Rangers set to excite Dallas fans after World Series appearance
Published: Friday, April 1, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
With a called third strike on New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez on Oct. 22, 2010, the Texas Rangers rushed to the mound.
The Rangers had just defeated the Yankees, the most famous team in the history of Major League Baseball with 26 world championships, to win the American League Championship Series (ALCS) with a series score of 4-2.
They were headed to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. They segued from the team that usually watched other teams move on in the postseason to the team going to the Fall Classic.
It was the first World Series to ever reach North Texas and the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, which has struggled to fill seats throughout the years.
The stadium has a similar seating capacity to Yankee Stadium but averaged far fewer fans per game in the 2010 regular season. The team's average home game attendance was ranked 14th in baseball at 30,928 per game. There were 51,404 people in attendance at Rangers Ballpark for the ALCS clincher.
The success of the team last season means changes will occur for the 2011 season, said members of the organization and its fans.
"By far, the excitement and the number of people that want to come out is much greater than it has ever been," Kate Meyer, Account Executive for Rangers season tickets, said.
Although sales are not final, there has been a more than 90 percent renewal rate on season tickets for the upcoming season.
The stadium is also undergoing capital improvements that could cost up to $13 million and will provide fans with a better experience, according to Rob Matwick, Executive Vice President of Ballpark Operations for the Rangers.
Two new scoreboards, all new televisions throughout the stadium and a new audio system are some of the changes taking place.
The offseason has seen a rise in prices in some seating sections and a decline in others.
Matwick said the team's run for a World Series title was historic for the franchise.
"It certainly got the entire region excited," he said.
Lifetime Ranger fan Jake Meyer, 21, who is no relation to Kate Meyer, said in an email interview that the Rangers drew a tremendous amount of attention to the area during a time when the local favorite Dallas Cowboys were struggling.
"The DFW area exploded with Ranger fever and hopefully they will be able to turn that magical postseason run into a more loyal and dedicated fan base," he said.
The playoff run also gave the Rangers a chance to pay back some of their fans.
Kate Meyer noted the large number of season ticket holders that have stuck with the team through thick and thin for about 25 years.
The 2010 season finally gave them the chance to watch their team on baseball's biggest stage.
"National media coverage of the Rangers and, hence, the DFW area will no doubt be significantly increased as a result of the ballclub's successful season," former Rangers President Michael Stone said in an email interview.
The ALCS clincher was the second most watched program in TBS' 34-year history.
"It was an awesome experience seeing the team that I've cheered on for years of poor performance finally reach the ultimate goal. If prices do rise, I will be okay with that because that is almost always a direct result of better performance by the team and more excitement from the fans," Jake Meyer said.
The dynamics of the team will change next season as well. Roster adjustments such as the loss of star pitcher Cliff Lee and designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero mean it will be a very different team. C.J. Wilson was recently named the Rangers' opening day starter against the Red Sox on April 1 in Arlington.
"The loss of Lee will no doubt have a negative impact on the quality of the pitching rotation. He was certain to be their number one starter,and now other, less proven, pitchers will have to step forward to complete the starting staff," Stone said of the Phillies' new pitcher.
With the 2011 season quickly approaching, lifetime Ranger Michael Young is still with Texas despite his request to be traded during the offseason.
Young's request came after the team acquired free agent Adrian Beltre in a move that turned Young from the third baseman into the primary designated hitter.
The Philadelphia Phillies have recently expressed interest in Young due to the patellar tendinitis, bone inflammation and chondromalacia in Phillies' second baseman Chase Utley's right knee.
Kate Meyer said it is a very exciting time for everyone involved with the franchise due partly to the new ownership group headed by Chuck Greenberg and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.
The group won the right to purchase the team in August 2010. Jake Meyer said he is very happy with how the new ownership is running the organization.
The fact that ticket prices were lowered for some of the cheaper sections will allow more fans to watch the American League champions.
"They certainly have the offense to make another run at the post-season but, as always, pitching will ultimately determine their fate," Stone said.
Jake Meyer thinks his team will finish 2011 with a record of 95-67 and go on to win the World Series against none other than Cliff Lee and the Phillies.
For the first time in many years, this does not seem out of the question.