There’s nothing quite like Opening Day at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. There is almost a guarantee of good weather, fan anticipation is at its highest level (next to the World Series, of course) and a good portion of the working community in DFW takes a skip day to bask in the sunshine and enjoy some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. It’s not much different for the players. After a grueling previous year that included way too many games in 100 degree-plus weather, a packed schedule and an almost-there World Series run, the team is excited to return to the field for another shot at the title.
As the players pull in early in the morning, they notice the fans have gathered earlier than they’ve arrived and baseball season is now in full swing. While the opening game was memorable because it started the team off right, the players shared some of their favorite memories of Opening Day in the locker room afterwards.
“This is the first time I’ve seen this stadium and the energy. They were outside tailgating when I came into the park about 8 o’clock. They beat me here! The energy in this city is awesome. To be able to control my emotions in that type of environment for the first game is a confidence-builder. And there are probably a few things that you won’t think about until you’re sitting back and done playing baseball. It’s all special.” – Joe Nathan
“I think just having my family here and having the opportunity to do well and taking advantage of it.” – Colby Lewis
“It’s a lot of fun every time you get to play the first game, man. Especially when you get a win and everything goes the right way, it’s a good sign for tomorrow. You always get a lot of good memories from the game.” – Elvis Andrus
“Great baseball game, an awesome crowd and first game of the year is always exciting. The first day intensity and the newness of the season – that never gets old, so you’re always excited about it.” – David Murphy
“Opening Day is always very special. It’s always exciting when you come out and see the fans cheering. It’s very special.” – Nelson Cruz
The crowd. It’s always the crowd. Hopefully you can send them home with a win – and we did. The crowd is always the X-factor for Opening Day. When they come out and cheer in the stands and we can feed off of their energy, it’s always a great thing for a player.” – David Murphy
“Opening Day is a big deal. Sometimes your defense is on and it was so that’s good. It’s what we do. It was especially good for me being a catcher when you’re able to keep the starting pitcher most of the game.” – Yorvit Torrealba
“A lot of things. Just driving to the Ballpark and seeing the amount of people that are already here – that kind of stuck out in my mind because that’s never happened before – and probably Joe running in on the 9th inning. That’s the first time he’s worn the same uniform I’ve had on and I felt good about it.” Ian Kinsler