September 15, 1996

Game Program


Weekend Program

Promotional give away:  

        September 13 - Pacific 10 card Nolan Ryan set

        September 14 - Nolan Ryan highlight video

        September 15 - Nolan Ryan jersey #34 lapel pin

The Ballpark In Arlington has been open for two years now and this was my first trek to see the stadium. What an enjoyable and memorable trip to the north! I was not able to make the earlier games in the homestand, but 270 miles was not going to keep me from the actual retirement ceremonies. Is it me or does the Texas Rangers know how to promote their club? I guess I appreciate their efforts more due to the fact the Houston Astros have probably the worst promotional department in baseball.

The day started with the Dallas Metroplex area being pelted with rain showers. God must be a Nolan Ryan fan also because by game time, the weather conditions were better than perfect. Upon entering the Ballpark, one could sense this was going to be a special event. From the hawkers selling souvenier programs to the fans lining up the centerfield area getting their special retirement day postal cancellation, personal memories of Nolan Ryan were being exchanged.

All throughout Nolan's acceptance, he was not able to finish more than two consecutive sentences without being interrupted by thunderous applause of the crowd. From the very first day Nolan buttoned his red, white and blue Texas Rangers jersey, the fans have had a love affair with Nolan. From his speech and his facial expressions, Nolan let it be know the feeling was mutual. As great as his speech was, the moment that brought a lump to my throat was when he took a lap around the field for a final wave to the crowd. As he was heading toward home plate from left field, the entire visiting team of the Milwaukee Brewers were on the field applauding as loud as the fans in attendance. Let us not forget the manager of the Brewers was a teammate of Nolan when he was an Astro - Phil Garner.

The entire ceremony lasted a little over an hour but I will replay it in slow motion to grasp the moment.

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