Why I Became a Rangers Fan

**SPECIAL GUEST ARTICLE BY KRISTEN ELLWOOD**

In my last guest post I shared why I became a fan of baseball as a whole. What I didn’t share is why I love the Rangers.

As with a lot of girls it is easier for me to like a sport or a team if I feel connected with it in some way. So seeing as my husband and I were born and raised in the DFW area being a fan of the Rangers seemed logical, not to mention the fact that he’s been a Rangers fan since he was little.

Being a sports fan and growing up in the area I attended my fair share of games before Peter (@peter_ellwood) came along nearly six years ago. However, it wasn’t until I really started watching the games with him at home that I appreciated going to the ballpark like I do now. I mean, I think we average at least 10 games a year now, not to mention postseason. Man, do I love postseason Rangers games, but that’s beside the point.

I don’t think periodically watching or attending games really made me a fan. I felt a sense of pride when they played well but that was about it. I was a bandwagoner as my husband might say. I liked the entertainment from time to time.

However, the more games I watched and the more baseball knowledge I gained the more I wanted to know about the team and players I was watching night after night. Thanks to Wikipedia, pregames, and rain delayed broadcast specials, I got to know a little bit beyond the field. I learned about David Murphy and how he was playing catch while waiting for a ball game to start when he was little and that his arm got a scouts attention at a young age. I learned that Ian Kinsler married his high school sweetheart. I learned how the majority of the players are true family men, which of course is something I would want to stand behind.

Beyond the players I learned about the team. I remember when Peter first explained the farm system to me three years ago and how the Rangers have a strong focus on not just improving their major league team but the future team as well – I was impressed. It seems illogical to me that other teams wouldn’t stress that more, but that’s their loss and the Rangers gain. I can stand behind a team that looks beyond the present and has established a firm foundation.

When learning about the team and their farm system I was further impressed that they don’t just look at players for what they are presently but they look at what the player can become. They don’t just take the strong players, they develop players and they reevaluate players. They continually work to create improvements for the team and for the player (i.e. switching Alexi Ogando from an outfielder to a relief pitcher to a starting pitcher). A team that doesn’t just look to improve itself immediately but that looks to strengthen its individuals and then its system is a team I can root for.

Through listening to pre- and post-game shows, reading articles, and Twitter, it doesn’t take long to learn that the Rangers are a team through and through; from the owners, to the scouts, to the managers, to the players. Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights puts it well, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” That is the exact chant I picture J.D., Nolan Ryan, Ron Washington, Mike Maddux and the rest of the crew saying before each trade, each roster move, and each game.
It is an incredible group that both on and off the field I want to cheer for.

Kristen is the wife of ShutDownInning Staff Writer Peter_Ellwood. You can reach her on Twitter @LWTEllwoods 

Peter Ellwood

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