Heroes Come and Go

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Anyone who is a fan of the arts (film, music, art, theatre) or sports have artists/performers/players that they consider their favorites and maybe even their “heroes” to an extent. My baseball hero and my musical hero were both in the news within a week of each other and it made me reflect on the day I got to see them at the same time in 1994. 
The Rangers were finally getting to play in their new ballpark and I was beyond excited to find out that I would get to go to the first game there with my family. Pudge was my baseball hero and I would finally get to see him in person at his new “house” for the first time. He went 1-4 with a mere single, but it was still so cool to see him play ball and be apart of the crowd. He became one of the most well known Rangers in club history and set a very high bar for future catchers coming up in the club. A week ago, he was named as the newest part of the front office and it will be fun seeing what he can bring to the future of the club that gave him his start.

Van Cliburn and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra performed the first National Anthem in the new Ballpark that day and I thought it was awesome that pianos were allowed in the RBiA. His rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, found here, was a grand way to open the park and the new season. My dad pointed out that the man on the piano was someone I had heard of before on the radio but never seen and that I’d learn more about him as I got older. The more I did learn of his legacy later on, the more he became a musical hero of sorts for me. He recently passed away after a fight with bone cancer and I will forever be grateful for his musical influence.

19 years later, I get to say that one of my heroes is a Ranger once again and will get to pave a new Ranger legacy. The other is no longer with us, but his legacy will continue as well in the music community. I will eternally be thankful to both for a wonderful day that I can only dream my children will get to experience themselves. They both inspired a little 8 year old to pursue knowledge of music and baseball and I’m still eager to learn about both everyday.

Now, with all that being said:

Welcome back, Pudge.

Good bye, Van.

Sarah Powers is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning.com. She can be reached at sarah.powers@shutdowninning.com or on Twitter @Power_Play86.

Sarah Powers

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