Number of games: 2
First game: 6/3/2022 (Mariners 4, Rangers 3)
Most recent game: 6/5/2022 (Mariners 6, Rangers 5, 10 innings)
Click on any photo to see a full-size version.
Time to top the tank up to full again! I had not been “complete” in my MLB stadiums since I made it to Busch Stadium (the
In the process, I got to see my team, the Seattle Mariners, on the road. Texas became the fourth road spot where I have watched the Mariners play, joining Kansas City, Cleveland, and Oakland. As in the other four ballparks, I wore my hat and
Hat tip here. Hat tip there. “Go Mariners!” over there. It felt a little like being a cute kid in a Halloween costume: so many people wanted to point out what I was wearing. Eventually, this turned into the people sitting behind me on Friday night talking about where they lived before they had to move down to Texas. And I got a shot of Rick Rizzs waving behind me before the game. It felt good to be a road fan.
The ballpark itself left me feeling a little wistful. I liked the old ballpark–found it to be a wonderful celebration of Texas history. They shut it down after only a quarter century because they wanted a place that could stave off the heat. So they built this place Arizona’s ballpark than
That said, there was a massive thunderstorm one night and it was 92 degrees for our matinee…so maybe that’s all for the best? I do wonder if they could have incorporated more of the positive aspects of the old place into the new place. It does
To me, it begins with the setup behind home plate. The Rangers are, to the best of my ability, the only team I can come up with who have suites on the lower levels, thus delegating the best space in the ballpark not to fans willing to drop a bunch of bucks to watch the game, but rather to fans who are there not to watch a ballgame. We’re not talking the first few rows of the ballpark, either. It looks like the entire lower bowl is reserved for these. “Close the deal,” one of the websites advertising the
Still, in spite of the well-documented Costco feel of the indoor place, I did like what they did. A big, beautiful mural of Rangers past and recent-past sits on the concourse, and between innings, the scoreboard would show those images, so you’d see Michael Young or Jim Sundberg or some such looking over the game. I liked that and would love to see more of it.
That said, what I did see was fabulous–felt like a reward for spending time and money getting down to Texas for that weekend. I saw my Mariners come back in the ninth inning to pull off crazy wins. Twice! The first was merely a ninth-inning home run by Eugenio Suarez that turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 win. The second was much crazier.
After driving up from Round Rock that day, I caught the matinee–the first pitch was delivered at 1:39 PM. My flight departed at 7:35 PM. I had some work to do (dropping off rental car, getting through security, etc.), but I figured I’d be in decent shape
The game went along at a brisk pace, but when the Mariners gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth to fall behind 5-2, I figured everything was done. It was about 4:40 PM, so I’d not only make my flight, but I’d have time to chill at the gate for a while.
But my Mariners went bonkers. Home run by Ty France. Singles by Julio Rodriguez and J.P. Crawford. And then–holy crap, there he is again! a game-tying double by Eugenio Suarez.
Mariners have tied it up. And…we’re pushing 5:00.
Damn. Miss my flight, or miss the end of the game?
I cut the baby in half. After the Mariners pushed across the lead run when the stupid stupid stupid zombie runner scored on a wild pitch in the top of the tenth, the clock read 5:10. I zipped down the back staircase and looked out past the seats whenever I could (and, incidentally, Globe Life field leaves very few opportunities to do that: when you’re on the concourse,
“Go Mariners!” he said. I said the same.
I beat the traffic and made my flight–a little tight, but with some time to spare.
So–overall, this joins Atlanta as a ballpark that, while nice, slick, and modern, leaves me wondering what we’ve left behind as much as what we’ve gained. I can head back someday…but I don’t find this place to be so special as to merit another trip just for baseball. But I am glad I made this one.
Eugenio Suarez just kills it, with 7 RBI and 2 home runs over the two games, including critical 9th-inning hits in each. My wife hates his chessboard-style divided-color hair, but for his work here, I will always owe him my allegiance. (But I won’t make my hair like his. Wife says she’d divorce me if I did.)
First career hits for the Rangers’ Ezequiel Duran–a single, then a go-ahead solo HR–looked good to give the Rangers the win in the Sunday game until Eugenio has his way.
Great pitching from all four starters: Dane Dunning and Martin Perez for the Rangers, Logan Gilbert and George Kirby for the Mariners. None, obviously, figures in the decisions.
Written June 2022.