Nice to see our sports columnist thinks the race for the AL West is "over." Still, though, coulda sworn the Rangers have 18 games left on the schedule, including three against the Angels at season's end; the magic number remains a far-from-over 17. Guess that's why I'm not a sportswriter anymore. Broke my crystal balls.
And since we're on the subject, on the other side is a look-see at what the Rangers have in store during this six-game home stand, which begins with tonight's 7:05 first-pitch against the Oakland Athletics. There are, of course, several events scheduled for Sunday afternoon's showdown, including three very special guests with ties to the events of September 11, 2001, who will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitches. Details on the other side. Oh -- and Jonah Hill's on the mound Thursday.
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RANGERS HOST A'S AND INDIANS
DURING SIX-GAME HOMESTAND, SEPTEMBER 9-15
Hispanic Heritage Day and 9/11 Anniversary Events Take Place This Weekend
ARLINGTON, Texas--The Texas Rangers will host the Oakland A's and Cleveland Indians on a six-game homestand that runs from September 9-15. This is the team's final multi-series homestand of the season.
The A's make their final visit of 2011 to Arlington with games on Friday at 7:05, Saturday at 3:11 p.m., and Sunday at 2:05 p.m. On Friday, the first 20,000 fans, 14 years of age and over, receive a Rangers Oven Mitt, courtesy of Coca-Cola and La Michoacana. September 9 is also a Verizon Wireless Fireworks Friday with $10.00 tickets in the Lexus Club Terrace, Upper Box, and Upper Reserved seating areas as well as $5 cash parking in all Rangers lots. The post-game Friday Night Fireworks has a Latin music theme.
On Saturday, September 10, the first 10,000 youngsters will receive a Rangers soccer ball. Hispanic Heritage Day is presented by Head and Shoulders and will include pre-game ceremonies featuring Rangers players and Texas elected officials of Hispanic Heritage. Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi Michoacan will perform before the game on the concourse. After the game, Intocable will perform in concert on the North Lawn. The concert is sponsored by Head and Shoulders, Coca-Cola, and Ozarka and is free to all fans with a ticket to that day's game. The 3:11 p.m. start on Saturday is a change from the original schedule due to a FOX national telecast.
Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The Rangers have planned several activities:
North Texas Volunteer Challenge: On Saturday, September 10, the Rangers will be the presenting sponsor of the 3rd Annual North Texas Volunteer Challenge. The event kicks off at the Texas Rangers Youth Ballpark in Arlington. The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation joins all of Major League Baseball in remembering the attacks of 9/11 and recognizing the National Day of Service and Remembrance through its support of this event. About 50 Texas Rangers fans and volunteers will volunteer at two sites, Cary Middle School and the Boys & Girls Club East Branch in Arlington, the morning of September 10. Volunteers will landscape, build shelves and other small projects, clean the venues, and paint a variety of things. Approximately 500 volunteers from companies and organizations across North Texas will be participating in the North Texas Volunteer Challenge.
Emergency Response Familiarization Training: The Texas National Guard will team with the Rangers for Emergency Response Familiarization Training on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Members of Company-B of the 2-142nd Infantry Battalion of the Texas National Guard along with Aviation, Medical, Military Police and Civil Support Teams will be partnering with the security, fire and medical personnel from the City of Arlington and the Rangers as those individuals perform their responsibilities during the normal game-day operations at the Ballpark in Arlington. This will include areas such as medical response, crowd control, security operations and traffic management.
The training enables soldiers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to work side by side with Rangers and the City of Arlington's emergency responders to prepare for natural or manmade disasters to that the joint response is swift, cohesive and more likely to save and protect lives and property. Fans will have an opportunity to visit military equipment displays and interact with soldiers. Positioned around the Ballpark's property will be fortified bunkers, weapons, tactical equipment, armored vehicles, and helicopters currently used by the Texas National Guard.
