The Texas Rangers held their second Opening Day celebration at Globe Life Field in 2022, this time for the newly announced Oatly Park.
Located in the upper-level center-field concourse, Oatly Park is the Rangers’ newest kid-friendly addition to the retractable roof stadium and will be operational at all future home games, 30 minutes prior to the game’s scheduled first pitch until the last out. Children 12 years old and younger who attend Rangers games at Globe Life Field can take five swings free of charge as they attempt to hit a home run.
Additionally, Morgan announced a new in-game element, the Long-Ball Blast, that will see one lucky Oatly Park slugger attempt three home run swings in 30 seconds. If the challenge is met, the Rangers will launch Globe Life Field's home run fireworks.
“It’s just another thing that makes this place special,” said Smith. “[The Texas Rangers] always do a really good job of giving [Globe Life Field] a family feel and thinking about others, and to have a Wiffle Ball field in this park is just an extra thing. They have everything here, why not have this?”
Texas Rangers Youth Academy athletes participating in the Nike Science of Baseball summer camp were among the first to test out the new permanent installation at Globe Life Field during its grand-opening event.
Barlow and Smith took the field to pitch and shag balls before signing autographs for the participants. Barlow surrendered two home runs in his relief appearance for Smith, who transitioned to the outfield to play defense with the kids. Even team photographer Ben Ludeman joined the fun, snagging a line drive to deep center field.
Barlow reflected on playing Wiffle Ball in his early years, saying, “Growing up with seven brothers, that’s all we did.”
Morgan -- Texas Rangers EVP of ballpark entertainment, promotion and production, who first created the concept of the in-park Wiffle Ball activation at The Ballpark in Arlington that operated from 1995-2011 -- was thrilled to see another Texas Rangers tradition resurface during the team’s 50th anniversary season.
“It is officially Wiffle Ball time in Oatly Park,” said Morgan as the ceremonial ribbon was cut, slightly adapting his famous pregame tag line for the momentous occasion.
Fans can visit Oatly Park at their next Texas Rangers home game above the Globe Life Field Grand Slam Team Store.