Texas Rangers fans congregated in Arlington’s streets to celebrate the team’s first World Series championship on Friday. The route began in the entertainment district just south of Globe Life Field and looped clockwise for about 1.9 miles.
The team clinched its milestone victory with a 5-0 road win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday to secure a 4-1 series victory. The franchise’s long-awaited win came in its 63rd season. The team began as the Washington Senators in 1961 and moved to Texas in 1972.
Arlington police were reportedly expecting a crowd of 250,000 to 300,000 people Thursday, an estimate that increased as the day went on:
All of those supporters were waiting for Rangers players and Texas manager Bruce Bochy to cruise through the entertainment district between downtown Fort Worth and downtown Dallas.
“It’s what it’s about, the fans. They’re the reason we do this, why we play. We feed off them, and for them to get a championship, that’s what makes this special,” Bochy said once everyone arrived to the ceremony stage. “They’re all special, the World Series. But getting the first one, and for this to happen for them, is what makes me feel so good.”
“Higher” by Creed, the team’s postseason anthem, played as players took turns lifting the trophy on stage. If Bochy’s comments didn’t excite fans enough, All-Star second baseman Marcus Semien probably did. He assured the crowd that the World Series title was the new standard for the team.
World Series MVP Corey Seager and AL Championship Series MVP Adolis García‘s comments were also a highlight. García, who shined in the series opener with a crucial 11th-inning homer, was given an introduction that would make anyone want to run through a wall.
“It’s just great to be a part of this team,” the Cuban star said via an interpreter. “Thank you to every single one of you that believed in us.”
Seager misses mic drop opportunity
While García thanked fans who believed in the Rangers, shortstop Corey Seager added a jab.
“This was truly special. We appreciate all your support, but I’ve just got one thing to say,” Seager said calmly. “Everybody was wondering what would happen if the Rangers didn’t win the World Series. I guess we’ll never know.”
Then he politely handed the mic back to the master of ceremonies.
It was an A-plus dig that probably could’ve used a little more flair in its delivery. Seager was, of course, referencing the Astros‘ American League West division title win via tiebreaker after the Rangers lost to the Seattle Mariners on the final day of the season.
At the time, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman celebrated the victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the champagne-filled locker room by making the same reference to Kanye West’s 2005 acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards.
“People were wondering what it was gonna be like if the ‘Stros didn’t win the division,” Bregman said. “I guess we’ll never know.”
The Rangers got the last laugh, as they beat the Astros in the American League Championship Series en route to the World Series title. Then they laughed again Friday, when Seager drove it home.
It was a full-circle moment for Seager, who also claimed the World Series MVP crown in 2020 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That title was won at the Rangers’ home ballpark, Globe Life Field, the postseason’s neutral site due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seager didn’t get to participate in a parade that year, but his speech was arguably the best part of the Rangers’ celebration this time around.
In the 2023 postseason, Seager recorded six home runs and 12 RBI while batting .318 with a 1.133 OPS. He and Reggie Jackson are the only position players in MLB history to win World Series MVP twice.
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