Dallas, Ft. Worth, Arlington, and the other surrounding communities that support the Texas Rangers are baseball towns. Make no mistake about it. In fact, this new poll shows the progress that the Rangers have made at cutting into the Cowboys popularity in the Metroplex.
I went to my first baseball game with my mom and dad as a youngster. Captivated by the sights, sounds, and smells of Arlington Stadium, I vividly recall how enthralled I was with the massive wave that circled the stadium midway through the game. I identified Ruben Sierra and Julio Franco as my immediate favorite players. I was joyous over taking home a cheap plastic glove that would fall apart in a few months.
The Texas Rangers enter their 41st season in Arlington this year. That means that myself and countless others have grown up with a baseball team in DFW. If you are 11, 21, 31 or 41 DFW native, then you’ve never known a summer without Texas Rangers baseball. Young Rangers baseball fans are being properly taught that the wave is not something to celebrate, but instead a disease that needs eradication. To me, that’s as good a reason as any to put the nonsensical “Dallas isn’t a baseball town” argument to bed, forever.
That is unless you’re holding onto the old dogma used to insult the Metroplex’s baseball IQ by folks who usually don’t hold Texas in high regard in the first place. Or if you’re a sensitive superstar who still can’t come to grasps with the fact that fans that praised your every move for the vast majority of your tenure in Arlington finally got tired of your “look at me” bit once you checked out in the heart of a pennant race. If you want more of this rant, then click here and enjoy. Otherwise I’m getting ready to seal my lips when it comes to covering The Great Hambino.
You see, there’s a growing movement among the Rangers fan base through the magic of the interwebs to greet Hamilton with silence when he comes to bat for the first time in Arlington wearing an Angels uniform on April 5th. I wondered about fans giving the silent treatment myself after hearing Hamilton’s dig at the Rangers fan base, and it looks like I wasn’t the only one.
Fifteen year old Brandon Holmes began organizing his impressive Silence4Josh movement via Twitter and Facebook, and his efforts have even been featured on CBS 11 News. Heck, you can purchase a “Baseball Town Since 1972” t-shirt at the Silence4Josh website that he’s put together.
The reality of the situation is that it’s not likely that a homegrown movement like this has much of a chance of reaching enough fans with Opening Day tickets to drown out the boos. Not without a little more help from the local media and Rangers blog community (I’m looking at you @NewburgReport, @lonestarball, & @bbtia). However, Holmes has a good head start with over 5,500 likes/followers.
Who knows where this might go?
Imagine 50,000 baseball fans standing in pure silence, or as close as a baseball crowd that size can get to it, while Hamilton stands with a somewhat quizzical look before whiffing on three straight breaking balls low and away. I’ll give you a moment to wipe the tear from your eye.
Here’s to hoping for the sound of sweet, sweet silence at Rangers Ballpark when #32 steps into the box. What wonderful music to the ears that would be.