Review by Gary
After moving to the Dallas, Texas area in the winter of 1978, the Texas Rangers became my de facto home team after leaving Long Island and the Mets. Arlington Stadium would be the 3rd ballpark I would visit after Shea and Yankee Stadium.
The immense General Admission section in the outfield, the largest in the majors. For $4, you could sit just about anywhere.
- Standing / sitting on the steel bleachers during a rain delay in the hot Texas summers, the cool rain feeling wonderful, not considering that we all could be struck by lightning at any moment.
Tasted Nachos for the first time. Arlington Stadium was the first park to serve nachos. Then came Papachos; french-fried wedges serves with queso.
Fan Appreciation Day: On one of the last home games, each gate handed out left-over giveaways from throughout the season. In one haul, we deviants went from gate to gate claiming that we hadn't gotten ours. We went home with bats, balls, helmets, mugs, etc.
Watching parts of the games from the WBAP radio booth, thanks to friend Ted Sorrells, who would not only get me comp tickets, but bring me upstairs in the late innings. I met Mark Holtz and fellow Met fan, Eric Nadal, now in the Baseball HOF!
Having a Ralph Garr home run ball fall right at my little brother’s feet during a CHISOX DH. Despite his disdain for baseball, he would not give it to me. Later, I found him playing baseball in the street, a rare sight. When the scuffed and battered ball got loose and rolled up to me, I discovered, to my horror that it… was… the... Ralph Garr ball!
Not a bad seat in the place, this park was one of only 4 MLB parks to have been converted from a minor league stadium.
Right next to Six Flags and Wet-N- Wild. After a day of fun in the sun, you cooled off at a night game.
Easy access to the field. With a perennially losing team, it was easy to get seats behind the 3rd base dugout, so I could see other team's stars and grab autographs.
The massive scoreboard in the shape of Texas (pre-Diamond Vision), that lit up at night, looked very cool.
Seeing Nolan Ryan pitch on opening day and on many occasions.
NO DAY GAMES: It’s friggin’ hot in Texas from May to September, which makes sitting on metal bleachers impossible. There are token day games like Opening Day and late September, but generally the Rangers were night owls. However, with the sun setting at 9:30 PM in July and August, this didn't help much. Good Times.
The Cotton-Eyed Joe: During the 7th-Inning Stretch, every other ballpark plays “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. Not in Arlington. Instead, you get this twangy, country-fried boot-kicking song. So much for tradition. I think they still do this at the new stadium.
No roof: There was no escape from the sun or the rain. The only refuge was huddling under the stands as there was also no concourse.
The wind killed many a home run. The park was right off of I-30 and in the middle of nowhere. Huge advertising boards were finally installed in the outfield from foul pole to foul pole to block the wind.
While I was working on my review for the Astrodome. I found a race stub for their "Space Race", an early predecessor to the President's Race and such. This was a direct steal from the Texas Rangers Dot Race, where it really started. The Dot Race at Arlington Stadium was first originated by Arlington Stadium announcer Chuck Morgan, who somehow got the tech guys to have 3 colored dots circle around an oval on the scoreboard, much to the fans' glee. It was this dot race that spawned all other video races and the human races in ballparks across North America. The video above is a retro-version of the Dot Race at the Rangers new ballpark, Globe Life Park.
One thing I missed in your review about the old Arlington Ballpark dump was the fights that went on there. A Man from New York seated by me once remarked to me that he had never seen so many fights at a baseball game in his life. I told him to stick around; there is more scrapping at Arlington Stadium than at the local wrestling matches. I think, all in all, it was the worst major league park I ever attended.
- Jaret, Florida
After seeing the reader comments about all the supposed fights at Arlington Stadium, I could not help responding. I went to that park since the early 70s, when my dad took me to the first sellout (David Clyde's first start), and never saw a fight of any kind. In addition, I cherish every memory I have of the old Stadium, and often think back to various times. It was truly the forum for the true fan, considering they never approached any post season glory. I guess you can say, as a true Ranger fan, I take exception to anyone not appreciating the "inner beauty" of Arlington Stadium.