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October 14 2021 07:00 pm

Play Ball! Fans Kick Off MLB Season with the Rangers

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ARLINGTON–Major League Baseball’s Opening Day may not be a national holiday, but Texas Rangers fans definitely treated it that way at Globe Life Park Monday.

Some even took matters into their own hands.

“I called in sick last night, told him I wasn’t feeling good, that I`d be in on Tuesday morning,” said an anonymous Rangers fan who was wearing Halloween glasses with a fake nose and mustache attached.

There were fans of all sizes. The smallest, though, probably came from the Veyna family.

“He’s two weeks old, so it’s going to be a tradition now that he’s tailgating with the family,” said one family member.

They also brought chairs of all sizes, though probably none were bigger than the one belonging to Jim Williams.

“We are the biggest Rangers fans here at Opening Day with the biggest tailgate chair you have ever seen,” Williams said while he sat in the chair with three other people.

They also wore outfits of all kinds. Elle Lockart and Nancy Kelley caught attention in head to toe baseball uniforms.

“This is a debut,” Lockart said of the outfits with Bench Coach Steve Buechele’s No. 24 on the back. “Every year we do a theme. Last year, we were the nuns. This year we’re a baseball player.”

Big and small, uniformed or not, they all came out to support the defending American League West champions Monday.

Baseball, though, is best seen through the eyes of a child, and of course they say the darnedest things.

“From a 1-10, I’m like an eight,” said nine-year-old Landon Kolinek as he waited first in line to get in.

His grandfather, Trinidad Rivera said, “You’re supposed to be a 10!”

Kolinek was resolute in his mostly-enthused rating, though.

“I know. It’s an eight, though. It’s an eight.”

After storming the gate and finding a spot against the right field fence, Kolinek struck gold when Rangers pitcher Keone Kela tossed him a ball.

Then, the big kids had their day.

Following a flyover by the 301st Fighter Wing out of Fort Worth, the National Anthem from Neal McCoy, and ceremonial first pitches thrown from longtime Rangers faces Tom Grieve and Bobby Jones to other Texas legends Pudge Rodriguez and Rusty Greer, it was time to play ball!

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