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Looking Back at the Best of Globe Life Park

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The end, sadly, is here. Globe Life Park, the stadium formerly known as Rangers Ballpark In Arlington, Ameriquest Field and The Ballpark in Arlington, has just one homestand left in front of it. Six games against the Red Sox and Yankees, and the Rangers will move across the parking lot to the creatively named Globe Life Field.

The team and its fans well get artificial turf, intimacy thanks to about 10,000 fewer seats and, most important, air conditioning. They'll leave behind all the memories that the Rangers have made over the last 25 years.

Let's bury the old park, and praise it too. Here are the Observer's 10 favorite memories from Globe Life Park, along with a few honorable mentions. We'd love the hear you're favorites in the comments, too, so don't hold back.

1. Oct. 22, 2010: The Rangers win Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS, advance to the World Series. — In a moment, all the pain — the 38 years without a World Series appearance, the three previous playoff losses to the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez's nightmare contract — melted into ecstasy. Neftali Feliz froze Rodriguez with a curveball, closing out the game and the American League Championship Series and 51,404 people lost their minds. The Rangers lost the World Series in five games to the Giants, but it didn't really matter. 

2. Oct. 24, 2011: The night it felt like everything was possible — Thanks to a game-tying, sixth-inning home run from Adrian Beltre and a game-winning, two-run double from Mike Napoli in the eighth, the Rangers won Game 5 of the 2011 World Series 4-2, taking a three games to two lead in the series. We won't talk about what happened after that.

3. July 30, 2017: Adrian Beltre gets No. 3,000 — Third baseman Adrian Beltre made an otherwise-crappy summer in Arlington tolerable in 2017, thanks to his run to one of baseball's biggest milestones. On July 30, he roped a double down the third-base line, becoming the first player to record his 3,000th hit in Rangers uniform.

4. Oct. 15, 2011: The Rangers punch their return ticket to the World Series — Thanks to a nine-run third inning by the home team, Game 6 of the 2011 American League Championship Series lacked the drama of the Rangers' 2010 clincher against the Yankees. The catharsis of the previous year wasn't there either, as the 2011 team was expected to win the World Series, rather than just being happy to be there. How often do the hometown heroes win a pennant, though? 

5. July 28, 1994: Rogers twirls a perfecto — With a large assist from center fielder Rusty Greer, Rangers lefty Kenny Rogers gave the ballpark its first iconic moment in its fourth month of operation, tossing a perfect game against the Angels. Less than a month later, the Major League Baseball Players Association went on strike with the Rangers in first place. Eventually, MLB owners elected to cancel the remainder of the 1994 season, killing any chance that the ballpark's inaugural year would be remembered for anything bigger than Rogers' gem.

6. Oct. 10, 2010: The Rangers break the Yankee curse — The Rangers won their very first playoff game at old Yankee Stadium in 1996. They then proceeded to lose nine consecutive playoff games, and three American League Division Series, to the Yankees in 1996, 1998 and 1999. When the Rangers returned to the playoffs after an 11-year absence in 2010, they got a brief respite, beating the Rays in five games in the ALDS, before getting another shot at the Yankees. After a Game 1 collapse that felt right out of a bad movie, the Rangers finally, finally beat the Yankees again in a playoff game, riding a strong Colby Lewis to 7-2 win.

7. Sept. 23, 2011: Witching hour fun at the ballpark — The 2011 Rangers came into Sept. 23 needing to win their game against the Mariners and have the Angels lose their game against the A's to clinch their second consecutive American League West title. After the Rangers did their part, thanks in part, notably, to a Craig Gentry inside-the-park home run, the club kept the ballpark open, allowing fans to watch the end of the Angels game from the West Coast. The party that ensued made for a unique night. Elvis Andrus ran on the field to circle the bases after a key A's home run, and the whole team celebrated on the field with its fans when the Angels finally bit the dust.

8. Oct. 30, 2010: Mitch Moreland hangs in there — The Rangers came home from the first two games of the 2010 World Series down 0-2 to the Giants. Game 3 gave the team hope. First baseman Mitch Moreland plated the game's decisive runs in the second inning, when he hit a three-run home run off Giants lefty Jonathan Sanchez. Game 3 proved to be the Rangers' only win in the series, but for a night at least, it felt like they were in it. 

9. Sept. 17, 2015: The Rangers knock out the Astros — From opening day in April until late July, the 2015 Rangers looked dead in the water. They played less than .500 baseball through Aug. 13 before going on one of the biggest tears in franchise history, winning 32 of their final 49 games to claim the team's sixth division title. The Rangers punctuated their run to the American League West championship with a four-game sweep of the Astros, Sept. 14-17, going from 1½ games back of Houston to 2½ games ahead. 

10. Oct. 4, 1996: Playoff baseball comes to Arlington — After waiting their turn more for more than a quarter-century, the Rangers finally hosted a playoff game the first week of October in 1996. With the series tied 1-1, the Rangers took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning against the Yankees. Things fell apart. Darren Oliver and Mike Henneman combined to give up two runs on three hits and an intentional walk in the ninth. The Rangers lost the game and the one after it to lose the AL Division Series to the Yankees.

Honorable Mention
Oct. 10, 2011: Nelson Cruz walks it off to end Game 2 of the ALCS —
On his way to a major league-record six home runs in the series, Cruz hit one of the most memorable home runs in Rangers history, an 11th-inning walk-off grand slam against the Tigers to put the home team up 2-0 in the AL Championship Series.

Sept. 27, 1996: They did it, they finally did it — The Rangers lost 4-3 in 15 innings on Sept. 27, 1996, and absolutely no one cared. Deep in extra innings, the A's finished off the Mariners' division title chances, handing the Rangers their first-ever playoff berth.

July 11, 1995: Pudge is a star among stars — In July 1995, The Ballpark in Arlington got its chance to shine on the national stage, as North Texas hosted its first, and to date only, All-Star Game. Rangers catcher Pudge Rodriguez got the start for the American League and gunned down the Phillies' Lenny Dykstra trying to steal second base in the top of the first inning. It was just Rodriguez doing his thing, but he was doing it at home, in an All-Star Game, which made it pretty cool.

Sept. 23, 2004: The Dellucci Double — In the midst of 11 years in the playoff desert, one moment stands out. In 2004, the Rangers, having traded Alex Rodriguez the previous winter, played above their heads all season, finding themselves five games back of the division-leading A's with 13 left to play. The Rangers beat the A's on Sept. 21 and 22, leaving themselves with an opportunity: Win a Thursday getaway day affair with Oakland and enter the season's final 10 games just two back. Trailing by two heading into the ninth inning, the Rangers got three runs and a walk-off victory capped off by David Dellucci's two-run double to right field. They lost five of their next six and finished three games back, but that was as good as it got for the mid-aughts Rangers.

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