For Better or For Worse…In Wins and In Losses…I’m a Rangers Fan For Life

rbia

I’m not going to lie, it can be painful to sit and watch bad baseball. Unfortunately this season Rangers fans haven’t had a lot of great baseball to watch in Arlington (or on the road for that matter). Well, with the exception of the sweep of the Astros that I just watched while writing this article. To date, I have personally attended five Rangers games and only once have I left The Ballpark hearing Pat Green sing “I Like Texas”. I love my Rangers, but I’m accepting the fact that it could be one of THOSE years.

I know it’s difficult to watch bad baseball. It’s also difficult to make the decision to drive all the way out to the Ballpark to watch it in person (for me it’s a good 35-40 minute drive, depending on the flow of traffic on our lovely toll roads and highways). I know there are people out there with more “responsibilities” than me so they have legitimate reasons why they can’t make it out to The Ballpark as much. I get it. But still, the team needs our support and for fans to show up to the games, even though they are struggling. In fact, I believe they need our support even more since they are struggling. No player wants to play in front of an empty ballpark (just ask the Orioles).

Attendance for Opening Weekend this year wasn’t too bad (it was overall better than last season’s first three games combined), but by the fourth home game of this season, The Ballpark only had about 18,400 fans (that was how many tickets were sold. I don’t even think that many people were there). Last year at the fourth home game, there were almost twice as many fans in attendance. For the rest of the first homestand this season, The Ballpark wasn’t even half full after Opening Weekend. If you are a person who likes stats and numbers, check out the chart below to see a comparison of attendance at the home games of this season versus last season. (chart courtesy of The Sports Network)

attendance

It’s easy to vent and complain when your team is playing poorly (I’m not pointing any fingers because I’m just as guilty), but I don’t feel we have a right to totally desert the team either. Fair-weather fans annoy me. There, I said it. I moved to Dallas in 2004 and I would go to as many Rangers games as I could, despite the fact they were playing under .500 baseball, and that for the most part they would be out of playoff contingency by the All-Star Break. I would invite friends to go with ­me. A lot of people complained that the Rangers were terrible so they didn’t want to sit and watch them play (not all of them did this- I did have some friends who would attend games with me). It’s funny when the Rangers started doing well in 2010 and made the playoffs, those same people who never wanted to go to a game all of a sudden wanted to go to a playoff game with me. Yeah, it’s easy to be a fan of a team that is winning (see: bandwagon fan). BUT, what makes the best of times even sweeter is when you’ve suffered through the worst of times (my apologies to Mr. Dickens).

If you have only been a Rangers fan since 2010 (for the record, I’m not saying anything is wrong with that), then you haven’t experienced some of the rough seasons that long-time Rangers fans have suffered through. There were some seasons in the late 1980s and early 2000s where the Rangers lost at least 90 games. And in the first 22 seasons of me being a fan (1988-2009), the team only finished above .500 ten times.

I became a Rangers fan because my Bubba was a fan, and I was the annoying, yet adorable, little sister who had to like everything he liked when it came to sports. Yes, he is the brother responsible for my baseball obsession. You can either thank or blame him.

Being a baseball fan is like being in a relationship. There are going to be some great moments where everything is going right, and there are going to be rough patches that make you want to quit all together. But you don’t break up with someone over one little fight, do you? (If you do, then you might have issues that go beyond being a bandwagon fan). No relationship is perfect. There WILL be bad times. You just have to grin and bear it, so to speak. Things will get better, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually they will. In the meantime, I’ll see you at The Ballpark. Be sure to say hello. Go Rangers. Never Ever Quit.

Rachel
Rachel attended her first baseball game when she was only two days old (granted, it was her brother's little league game, and her mother stayed with her in the car), but since that day, baseball has been a part of her life.

Growing up in Austin prevented her from attending a lot of major league baseball games as a child, but she watched them on TV every chance she got. She has made up for those lost years by being a Rangers season ticket holder for the past number of years.

She received a journalism degree from a not so well known Christian university and served as a sports editor for a newspaper for a few years following her graduation. She is once again able to combine her love of baseball and writing by joining the SDI team.

Besides baseball and writing, she loves reading, interacting on social media, and binge watching TV series on Netflix in record time (no judging). She can be reached on Twitter at @averyfan or at rachel@shutdowninning.com. Before you ask, her handle is in honor of former Braves pitcher Steve Avery. She has her reasons.

11 comments

  • Great Article. I have been a Ranger fan since they moved here from Washington DC in 1972. Seen a lot of bad baseball over the past 40 plus years. That’s what made making it to the postseason for the first time in 1996 and wining our first playoff series and pennants in 2010 and 2011 all the greater. Because I was a true fan and not a bandwagoner. Only the real fans can truly enjoy when a team finally accomplishes something.

  • Totally agree. Coming from St. Louis, I know what baseball fans are. When I moved here I couldn’t wait to get to the ballpark. I couldn’t find hardly anyone that even knew if we had a team here or not. Bandwagon fans or not, I still like seeing the stadium full!
    Great article!

  • Brenda Zincke

    I know attendance is low and less season tickets were sold this year. I do think more people would have bought single tickets, etc. if not for the bad weather. I know the weather cleared by game time but going by the newscast on TV rain was always called. No-one wants a rain delay during the week and not all people live close to the park. We have to have a little notice that the rain will be cleared by game time. We live East of Dallas.

  • Yes, amen!! When my BFF and I were going to UT games all the time, we would always stay until the end. Always! Even if they were losing. And we would still stand, put our Horns up, and sing The Eyes of Texas as loud as we could at the end. I hate it when fans abandon their team.

  • I agree with everything Rachel stated. Then again, I am her “bubba” and am responsible for her obsession. Great article! Go Rangers!

  • Travis Hamilton

    I remember my first Texas Rangers game…in 1974 when I had the pleasure of watching Jim Sundberg play! I’ve been a fan ever since!

    Rachel makes some excellent points while exposing the reader to a sincere and deep passion for her team. She exemplifies what being a fan is all about!

    Being a fan is an honor that comes with responsibilities! When your pitcher is struggling on the mound you support them, when your batter(s) are not producing…cheer them on!

  • When people complain, I want to say “hey, there’s a ton of end of school activities taking place on weeknights.” Not to mention, every major road in the metroplex is under construction. Just do as Rachel does, love your team, show them support but, don’t attack them. Thank you for sharing your passion for baseball with us.

  • Daniel Barbier

    Couldn’t say it better myself. Being a fan of a team you take the good with the bad, eventually it comes together and you get rewarded. Nothing feels better than seeing your team have success when you’ve endured years of mediocrity. Me personally being an outsider not living in the metroplex I don’t have opportunities to go to Arlington, but if I’m able to go to at least one game on the road (mainly Anaheim) I try my best to support the organization.

    Once again great article, keep them coming.

  • I agree, Rachel. I try to make it up from Oklahoma as much as I can. It’s not fun when they’re losing, but they’re always my Rangers. As the song says, “If they don’t win, it’s a shame,” but still keep taking me out to the ballgame. #NeverEverQuit being a fan.

  • As always a passionate, thoughtful article from Rachel. She was spot on with her analogy of being a baseball fan and being in a relationship. Again a fantastic article.

    WHM

  • Great piece and reflects all teams, not just the Rangers. In recent years, the Indians, Phillies and even Yankees have gone through some version of this. It’s always more fun when your team is winning and the ballpark is full of enthusiastic fans, but when the pendulum swings the other way it definitely changes your experience.

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