GNABRT Day 4 – If you’re gonna play in Texas


GNABRT map - day 4Day 4 of the Great North American Baseball Road Trip was always going to be a bear.

Right after a drive from Alabama and a late night with my friend, I was going to have to drive 4-5 hours to Arlington, watch the Rangers play (usually a minimum of 2.5 hours) and then drive the same distance back.

Originally, my friend thought he might accompany me and I was going to meet a fan of my work for lunch before the game.  The former became iffy and then a no-show (that was fine, since my friend doesn’t care for baseball and still had committed to the Astros game the following night).  However, when my fan canceled, it left me fully solo on the journey…a good introduction to the many games to come.

When I first started out, I thought the nav was taking me somewhere else because there was only one other car on the road with me (and at that, only occasionally).  Eventually I saw other signs of life and ultimately made it to the stadium.

The City:  Arlington, Texas received its name back in 1876 in honor of Robert E. Lee’s hometown.  In the mid 1800’s, a colonel and his company of Texas Rangers were stationed there and the colonel ended up settling and becoming a driving force in the growth of the town.  As for the Rangers, well, there is a baseball team named similarly.

My history:  none.

The game:  Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox.  Both teams have had disappointing starts to the season.  Boston has fallen into last place in the American League East while Texas has struggled to maintain a winning record while their neighbors to the south (Houston) are leading the division.

The game featured many awkward plays in the field that, while not all ruled errors, still led to runs for each team.  Neither team came anywhere close to a “rally”, where more than two runs might be scored, so the game remained tight all day.

In the bottom of the ninth, against the Red Sox closer, a former Texas favorite then gone then back, Josh Hamilton, hit a two-run double to the left-centerfield wall and the Rangers rallied to win 4-3 in as exciting a finish as you can get in baseball.  A great start to the GNABRT!

The tab:  Ticket, $43; Parking, $15; Program, $5; Dog, $5; Soda, $5.50; Water, $4.5; Cotton candy, $5 – Total tab: $83.

Miscellany of day 4:

– When it comes to driving, I’m a gripper.  For whatever reason, I clench that steering wheel tightly.  It gets tiring in the forearms and a bit crampy on the fingers.  I wonder how Tuesday’s 680-mile, 11-hour drive is going to feel.

– I saw this ridiculously large statue of (as I discovered while passing it) Sam Houston.  When I first saw it from a distance, towering over the trees, I flashed on the Argonath from Lord of the Rings (those two humongous ancient statues over the river).  All ol’ Sam needed was a flock of birds flying out of one eye.  I guess everything is bigger in Texas.

– I’m a stone-hearted killer.  The front of my car and my windshield bear testimony to my many sins.  I was particularly saddened when a large zebra butterfly apparently could not dodge my 70 mph death machine.  I believe the smear on the front of my side-view mirror is all that’s left of it.

– My intention was to score (record all the plays of) each game with each program I purchased before each game.  Sadly, I must have put the wrong pen in my pocket.  Instead of ink, this one only contained sand. Don’t ask, I don’t know.

– I am a hybrid lobster boy after the sunscreen I had on sweated away.  It was a perfect storm.  Soggy, flooded Texas had a hot day with almost no clouds (could be counted on one hand), the game was extra long and my seat was in the sun the entire game.  Currently my knees could likely cook eggs.

Tomorrow some sightseeing and then game number 2 – Houston Astros!

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