by Ray Bergman
Game 5 - Rangers vs White Sox at the Ballpark in Arlington
August 1-3, 1996Today, August 1st, was a special day for me. I met my son Marc at at the San Deigo airport at 12:45pm right on schedule and we started the long trek to Arlington, Texas heading East on I-8. Marc pointed out to me that he had just flown for 7 hours from Miami to San Diego and right away here we are driving back to the east again. Time for some male bonding. Father, son style. We traveled through a heat wave in Arizona - it was 114 degrees and muggy in Yuma when we made a gas stop. Thanks for air conditioning. We continued on through Tucson and at 11:00pm met up with a thunder storm that had brought the temperature down to a frigid 92 degrees.
Today, August 2nd, was the longest driving day for the dream . We started in Tucson and ended up in Big Spring,Texas. When the driving was completed and we stopped for some shut eye. We had traveled 700 miles. The day seemed even longer as we lost two hours due to time zone changes. The trip took us through Las Cruces, New Mexico. It was a beatiful sight as we came off the high plateau of the rockies looking down over the green valleys with jagged mountain tops as a backdrop. When we arrived in West Texas we ran into a storm of rain , high winds, lightning and then came the hail, it sounded like a ball hitting an aluminum bat as it pelted our car. Visibility at best was less than 30 yards. As we moved thru Texas. The senery was of flat prairies, oil pumps and small refineries. On this day we spent 11-1/2 hours in the car talking and doing some more male bonding.
We left Big Spring early on August 3rd and traveled the 283 miles to Arlington, passing over a terrain of light rolling hills and more oil pumps. The "Ballpark" is situtated between Fort Worth and Dallas in a small town community. Finally, after all this driving, we were ready for the BALL GAME.
The Ballpark in Arlington was the most beautiful stadium I have visited so far. It was built in 1994 and was made to look old. It was immaculately clean with very friendly employees. It has real grass and several different bleacher areas. Just behind center field stands an office building that is part of the stadium. It fits in beautifully. The park has three levels with two levels of skyboxes.
The game finally got under way with the White Sox jumping out to a four run lead in their half of the first inning. The game was sloppily played and in the seventh inning the White Sox and starting pitcher Luis Andujar were in cruise control, leading 8-2. The Rangers knocked Andujar out in the home half of the seventh and when the inning ended it was a tie game at 8 a piece. Each team scored a run in their half of the eighth to knot the score at nine going into the ninth. The White Sox pushed across two runs in their half of the ninth to win the game 11-9. The win was given to Hernandez and Russel was tagged with the loss.
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© 1996 by Ray Bergman. Reproduction of all or any part of "My Baseball Dream" without the written permission of Ray Bergman is prohibited.
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