It was a mild evening on July 28, 1994, the first season the Texas Rangers played at The Ballpark in Arlington. Kenny Rogers had pitched to 24 batters and sent all 24 back to the dugout, one out after another. Rex Hudler, second baseman for the California Angels and seventh in the batting order, stepped to the plate. The first pitch was a strike. The second pitch, another strike. Hudler connected with the third pitch.
Mark Holtz, who was calling the game that evening, would describe it as "a little flare, right-center and trouble."
Indeed, this was the make-or-break of the first and only perfect game in Texas Rangers history. Right fielder Butch Davis was too deep to make the catch, but center fielder Rusty Greer had locked eyes with the ball.
"Coming hard is Greer," Holtz called. "He dives. He caught it! One out! Rusty Greer catches a fly to right-center and Hudler is gone. Rusty Greer with a headlong airborne dive, and there is one out."
Rogers would send the next two batters down without issue, and his legacy as the only Texas Ranger to pitch a perfect game would live on forever, along with Holtz's call of the ball that threatened to make that mid-90-degree night in July just another game in the dog days of summer.
A call like that is worth preserving. We know it. You know it. The Rangers know it. And Jack White knows it.
This Friday, Sept. 13, in one of the last giveaways in the Rangers' last season at what will always be known to fans as The Ballpark in Arlington, the Texas Rangers will host a Vinyl Night event when they play the Oakland Athletics.
Fans who have purchased a special ticket in advance of the game will be given a commemorative 7-inch vinyl record featuring Jack White's made-for-stadiums 2017 single "Battle Cry" on the A-side.
The 12-time Grammy winner has a unique connection to DFW. Last year, he and former Ranger Ian Kinsler opened Warstic, a baseball bat company headquartered in Deep Ellum. Much like Third Man Pressing Plant in Detroit, which makes records on site, Warstic manufactures bats in house.
On the vinyl's B-side, fans will be treated to a bit of Rangers nostalgia with the "Battle Cry (Texas Victory Calls Edit)." On this side of the record, fans will hear a remixed version of White's song along with memorable calls made throughout the history of the beloved ballpark.
These calls will include Holtz's from that night in 1994, as well as Holtz's protégé Eric Nadel's call of the final out against the Detroit Tigers when the team clinched the 2011 American League championship to go on to their first World Series appearance.
“I am thrilled to be on the B-side of a Jack White record!" Nadel says.
Nadel, who has several calls featured on the track, adds, "I am a huge admirer of Jack’s. I love his music, and love that he still plays baseball. This vinyl is really exciting for me."
The Texas Victory Calls Edit will only be available by purchasing the special giveaway ticket at texasrangers.com, and the limited edition mix will not be made available for digital download.
Only the first 1,500 fans who purchase a ticket through this designated link will receive the limited edition vinyl.
With upper reserve tickets going for just $20 apiece (the price of any new record), people who just so happen to be Jack White completists and Texas Rangers superfans have no reason to miss out on this opportunity to own a physical copy of Rangers history.
For those who just want the vinyl, the Rangers are offering a "Vinyl Only Option," which allows fans to purchase the 7-inch for $20 and donate their theme night ticket to the VET TIX Program, which provides tickets to serving members of the military and veterans, including immediate family of troops killed in combat.
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