Got some handy information for you, as I was wrong about something but have seen the light, and it was cool and it was refreshing.
Knew I wouldn’t get in bed until after midnight Saturday because of working a football game so when I was asked at the first of the week about going to the Texas Rangers game in Arlington the next day—this past Sunday—it didn’t sound so hot, simply because I am not 20 years old and not totally insane anymore.
But when a trio of friends of 40 years ask and they have good tickets and they use the magic word — “Free” — you go to bed as quickly as you can, even if that’s not until 2 Sunday morning, get up at 6 and drive to Chief’s so the Senator and Hearing Aids can pick you up, get your butt and your water bottle in the backseat of the Senator’s Jeep Cherokee and head toward Texas, tired but up for whatever.
This was my first trip to Globe Life Field, home of the Rangers, that opened during the virus-throttled 2020 season. When the Rangers announced in 2016 they were building a new ballpark, my first thought was, “They just BUILT a new ballpark?!”
And, in terms of a ballpark’s normal lifetime, they had. The Ballpark in Arlington opened in 1994. I had socks and shoes that old. The park was just getting broken in. And what a glorious ballpark it was.
It’s still gorgeous. It stands a home run from the new stadium, which looks from the outside like an airplane hanger. No contest. The old ballpark wins swimsuit and evening gown and it’s not close.
Except … you know what they say about judging a book. That’s Globe Life Field. The beauty is on the inside.
And by “beauty” I mean “air conditioning.” The retractable roof on the $1.1 billion new stadium keeps the 68-degree air inside and the 90-degree air and sun outside. No sweat. We’d have melted Sunday in the old ballpark, especially at this stage of our development.
Globe Life Field is a five-tool player. It’s all about “fans first.” Actual baseball things would be No. 6, tops, on my list of things that are awesome about this new yard.
You start with the roof. Arlington had three 110-degree days this summer and dozens over 95. Mercy!
All kinds of food along what has to be the widest, most open concourses in big-league baseball. People love food and people love not being crowded. Double play.
There are helpers/ushers in baby blue shirts by the dozens, maybe by the hundreds. One was by an escalator and while we explored an hour before first pitch we asked the man if we could go down to that level and he said we needed a ticket for down there and we said we were just ignorant people from Louisiana and he said OK and down we went, then self-reported when we got back and he said that was good because he was a few seconds from calling a SWAT team.
Since Chief had a bum leg and handicapped parking, those same support people drove us in a golf cart from the Jeep to the front door. Took us back after the game. No charge, tipping not allowed. One of our lady drivers was packing heat, too.
The park is a multi-purpose palace for concerts and rodeos and even basketball and who knows what else they might use it for.
The immediate area outside is called Texas Live!, an entertainment district around AT&T Stadium (where the Dallas Cowboys play) and the new park and the “old” ballpark, now used for football and soccer and whatnot. Also in the mix are a couple of half-billion-dollar hotels, eating places, a concert venue, convention center, partridge in a pear tree, and on like that. Really pretty.
And then there’s baseball. In the past three-ish weeks, the Rangers have nose-dived from a 3-and-a-half game lead in the American League West to a neck-and-neck race with Seattle for the AL’s third and final wild-card spot. Me and the boys did our part Sunday in rooting the Rangers to a 9-4 victory over hapless Oakland, a team that sports classic uniforms but just does not have any major league players to wear them.
Now it’s your turn. The Rangers have only six regular-season home games left: Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 18-20, vs. Boston, and Friday-Sunday, Sept. 22-24, vs. those pesky Mariners from Seattle. The Rangers need you. Keep in mind that for that Sunday game against Seattle, Blue Bell ice cream sandwiches are just — wait for it — $1. I kid you not. All you’ve got to do is get your posterior to Globe Life Field.
It’s a cool place.
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