"Programs get you Programs" or "Churro Churro get your Churro" all sounds of baseball at Texas Ranger Stadium, oops I mean Globe Life Park. We all have those memories or traditions around a sport we have grown to love all of our life, with those you love. My tradition with the game I have loved, since Nolan Ryan pitched, is Opening Day at the ballpark with my Dad. The smell of popcorn, the rumble of the stadium during a home run (which we didn't get this opening day), the first crack of the bat all send chills down my skin especially on opening day. Now that I live in Australia I do not get a lot of time with my family, so the traditions we have mean more now than ever, being so far away.
The day started like any other baseball game with us arriving early enough to see the ballpark open and the staff set up for the rush. In our family we do not like to be late and sometimes are very early and use the time to walk around and visit friends we through the seasons. As the 48,885 fans stirred around we found our seats as this year they are on the lower level, a ways away from the upper deck of years past. From our previous birds eye view to being able to see the squint of the pitchers eyes as he went into the wind up, we knew that this year will for sure bring a new level of excitement for us on this opening day.
As the fans stood for the National Anthem and the planes flew over with a roar, it made me proud to be an American, and then the announcer said the best words at the stadium, "It's Baseball time in Texas". As the announcer finished saying Texas, I looked to my Dad, he was like a giddy school kid. He lives for Ranger baseball. This year the real opening pitch was thrown by a retired injured military purple heart recipient, whom was escorted to the field by none other than former President of the United States of America, George W. Bush. While the other first pitch, the ceremonial first pitch, was thrown by the current governor of Texas, who was injured while out running one night in 1984. Opening day is like Christmas morning for my Dad, especially in our new seats for the season. Inning after inning we cheered our team as Dad and I talked about how this could be a long season, but we are still fans no matter what. The Rangers did not play as well as hoped. As the 5th inning came around, I knew I was in Texas as they played the normal "Deep in the Heart of Texas".
As the game wound down, the fans were still excited to be watching the Rangers at home but had anticipation of a long, but fun year. Opening day is fun no matter if you win or loose. Being a Nolan Ryan fan since I was 6, I will say the park is not the same without him and I did miss looking down and seeing Nolan in his normal seat beside the dugout.
Leaving the stadium I took another look at the park that gave me memories with my Dad and already started counting the days till 2016 opening day.
What is a tradition that revolves around a sport with your family?