ARLINGTON -- Bengie Molina was the Rangers' catcher that night, and he remembers the moment well when reliever Neftali Feliz struck out Alex Rodriguez for the final out of the 2010 American League Championship Series."It was a lot of joy, a lot of excitement -- not for myself, but for
ARLINGTON -- Bengie Molina was the Rangers' catcher that night, and he remembers the moment well when reliever Neftali Feliz struck out Alex Rodriguez for the final out of the 2010 American League Championship Series.
"It was a lot of joy, a lot of excitement -- not for myself, but for the guys," Molina said. "I didn't get to see many of them, because I was down in the pile getting hurt. But it was awesome."
Molina said that moment will "live in my heart" forever. It will also live in the North Plaza, next to the Texas Live! entertainment district in what will eventually be the north entrance to Globe Life Field.
The Rangers unveiled a statue on Tuesday of Molina jumping into Feliz's arms, capturing the moment of a 6-1 victory over the Yankees and the franchise's first trip to the World Series. The statue is titled: "Going to the Show."
"Because of the prominence of the plaza, we wanted so many people to enjoy this and put it in a prominent place," Arlington mayor Jeff Williams said at the unveiling.
Williams and his family were among the 51,404 fans who were at Globe Life Park on Oct. 22, 2010, to witness possibly the most memorable moment in Rangers history.
"When A-Rod struck out, and Bengie runs out to Nefatli Feliz and jumps in his arms, I can tell you the stadium erupted," Williams said. "Everybody saw that vision that captured the dreams that has so long been imagined -- the Texas Rangers going to the World Series. Now we'll be able to tell that story. A dream come true in the Dream City of America: Arlington, Texas."
The sculpture was made by world-renown sculptor Harry Weber, who is based in St. Louis but has his art displayed across the country. His specialty is sports with statues made of Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Jose Pujols and Rogers Hornsby, but also Chuck Berry, Thomas Jefferson, Tennessee Williams, St. Francis of Assisi, Doug Flutie and the Good Samaritan.
"As a sculptor, I am more a fan of the athletes individually than I am of the teams," Weber said. "When I saw that picture in 2010 -- the joy on Bengie's face and the triumphant on Neftali's face, and them getting up in the air -- I really wanted to do a sculpture of it someday; to portray a moment so the fans, who were never around to see it, can enjoy the moment of these guys celebrating their victory, celebrating their team and celebrating the sheer joy of celebrating sports."
Fans will be able to see the statue this Thursday with the grand opening of Texas Live! A free concert by the Toadies at Arlington Backyard at 8 p.m. CT marks the first big event of the weekend to celebrate the opening of the 200,000-square-foot complex that includes multiple dining, drinking and entertainment venues.
Rangers Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez and former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman both have restaurants in the complex. The North Plaza has six video boards and a 60-foot-wide fountain.
Plus, one statue -- "Going to the Show" -- capturing the greatest moment in Rangers history not far from where a new ballpark will open in 2020.
"That's crazy," Molina said. "It's unreal. Having it here in the United States is unreal. I love it. I love every part of it. I knew it was a special moment, but I never knew it was going to be here and in front with the stadium in the back. Come on, you can't top that."
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.