Rangers prep for 2024 hosting duties after matching an All-Star mark

Texas' six teammates on field at same time a feat unseen since 1951

July 12th, 2023

SEATTLE -- In the second inning of Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star Game, American League starting catcher looked out from behind home plate and recognized more than a few familiar faces. 

The Rangers had four position players join Heim in the AL’s starting lineup, including , , and . When pitcher took the mound in the second inning, Texas made history by becoming the first club to have six players on the field at the same time in an All-Star Game since the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers (per Elias Sports Bureau).

A ball thrown by Eovaldi during that inning and signed by the Rangers on the field is on its way to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

“That's gotta be one of the cooler moments in sports when you got half the team on the field is your own team and in an All-Star Game,” Heim said before the NL rallied for a 3-2 victory. “I was glad I got to share the deal with these guys today.”

“It's incredible,” Eovaldi added. “I've been fortunate. Obviously we overlook these little things during the season, because we get to be around each other all the time. But to be able to share this moment with those guys, everything that we put in, it means the world, it's awesome.”

It’s fitting that the Rangers would overload this year’s All-Star squad, considering they hope to do the same in their home ballpark in 2024. The club will host the Midsummer Classic at Globe Life Field next year in what will be the ballpark's fifth season.

“You heard the fans when they announced all the Seattle players,” Heim said. “So I think if that happens, and we got five starters, again, it's gonna be really loud in Globe Life. It's gonna be a cool environment and it's gonna be a blast.”

The 2024 event will be just the second time Texas hosts the Midsummer Classic (1995), but the first time in the new ballpark, which opened in 2020.

Rangers officials have spent the last two weeks in Seattle, shadowing the Mariners' group and working on ways to improve upon an already successful All-Star event. Rangers executive vice president of business operations Rob Matwick has led the charge as the organization continues to prepare for one of MLB’s biggest events.

“[The Mariners] have done a tremendous job of being a great host,” Matwick said. “Everybody in our group is now trying to say ‘OK, how do we translate this to Globe Life Field and to the Entertainment District.’ So those wheels are spinning now. By having the opportunity to come and see it, that does pay huge dividends. So hopefully we're better served for it, and ultimately, our fans and the All-Star players when they come to see us are too.”

Matwick worked that game in 1995 as a public relations professional, but has also worked the 2004 game in Houston and ‘01 in Seattle in roles similar to his current one, though he emphasized how much both baseball and the world have changed in the decades since. 

All the All-Star Week festivities, including the All-Star Futures Game, the Celebrity Softball Game, the Home Run Derby, the MLB Draft and the Play Ball Park will all find a home in the Arlington Entertainment District, with the potential use of all three major stadiums in the area -- Globe Life Field, Choctaw Stadium (formerly The Ballpark in Arlington) and AT&T Stadium.  

“I do think our All-Star Game is the best out there,” Matwick said. “It truly is a competition. It's an exhibition, but it's a game and the guys take it seriously. So I mean that I think that means a lot and it really resonates for everybody. That has never changed. I think it’s just grown exponentially. At the end of the day, our job is to take this great opportunity to represent Arlington, to represent North Texas well, represent the Rangers and put us all in a positive light, because the eyes of the world are truly upon us.”

The Rangers' players are just as excited as everybody else to be able to host the event in their home stadium, especially coming off the star-studded 2023 in Seattle.

A native of Alvin, Texas, Eovaldi knows how exciting it’ll be for the entire state and region to be able to showcase itself to the entire baseball world. And hopefully even more Rangers can take the field.

“We're excited,” Eovaldi said. “I think it's gonna be great up in Arlington, especially for the state of Texas. We’ve got a new stadium so everybody's gonna get to experience that, especially for our fans. We've been able to have a lot of fans showing support and things like that, so I think it’ll be really fun.”