Tim Brown: "On a rare patch of green in north Texas, against a backdrop of confetti streams and honky-tonk reverb, there came the dawning of a baseball franchise.
A warm wind howled over the walls of Rangers Ballpark, whipping scraps of colored paper into tiny hurricanes. Ginger ale plumes filled the sky.
On a football Friday night in a football town, more than 50,000 folks swooned at the slider that froze Alex Rodriguez(notes) – of all people, Alex Rodriguez – and finished off a 6-1 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.
Cliff Lee, the mercenary left-hander who’d topped off their starting rotation. C.J. Wilson, who’d come from the bullpen to become a starter. Lewis, who’d remade his career in Japan.
Josh Hamilton, the series MVP and likely league MVP, who’d fought drug addiction – sometimes well and sometimes not – to stand on that podium Friday night. Cruz, who’d once cleared waivers. Guerrero, given up as over-the-hill in Anaheim. Feliz and shortstop Elvis Andrus(notes), the spoils of the Mark Teixeira trade. Young, who for a decade watched them all come and go, and not three weeks after his first playoff game qualified for his first World Series game.
They ran in circles on a field trampled by friends and family, guzzling the ginger ale that honored Hamilton’s demons and waving to a crowd that couldn’t believe it was seeing this and refused to leave it.
Until the clock struck nine minutes past 10, these Rangers had borne the sins and failures of a half-century. They’d failed in Washington as the Senators. They hadn’t won in Texas. They were the epicenter of the steroid era, and were the oldest of the three franchises – the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners being the others – to never reach the World Series."