October in North Texas—Cool Nights, Warm Days…and the Texas Rangers Still Playing Baseball!

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. -Yogi Berra
As of this writing, it ain’t over. Therefore, as Yogi suggests in his inimitable way, it ain’t yet over. But as these words are being written, a miracle is occurring in North Texas. During this wondrous month of October, a month of cool nights and warm days, the Texas Rangers, denied entry into the American League Championship Series for the 50 years of the club’s existence, are poised to defeat the mythic New York Yankees and make it to the World Series.

Step aside, Miracle Mets, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

I admit to a certain trepidation in writing these words. The Rangers have flirted with success from time to time, only to disappoint as the season stretched into August and September. There have been glorious days in the franchise history, most notably during the Nolan Ryan years when you could go to the ballpark almost expecting the opposing team to be held hitless, dazzled by the big Texan’s fierce fastballs. But as exciting as those days were, they never led to this—the flirtation with, of all things, the World Series.

Baseball is the game of youngsters. We all return to our childhood when we sit in the stands as memories of Little League fill our heads and faded dreams of sliding home just under the tag or hitting that game-winning homer in the bottom of the ninth bring us back to simpler times. Yes, football is now our nation’s sporting pastime, if not our national religion, but baseball, more than any other sport, seems to transport us back to childhood—dad and son, ball caps firmly adjusted, hot nights, hot dogs, the players charging onto the field as dirt clouds swirl under their cleats . . .

I saw my first baseball game at the old Polo Grounds in New York with my dad, who took me to see my idol, Willie Mays. He crashed a booming homer to dead center and I was never happier. I was probably seven years old, and the memory is as fresh as yesterday.