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Story enjoying homecoming series in Arlington

Shortstop grew up an avid Rangers fan in nearby Irving, Texas
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The first series that Rockies shortstop Trevor Story circled on his calendar during the 2016 season was a four-game road set against the Rangers.

Story grew up in Irving, Texas, and was an avid Rangers fan. Irving is about 30 minutes west of Dallas. Story was looking forward to playing against his childhood team for the first time, but he missed his chance on playing in the series after suffering a torn ligament in his left thumb a couple of weeks prior to the series.

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ARLINGTON -- The first series that Rockies shortstop Trevor Story circled on his calendar during the 2016 season was a four-game road set against the Rangers.

Story grew up in Irving, Texas, and was an avid Rangers fan. Irving is about 30 minutes west of Dallas. Story was looking forward to playing against his childhood team for the first time, but he missed his chance on playing in the series after suffering a torn ligament in his left thumb a couple of weeks prior to the series.

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Now, Story will finally have an opportunity to play at Globe Life Park, where the Rockies open a three-game Interleague series against the Rangers on Friday.

"It's special," said Story, who graduated from Irving High School. "I grew up coming to this park, watching the Rangers. They were my team when I was younger. Very exciting, lots of emotions for sure. It was tough I couldn't play in '16, but I'm looking forward to this."

Story's favorite Rangers player growing up was Michael Young, who was a seven-time All-Star with Texas.

"I loved Michael Young," he said. "He was my guy, playing short."

Video: COL@PHI: Story, Desmond combine for a double play

Story will enter the series as one of the Rockies' hottest hitters. He entered Friday batting .441 (15-for-34) with three homers and nine RBIs during his eight-game hitting streak. He also led the National League with 50 RBIs and was tied for fourth with 14 home runs.

"Trevor Story's name is getting out there now amongst baseball people," manager Bud Black said. "In the circles behind the cage, conversations with other coaches and managers that I have. He's becoming a guy that people are noticing, and it's deserving."

Story will have a large group of family, friends and former coaches in the stands on Friday, including his parents, who still live in Irving.

Rockies beat
• Right-hander Chad Bettis is a native of Lubbock and played his college career at Texas Tech. He will be making his second career start against the Rangers. He allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings in his first start against Texas on August 11, 2016.

Bettis' parents will be in attendance when he makes his start against the Rangers on Friday.

Video: ARI@COL: Bettis whiffs Goldy to strand a pair

Black said he was excited for Story and Bettis to play in front of family and friends in their home state.

"Isn't that great? I love it so much when guys are able to do that," Black said. "I think it's a special time for Trevor and Chad to come back. For Chad, to come back to his home state. For Trevor, to where he was raised, where he played youth baseball. I think it's cool."

Charlie Blackmon has a .323 career batting average in Interleague play, which ranks sixth among all active players. Carlos Gonzalez ranks 12th with a .315 average.

Gonzalez has batted .292 (7-for-24) in six Interleague games as a designated hitter. His 24 at-bats as a designated hitter ranks highest among active Rockies. Gonzalez received the day off on Friday after going 0-for-3 against the Phillies on Thursday.

Wesley Dotson is an associate reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.

Colorado Rockies, Trevor Story