Texas Rangers fans congregated in Arlington’s streets to celebrate the team’s first World Series championship on Friday afternoon. The route began in the entertainment district just south of Globe Life Field, looping clockwise for about 1.9 miles.
The team clinched its milestone victory in a 5-0 road win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, two days before the festivities. The franchise’s long-awaited win finally came in its 63 season. They began as the Washington Senators in 1961, moving to Texas in 1972.
Arlington police were reportedly expecting a crowd of 250,000 to 300,000 people on 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 post-season 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 a translator. “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 wouldn’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 referencing the Astros‘ win over the Rangers for the American League West division title on the last day of the 2023 regular season.
At the time, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman celebrated the victory in the 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 Astros didn’t win the division,” Bregman said. “I guess we’ll never know.”
But the Rangers got the last laugh when they beat the Astros in the American League Championship Series en route to the World Series title. Then they laughed again on Friday, when Seager comically drove it home.
It was a cool 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 Globe Life Field, which was chosen as a neutral site due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He didn’t get to participate in a parade that year, but his “speech” was arguably the best part of the Rangers’ celebration.
Throughout this postseason, Seager recorded three home runs and six RBIs. He and Reggie Jackson are the only two players in MLB history to win World Series MVP in both the National and American Leagues.
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