Throwback Thursday: The Rangers Played Their First Ever Game In Texas On April 21, 1972
The best time of the year is upon us. It's baseball season. The Texas Rangers are off to a pretty good start for the 2016 season. As of right now they are sitting at first in the American League West with a 9 and 6 record. Tonight they will try to sweep a three game series with the Astros at 7:15 in Globe Life Park.
Tonight's game marks an important date in Rangers history, too. It was on this day 44 years ago that the Rangers played their first ever game in Arlington. On April 21st, 1972, the brand new Texas Rangers played their home opener in Arlington Stadium against the California Angels.
The team had moved to Texas after the Washington Senators decided the metroplex was the place to be. The city already had built Turnpike Stadium to MLB specifications and it's location in Arlington was optimal for both Ft. Worth and Dallas fans. Seating was expanded from 10,000 to 35,694 and the team found it's new home.
For that first home game, 20,105 fans came out to support the new team. It was the second biggest crowd they drew all season. The team had a 1 and 3 record at the time, having played two 2-games series on the road against the Angels and the White Sox. The Angels now traveled to Texas for the start of a 4-game series.
The fans got to see a pretty competitive game that night. The Rangers starting pitcher Dick Bosman kept the Angels down for 5 innings and came into the 6th with Texas up 5-1. In the 6th, the Angles bats finally came out and Bosman gave up 3 runs before being pulled for reliever Casey Cox. Cox closed the inning and held the Angels scoreless in the 7th. The Angles put up 2 runs in the 8th and closer Paul Lindblad came in with the Rangers up 7-6. He held them scoreless for the 9th and the first Rangers home game was officially in the books. Rangers over the Angels, 7-6.
The rest of the season wouldn't go nearly as well as that first game, though. While they did end up sweeping all 4 games of that first home series, the rest of the season proved too much for the newly relocated team. The Rangers ended the 1972 season on October 4th with a 0-4 loss to the Royals in Kansas City pushing their final record to 54 wins and 100 losses.
A lot has changed since that first game. The coming of the Nolan Ryan era, the building of a newer, bigger stadium, and back to back American League Pennants in 2010 and 2011 all were many years away. As the Rangers take the field tonight take a moment to look back at how it all began. Forty-four years ago today, when the Texas Rangers made their debut in the lone star state.