The soldiers and airmen from the Texas National Guard will also be participating in Sunday's pre-game ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Sunday Activities: The first 35,000 fans entering the park on Sunday will receive a Stars and Stripes Patriotic Cap. During pre-game activities, the Texas Army National Guard will present the colors and unfurl a giant American flag in center field on Greene's Hill. A moment of silence will be observed prior to the National Anthem, which will be performed by the Garland Fire Department group Fireforce. There will be three very special ceremonial first pitches on Sunday from individuals who were impacted and part of the 9/11/01 events and who have gone on to make life changing decisions as a result of that day to help others and to serve their country:
Captain John Pearson, Texas Army National Guard: Shortly before 9/11 Captain Pearson was on the maintenance crew working on the American Airlines Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. As a result of the events of that day, he chose to make a life changing decision to serve his country in the fight against terrorism and joined the National Guard. As an officer he has been deployed twice to Iraq and is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan next year.
Harold Elliott, Retired Arlington Police Department Chaplain: Following September 11, 2001, Chaplain Elliott began counseling New York City Firefighters and Police Officers affected at Ground Zero. He has travelled all over the country to counsel victims of the 9/11 tragedies. Although formally retired, he is still serving as the Arlington Police Department Chaplain.
Mary (mother) and Jeremy (9-year-old son) John: Mary John, who was pregnant at the time with Jeremy, was working on the 71st floor of the World Trade Center South Tower on September 11, 2001. Her husband, Sujo, was working on the 88th floor of the World Trade Center North Tower. Mary and Sujo John were in the towers as they fell but both miraculously survived. Jeremy was born a couple of months later, a miracle as it was expected that he might not live due to dust and trauma that occurred to Mary on September 11. The family now lives in Lantana, TX. Sujo is a motivational speaker who has another engagement on Sunday and cannot not attend the game.
The Indians will be in Arlington for 7:05 games on Tuesday and Thursday, September 13 and 15 and a 6:05 p.m. contest, a change from the original schedule, on Wednesday, September 14. For the Cleveland series, Lexus Club Terrace tickets are priced at just $13 on Tuesday, $14 on Wednesday, and $15 on Thursday, a savings off the regular $26 price.
Tickets remain for all games of the homestand and the final regular season series of the year, September 23-25 with Seattle can be purchased online at texasrangers.com, by calling 972.RANGERS, or at the Rangers Ballpark ticket office.
Game-by-game highlights of the homestand:
Friday, September 9, 2011 - vs. Oakland A's - 7:05 p.m. - TXA-21-HD
· Coca-Cola and La Michoacana Oven Mitt for first 20,000 fans, 14 and older
· Verizon Wireless Fireworks Friday. Tickets are $10 in the Lexus Club Terrace, Upper Box, and Upper Reserved seating areas on texasrangers.com. All cash parking is $5. Friday Night Fireworks following the game set to Latin-themed music.
Saturday, September 10, 2011 - vs. Oakland A's - 3:11 p.m. - FOX Gates open at 1:00 p.m.
· Hispanic Heritage Day presented by Head and Shoulders
· Rangers Soccer Ball for first 10,000 youngsters, 13 and under
· Intocable Post-Game Concert on the North Lawn sponsored by Head and Shoulders, Coca-Cola, and Ozarka
· Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi Michoacan perform pre-game on main concourse from 1:00-2:30 p.m.
· Pre-game ceremonies with Rangers players and Texas elected officials of Hispanic Heritage
· National Anthem by Norma Valles
Sunday, September 11, 2011 - vs. Oakland A's - 2:05 p.m. - FSSW-HD
· National Day of Service and Remembrance for September 11, 2001
· Stars and Stripes Patriotic Cap for first 35,000 fans
· Texas Army National Guard to present colors and unfurl giant American Flag
· Moment of Silence followed by National Anthem performed by Fireforce
· Three special ceremonial first pitches (see above)
· Blue Bell $1 Ice Cream Sunday
· Run the bases following the game
Tuesday, September, 13, 2011 - vs. Cleveland Indians - 7:05 p.m. - FSSW-HD
· Thirsty Tuesday with $1.00 off selected beverages.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - vs. Cleveland Indians - 6:05 p.m. - FSSW-HD Gates open at 4:30 p.m.
· Dollar Hot Dog Wednesday
· Ozarka Website Wednesday. Tickets are half price in Upper Reserved, Upper Box, Lexus Club Terrace, and Lower Reserved when purchased on texasrangers.com.
· Dr Pepper Autograph Wednesday
· City of Arlington CPR Survivors Presentation
Thursday, September 15, 2011 - vs. Cleveland Indians - 7:05 p.m. - FSSW-HD
· Ceremonial first pitch by actor Jonah Hill of Moneyball