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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Six months plus one day in the making...

The last time I was in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was October 5, 2012.  It looked like this:

Wild card playoff game vs. the Baltimore Orioles
Yu Darvish was on the mound and the crowd was energized.  I had my Ranger red shirt on, the Rangers baseball cap, hell...I was even wearing Texas Rangers eye-black sticker things.  Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and by 11 o'clock that night I was counting down the days until Opening Day.

Six months and one day later I was back baby!  April 6th, yesterday, my first game at the ballpark of the newly minted 2013 season.  There is just something very exciting about a young baseball season; so many possibilities and if your team is even remotely good, chances are that your expectations are through the roof.  Not to mention that I was going through massive withdrawal.  I was seriously watching the World Baseball Classic with the same fervor as the 2010 World Series.  Kidding.  Obviously, I was not.  But, I was into it.  I've never cared about David Wright so much in my life.

Back to the subject at hand:  the absolute awesomeness of opening weekend at RBiA.  Even driving up was awesome:

Not my truck.  In fact, I think my Civic could fit in this guy's truck.
If you can get around the chaos of trying to remember which lanes are turn lanes (so you can get into the parking lot to the left easier) and the dumb drivers (obviously everyone but us), then you can really get hyped up in this spot:

Move Mini Cooper, you're killing the vibe.
Even getting to our seats was fun; the Rangers "Legends" banners, a new club-type area, and new food offerings (Homeplate Butcher Block is home of the Beltre Buster, RBiA's latest heart attack on a plate) are always good to see.

Why isn't that table in my house?
Now normally, I live in the 320 sections.  There are only a few bad seats in this park, like right in that triangle area near the right field fair pole (you can't see crap) or the seats just above the green scoreboard in left field (it's hotter than hell right there...NO shade whatsoever).  The 320 sections are a great value; about $25 a seat and a nice view.  325 is right behind home plate.  But, on this day, we chose to sit a better seat.  Section 40 was awesome:

We caught the tail end of BP.
The only down side to this seat was that if a ball was hit down the line near the wall, we couldn't see if it was fair or foul, same for anything hit in the air in that corner.  We couldn't see if the outfielder made the catch or not.  But overall, very nice.  I also had a nice view of one of the best parts of the opening weekend experience:

Although the actual game left much to be desired (what the hell is wrong with Harrison right now?), the overall ballpark experience was glorious, as always.  We got to participate in the usual ballpark traditions that go something like this:

4th Inning:  "The Stars at night, are big and bright, clap, clap, clap, clap, DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS" - you're singing now, aren't you?

6th Inning:  DOT RACE!  (Although, the dots never race anymore...)

No wagering, please.
And of course the 7th inning stretch:

"Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd...

...root, root, root for the RANGERS..."

And the Cotton-Eyed Joe (!) a RBiA favorite.

Did I mention that there are additional ways to enhance the overall experience:

Now THAT is a beer cup.  Nice "1972" too.
I can sum up the overall feeling of yesterday's crowd with this guy's shirt:

That's dedication; I mean, the dude had a shirt MADE!
I'm looking forward to my next visit to our park, which, by the way, is a top 10 ballpark in the country.  Check it out, I didn't even make that up.  Hopefully, we get a better result next time.

And if you would like my own personal best list (of the parks I've visited), here it is:

1.  Camden Yards - have some Boog's BBQ
2.  Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
3.  Old Busch Stadium*
4.  Old Yankee Stadium - saw a Sox game there, Mussina vs. Beckett, and it kicked ass
5.  Wrigley Field**

* The atmosphere in the park and even in the neighborhood around the park was incredible.  EVERYONE had their Cardinals red on and EVERYONE was going to the game.  

** Here's your takeaway:  If you want to be a bleacher bum, remember that is all you will be that night.  If you have bleacher tix, you literally have no access to any other part of the ballpark.

And that's all she wrote.  Literally.  I'm out.  

Okay, not yet.  

Last note:  Get excited for Weaver and YUUUUU at the ballpark tonight!  7:05PM on ESPN (our 3rd nationally televised game of the young season)!

3W, 2L; 157 to go.

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