But on October 12, 2010, at 10:08 p.m. the Rangers rekindled my love and rewarded my loyalty. They finally won a playoff series. Just like lifelong fans John "Zonk" Lanzillo and his drum, season-ticket-holding nuns Frances Evans and Maggie Hessions, Grieve, the player-turned-general-manager-turned-TV-broadcaster and 32-year iconic radio voice Eric Nadel, I was moved to tears when shortstop Elvis Andrus squeezed the final out of the Rangers' Game 5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series.

In Florida the Rangers celebrated with ginger ale and Champagne. Those of us who grew up in Duncanville four decades ago toasted the better-great-than-never success with misty eyes and appropriately tugged heartstrings. Can't tell you how many texts, calls, e-mails and Facebook messages I've received from old friends choked up by this new team.

The Cowboys won a playoff game in their seventh season. The Mavericks' "Moody Madness" occurred in '84, just four years after they were born. The Stars swept a postseason series their first year in Dallas and, shoot, I even witnessed an indoor soccer championship by the Dallas Sidekicks.

In Texas: 8-0 win over the Yankees on Monday, Rangers ace Cliff Lee pitched eight scoreless innings, struck out 13 and got speedy Brett Gardner out at first, pre-hurdle.
Newscom
In Texas: 8-0 win over the Yankees on Monday, Rangers ace Cliff Lee pitched eight scoreless innings, struck out 13 and got speedy Brett Gardner out at first, pre-hurdle.
Little Richie
Richie Whitt
Little Richie

There's no crying in baseball, unless you've been made to wait 39 years by the Texas Rangers.

Even with Josh Hamilton in the batter's box and Cliff Lee on the mound, this playoff run may not last much longer. The Rangers split Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS last weekend at Rangers Ballpark, but they've never been on a bigger stage with brighter lights than Yankee Stadium in late October. I picked the Rangers in 7, but admittedly it's fueled by heart over head.

Nonetheless, it's already an unprecedented autumn, already the greatest season in franchise history. The Rangers are two wins from the World Series. Though it's one of the reasons I got into this business, for all my life that scenario has lived only in my exaggerated scoresheets.

My first baseball glove—way back in T-ball—was a hand-me-down from Dad. I dug it out of the closet last week. Not good as new, but somehow better than ever.

Turns out baseball gloves endure.

So do baseball childhoods.

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