There’s a truism in Major League Baseball that every game played is connected to every other game played going back about 150 years.
And so it is with Arlington’s role as one of the few privileged cities in the world that gets to host the national game.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the newest ballpark, which took place about a week ago, is just the latest in a series of events that began in 1964.
That was the year voters approved funding the construction of the small field that eight years later would be the place, then expanded into Arlington Stadium, where the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers.
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Some of those same voters and following generations would commit to public support for the development of the ballparks for their team three more times.
A big day came in the Rangers’ early days when David Clyde, an 18-year-old left- hander just out of high school with a spec tac ular fastball, filled all the Arlington Stadium seats for the first time.
By the time that humble ballpark’s days were over we got to witness the amazing performances of Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan pitch his seventh no-hitter, earn his 5,000th strikeout and record his 300th victory.
But the Rangers never made it into the postseason, never hosted an All-Star Game, and had to wait for 17 years to see 2 million fans show up for a season.
By the end of the 1980s, new owners with a determination to see the Rangers join the elite ranks of baseball’s greatest teams required a new ballpark. The plan was to usher in a new era and carry its host city along with them into national prominence.
After a contentious campaign, Arlington voters showed up in record numbers on January 19, 1991, and with a 30-point margin of victory approved the construction of The Ballpark in Arlington.
A short three years later, some 50,000 fans celebrated a spectacular Opening Day in 1994 with pomp and ceremony fit to match anything like it in the history of the game.
The following year Arlington hosted the Major League All-Star Game in front of television cameras and media representatives from all over the world.
During the following four years the Rangers would win three division championships. Counting those who filled the ballpark during those playoff games, attendance reached and exceeded 3 million fans.
Then in 2010 the ultimate goal of capturing the American League Pennant and going to the World Series for the first time in franchise history was achieved.
After repeating that feat the following year, only one team in the league enjoyed bigger crowds than the ones that showed up in Arlington for the next two seasons.
Now the team, a perennial contender, has played in the postseason eight times and recorded attendance ranking the Rangers among the league’s top five for 15 seasons since the ballpark’s debut in 1994.
We’ve witnessed some of baseball’s most cherished moments and rare feats of skill in the hardest of all sports to master.
Just this year alone we watched Adrian Beltre hit a baseball safely for the 3,000th time – there have been about 19,000 players in the game’s history but only 30 others of them have done that.
Pudge Rodriguez joined Nolan Ryan in the Hall of Fame and Kenny Rogers gained immor t ality as one of only eight left handers to ever pitch a perfect game.
Both were on hand to perform the ceremonial first pitch at the groundbreaking for Globe Life Field as construction began on the place where the Rangers will celebrate their 50th season in Arlington and then add decades more in years to follow.
Arlington, Texas — Baseball Town.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.