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Rangers send off Globe Life Park in style

Lynn stifles Yankees in stadium packed with special guests
@Sullivan_Ranger
September 29, 2019

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Lance Lynn brought Globe Life Park to a triumphant end with a masterful pitching performance against the postseason-bound Yankees. Lynn held the Yankees to one run over 7 1/3 innings in a 6-1 victory on Sunday afternoon before a sellout crowd of 47,144 fans on hand

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Lance Lynn brought Globe Life Park to a triumphant end with a masterful pitching performance against the postseason-bound Yankees.

Lynn held the Yankees to one run over 7 1/3 innings in a 6-1 victory on Sunday afternoon before a sellout crowd of 47,144 fans on hand to give the 26-year-old ballpark the proper sendoff. Lynn, pitching against the Yankees' 'A' lineup, allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out 10.

Box score

Lynn's outing ended after striking out Didi Gregorius to start the eighth. Manager Chris Woodward went to the mound to take out Lynn and he exchanged embraces with catcher Jose Trevino and the Rangers infielders. Lynn then walked off the mound to a standing ovation and tipped his cap to the crowd as he returned to the dugout.

"I'm always going to have motivation," Lynn said. "I don't like to lose, that's pretty obvious. But to finish out a ballpark with a win and finish a season with a win is a good way to go out."

It was one of many special moments on the kind of afternoon that former Rangers president Tom Schieffer envisioned when he oversaw the construction of what opened as the Ballpark in Arlington in 1994.

"Yeah, it was awesome," Woodward said. "You see this place packed the last two games, it's fun. What Lance did today, he basically told our team, 'I'm going to treat this like a playoff game.' That's a pretty good offense over there. What he did today, he showed our team the possibility of what it would look like to be in a playoff game."

The final celebration of Globe Life Park was truly a memorable day for the Rangers players, organization, special guests and those who were either at the game or watching on television. It was a day to symbolically move the franchise across the street to Globe Life Field.

"It was a fantastic day, and you can see Major League Baseball is alive and well in Arlington," Mayor Jeff Williams said. "It was awesome to see so many fans out here. We love this place. This is one of the greatest ballparks ever in history. But there is one problem and you can see it on that [scoreboard]. It is 94 degrees fahrenheit.”

The Rangers pulled off a surprise before the game. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra delivered a stirring rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," just as they did on Opening Day 1994, when accompanying the late renowned pianist Van Cliburn.

Former Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers was then introduced to catch the ceremonial first pitch, and then came Nolan Ryan for one final appearance at Globe Life Park. Ryan delivered the first pitch to another standing ovation.

After the fifth inning, former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene pulled down the final countdown in left field to reveal no more games left, and Opening Day at the new ballpark will be March 31, 2020.

The Rangers then paid tribute to the three original ownership partners who brought about approval, financing and construction of the Ballpark in Arlington. President George W. Bush, his wife, Laura, and daughter Jenna, Schieffer and Deedie Rose, the wife of the late Rusty Rose, received an extended standing ovation as they were shown on the ballpark's video boards.

"It really is a reminder of this wonderful partnership we had," Bush told FOX Sports Southwest's Emily Jones. "And sitting in this cathedral we built, it means a lot."

The final out was recorded by José Leclerc, striking out Giancarlo Stanton in the top of the ninth to seal the victory. The Rangers then introduced the Globe Life Park All-Time team.

There were 24 players selected, and 15 showed up for the postgame ceremony: Ivan Rodriguez, Josh Hamilton, Adrián Beltré, Michael Young, Will Clark, Elvis Andrus, Rusty Greer, Shin-Soo Choo, Colby Lewis, Rafael Palmeiro, Hank Blalock, Neftalí Feliz, Vladimir Guerrero, David Murphy and Mike Napoli.

They all received big ovations. When Napoli was introduced, the crowd broke into the "Na-po-li!" chant that rocked the park during the 2011 World Series.

The crowd was appropriately generous to Feliz, named as the All-Time team's closer. Feliz, who had a blown save in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, took the loss hard, but the Rangers don't get there in 2010 or '11 without him.

Clark and Rodriguez were the only two of the 15 present on Sunday who were on the field for Opening Day in 1994. Clark hit the Rangers' first home run that day.

"It seems like those 25 years flew by," Clark said. "Yesterday we were playing in the first game here and we had the same orchestra playing the national anthem, then the playoff teams in '96 and '98, seeing where the organization has come to now, those 25 years just flew by."

Greer was also here in 1994, getting called up and making his Major League debut on May 16 that season.

"I drove up today and was walking with my wife, and I said, 'There is nothing wrong with this park.'" Greer said. "I love it. That's the way I felt in 1994 and the way I feel today. I do think there is a need. It does get hot here. It's hot everywhere though, it just stays hot here longer. At some point if they were ever going to build a new stadium, it's got to be covered with [air conditioning], because if not, there would be no reason to build one."

After the All-Time team was introduced, Greene dug up home plate, and it was carried by parade across the street to Globe Life Field. Opening Day is six months away.

"It's a bittersweet day, but the offset is we get to keep our Major League status," Greene said. "We move across the street, it ought to be forever this time."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.