becoming real fans, and the seasoned vets were there as always.
2011 was a beautiful year to be a Texas Rangers fan. We got to see the best record posted by a Texas Rangers team, the best all around rotation we’ve ever had, and we got to meet and revere our new additions to the team including the awesome catching tandem of Napoli & Torrealba, and the vacuum at third base Adriane Beltre. We got to see some of our all time favorite Rangers make history, Michael Young set all kinds of Rangers records while being the best team player anyone could ask for with yet another position change, and Ian Kinsler showed us what he can do when healthy with another 30-30 season. Ron Washington showed what kind of leader he is, not just a cheerleader or “players” manager, but a man with true leadership skills that can get a group of men to believe in themselves and each other and take them to untold heights.
As beautiful as the regular season was the post season had moments of brilliance and disappointment. The Rangers won their second consecutive American League West Division championship as well as their second consecutive American League Championship. They put up one of the best fights, with a World Series for the ages, including record tying and breaking performances. And although they fell one game short they showed us that this unit has even more potential than their performances have shown. Making it to the World Series is such a difficult task, consecutive World Series is an even greater challenge. To put in perspective, Hall of Fame pitcher and team President, Nolan Ryan one of the greatest pitchers to ever to step on the mound, went to ONE World Series in his great career that started in the 60’s and ended in the 90’s.
Even tonight as the St. Louis Cardinals are still celebrating a tough, earned victory, I am hopeful that this group of Texas Rangers has not seen their last Fall Classic, and people will learn how truly resilient Texas Rangers Nation is, on the field and in the stands.
The 2011 season is over and in the record books and all this fan can say is, “Thank you for a great season. Can’t wait to cheer in 2012. LET’S GO RANGERS!”