The Great Baseball Ride: Game 13; Texas Rangers.

“Things could be worse. Suppose your errors were counted and published every day, like those of a baseball player.”


After a couple of days at home, we started our next drive yesterday. It was a long drive, 12 hours to be exact. We were headed from Minnesota to Texas with a stop in southern Kansas to see Keke’s grandma. The weather was a bit wild with flash flood warnings much of the way, and the forecast was for “expected tornadoes,” which we found odd as we might have “possible tornadoes” in Minnesota.

Those phrases give off two very different feelings. Possible tornadoes gives off a “a tornado could happen, maybe, and you may need to get to safety” vibe. Expected tornadoes should give off the same vibe, but instead suggests that you may spend a portion of your day unwillingly airborne. I guess Tornado Alley has a little different weather than we are used to. We made it to Grandma’s safely spending no time “somewhere over the rainbow.”

After running some errands for Keke’s grandma, we were on our way.  There were still flash flood warnings for southern Kansas and we could see why as we made our way down I-35.  There were lakes everywhere. Except, there aren’t really lakes everywhere down there, normally farm fields. Having a farm in the family, we certainly feel for these farmers, there will certainly be some crop loss. 

As we made our way into Oklahoma, the rain subsided and the skies turned sunny.  I had worried that we wouldn’t have a game today because the initial forecast called for rain all week.  We’ve been blessed not to have any rainouts this far, and that trend would continue.  

Once again, we took our time getting to our destination.  A five our so hour drive ends up being seven and between that trip and us lollygagging, we didn’t make it to the game before opening pitch. 

No worries, baseball games are long.  Keke booked us into the Howard Johnson Arlington at $58 plus taxes and yet again, knocked it out of the park with our lodging.  The hotel is within a 15 minute walk to the stadium, is clean, updated, and comfortable. Free wifi and free parking. Perfect.  

Even breakfast in Texas has Texas pride as the HoJo waffle maker was Texas themed.

It was a perfect night out, around 81 degrees at game time with clear skies; no signs of the tornadoes that had us wondering if we’d make the game the day before. We made the walk over to Globe Life Park at Arlington for the Seattle Mariners vs. the Texas Rangers, and are struck by how pretty and comfortable the walk is.  There is a creek (or drainage ditch) that goes into a falls on the walk, then you walk pass a perfectly groomed large grassy area, then approach the stadium. The area itself feels very safe as it is stadiums and entertainment with Six Flags, Globe Life Park, and AT&T Stadium all clustered together.

The stadium is only 25 years old or so, and was part of the beginning of the wave of new parks with the classic feel. If you want to see the stadium, you have to do so this year as they are building a new stadium that will open for next season.

We very much enjoyed Globe Life Park, bummer they are moving out of it next year. The new stadium will have a roof and climate control. I suspect it isn’t fun watching games outdoors in the hot Texas sun (partially why we went down there in May).

Inside it is comfortable with many great areas to view the game; the Budweiser deck in center as well as the left field lower corner being two that we enjoyed.  Our tickets were actually for 326 row 1, behind home plate (all though it feels more like on top of home plate at that height). Keke picket up the tickets via Stubhub for $6 a piece with another $6 in fees ($18 in total). This for a major league game. We paid $6 for our minor league St. Paul Saints game (although with a bit more in fees).  


As we are going around the stadium we notice a diverse food and drink selection.  There is a vegan spot that happens to be right across from a Sweet Baby Rays barbecue spot; I like the yin and the yang of that.  Another spot that was particularly interesting was Texas Sized 24. We are smart so we figured that it is named as such because the food they serve is 2 feet long.

This place was insane.

These are massive hotdogs with all the fixings as well as a giant chicken kabob.  I think the kabob was $18.50 or so and the hotdogs (one was called the Boomstick) were about $27.50.

It is my greatest regret that we did not pull the trigger on one of these. Keke was on board with the kabob.  I just couldn’t figure out how the two of us would be able to sit in our seats and attack that thing?

Biggest regret of the trip so far is not getting one of these. I kept picturing us in our seats elbow to elbow next to people trying figure out how you eat this all the while dropping parts of it on the people below us. I chickened out.

Keke settled on an Austin Hard Pineapple Cider for tonight’s beer choice.  She got it in a plastic mason jar ($14.50). The jar had a top on it that had a hole that allowed the beer to be drunk through.  She didn’t get a mason jar. She got a sippy cup.

Sippy cup beer is as effective as regular beer, but with more safety features.

There is a great vibe to the park.  I don’t know if it is just because I’ve never really been to Texas (except to pass through on the Route 66 portion), and have this charming stereotype of Texans in mind, but what I saw supported that stereotype.  We heard the southern accents. We saw people that were polite, but also looked like you wouldn’t want to cross them. At one point in the game they played “Deep In The Heart of Texas.” It was perfect.  

Poor picture by me (Cory), but here we have an of my all-time favorites, The Ryan Express (Nolan Ryan).

The game was solid with the home Rangers winning 5 – 3.  We always want to see the stars be stars and on this night Joey Gallo, an absolute beast of a man, did what a beast would do, he crushed one out of the park. 

Keke putting the “X” in Texas.

We left the park and went over to Texas Live, a newer entertainment venue with bars and restaurants everywhere.  It looked like a fun place, but on this night there weren’t too many people there and the restaurants were stopping food service at 10pm.  We ended up making the walk back to our hotel and then going to a neighboring Mexican restaurant called On The Border (evidently a chain, though one we have never seen before). They were serving a late night happy hour menu and we got out of there for less than $15 before tip.  If you go, get the empanadas, they were particularly good.  

Texas Live was not live when we went, although we were there on a weeknight. Still, it looked like a fun place, basically a mall for bars and restaurants.

Back to the hotel room and to bed for us.  Keke hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of days.  She needed the rest, and were happy to have only a three or four hour drive tomorrow for the Houston portion of our trip.

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