Notable games played at the Temple

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, September 20th, 2019

Image result for Kenny Rogers perfect game
BY:  Dic Humphrey
ARLINGTON, Texas – In the course of 26 years that included eight
playoff appearances, there have been a number of great moments at the
Ballpark in Arlington (Globe Life Ballpark). Ranger radio announcer
Eric Nadel has called the playoff win to send the Rangers to the World
Series for the first time in 2010 as the greatest game in the
ballpark’s history.  Who am I to argue with Eric? Here’s what
happened:
October 22, 2010
Rangers 6, New York Yankees 1:
Prior to 2010, the Rangers had been to the post season just three
times (1996, 1998 & 1999). In all three of those series, the Yankees
won and went on to win the World Series. Texas had just one win to
show for their post-season history (that’s one game, not one series
win.)  The 2010 team came out of bankruptcy in August, but still
managed to win the American League West. They then won their first
playoff series, beating the Tampa Bay Rays three games to two in a
series in which the visiting team won every game. Cliff Lee was the
Rangers’ number one starting pitcher that season. He won game one
against the Rays, and when the series went all the way out to five
games, he was called upon again to pitch the series winning game.

It looked at the time to be a bad break for Texas in that they did
not have their top pitcher to start the League Championship Series
against the Yankees. Lee wasn’t able to pitch until game
three…which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  The Rangers
had the home field advantage in the series, which opened on a Friday
night.  Texas split the first two games, and actually could have
easily won both.  Texas took a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning of
game one. C. J. Wilson was the Ranger starter that blanked the
Yankees over the first six innings.  He then gave up a solo home run
to Robinson Cano in the seventh.  Wilson was knocked out in the eighth
inning.  Five Ranger pitchers saw action in that eighth inning, but
Derek Holland, the fifth Ranger pitcher of the night was the only
pitcher to retire a batter.

When the smoke cleared, the Yankees had a 6-5 lead.  Kerry Wood
pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Mariano Rivera finished off the
Rangers in the ninth to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the series.
Texas came back to tie the series with a 7-2 win on Saturday.
Colby Lewis gave up two runs in 5.2 innings to earn the win.
The series then moved to Yankee Stadium for game three.

Certainly, Yankee Stadium can be intimidating to opposing players.
For Texas though, intimidation was not the problem. Veteran Cliff Lee
was the starting pitcher on that Monday night.  The old pro was cool,
calm and collected as he totally out-dueled Andy Petitte to lead the
Rangers to an 8-0 win. Lee threw eight shutout innings, and Neftali
Feliz polished off the Yankees in the ninth to give Texas a 2-1 series
lead. The intimidation factor was nullified.  The Rangers knew they
could win in Yankee Stadium.  They then won game four 10-3 to take a
commanding 3-1 series lead.  The Yankees kept the series alive with a
7-2 win on Wednesday.

That brought the teams back to Arlington for game six on October
22.  The Rangers scored first with a run in the first inning.  The
Yankees tied the game in the fifth inning, but the Rangers put four on
the board in their half of the fifth.The big blow in the inning was
Nelson Cruz’s fifth post-season home run with a runner on base.
Colby Lewis was the Ranger starter. He gave up just the one
Yankee run on three hits over eight innings. Feliz retired all three
batters he faced in the ninth inning.  The Rangers were finally in the
World Series for the first time after being the Texas Rangers for 39
seasons, and being an American League franchise for 50 years.

It was poetic justice that the win that sent them to the World
Series was over the Yankees, the team that had eliminated them in
their three previous trips to the post season.  It was even more
delicious that the final out was a strikeout of former Ranger Alex
Rodriguez, who forced his way into a trade after signing a $250
million contract with the Rangers after the 2000 season.
There were many other great moments in the ballpark’s history.
Here are a few:
April 11, 1994:  The Ballpark in Arlington opens to a sellout crowd on
April 11, 1994.  Van Cliburn played the National Anthem.  Many that
witnessed the great pianist’s performance to be the most stirring
edition of the National Anthem ever.  The opponent was the Milwaukee
Brewers, and the Brewers won 4-3.
July 28, 1994:  Kenny Rogers throws a perfect game against the
California Angels.  It’s only the 14th in baseball history.
Invariably, a great play is credited with saving the perfecto.  Rusty
Greer’s ninth inning diving catch of a Rex Hudler line drive leading
off the inning was that signature play.  The final score was 4-0.
Jose Canseco hit home runs in the first and third innings. Ivan
Rodriguez followed Canseco’s third inning homer with one of his own as
the sluggers went back-to-back.
July 11, 1995:  MLB All-Star game.  National League wins 3-2 before an
announced crowd of 50,920. Four players hit home runs:  National
Leaguers Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Conine, who won the MVP
of the game award and American Leaguer Frank Thomas hit home runs.
Heathcliff Slocumb got the win, and Steve Ontiveros was the losing
pitcher.
October 4, 1996:  The Rangers host the first home playoff game in team
history.  The series opened October 1 in New York with the Rangers
winning 6-2.  The Yankees evened the series with a 5-4 win the next
day; so the series moved to Arlington tied at a game apiece. Texas
took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning, but the Yankees scored twice to
win 3-2, and a day later, the Yankees won again 6-4 to end the
Rangers’ season.

July 12, 1997:  The Rangers host the San Francisco Giants in the first                                                                  ever inter-league regular season game. Nolan Ryan and Willie Mays
throw out the ceremonial first pitches.  The Giants’ Glenallen Hill
becomes the first National League batter to be the designated hitter
in a regular season game.  Another Giant, Stan Javier hits the first
inter-league home run.  San Francisco won 4-3.  There were four
inter-league games scheduled that Thursday evening, but the other
three were on the West Coast, so the Rangers had the honor of hosting
the first inter-league game by two hours.

October 30, 2010:  The Rangers host a World Series game for the first
time in team history.  The series began in San Francisco with the
Giants winning 11-7 and 9-0 to take a two games to none lead in the
series. Colby Lewis was the Rangers’ starting pitcher, and he was
great. Texas won 4-2 with Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton hitting
home runs. Lewis was the winning pitcher.Unfortunately, the Rangers
scored just one more run in the series losing 4-0 and 3-1 to watch the
Giants celebrate the win of a five game World Series on their home
turf.

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