Before First Pitch, An "Ode to the Texas Rangers"

An old Friend of Unfair Park will be skipping work this afternoon to watch Rangers Playoff Baseball -- he's got the note from Chuck Greenberg to prove he, like John Reed, has come down with Red Fever. (It's after the jump for those likewise inflicted. It's cute enough.) We were talking the other night about the '96 American League Division Series -- specifically, about how, after winning the first game 6-2 in the Bronx, the Rangers led in the following three games, all eventual loses.

I was there for the October 5, 1996, farewell at the Ballpark in Arlington -- watched a 4-0 lead going into the fourth melt into a 6-4 loss. It was awful, my worst sports experience ever. Far worse than the three-game sweeps in '98 and '99, during which the Rangers scored two runs total against the Yankees. Anyway. It's a brand-new postseason. And as a lifelong Rangers fan, I hope for the best and expect, well, nothing. But our Friend did have one request this morning: the golden oldie from the mid-1970s, played at Arlington Stadium till 'round 1980. All together now.

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