ARLINGTON -- Nathaniel Lowe knows that DFW is a great sports community. More than anything, he wants to win for the fans and he appreciates being able to help them off the field.
“It's cool to be able to give back or be a part of a group that's going to give back,” he told reporters at the Rangers Youth Academy. “That's what it's about. So it's a full fan experience. We truly, truly care about the community. And this is a way to show.”
The Rangers partnered with nonprofit Buckner International and Kroger to host the annual turkey and Thanksgiving dinner distribution event.
“It feels good just to meet some people in the community and help out when we can,” Semien said. “This facility itself is just a great tool for us to give back, and I think that whether it's helping with baseball or helping with times like this, when families may be struggling and we can give them a full meal, when everybody you know usually enjoys a meal and Thanksgiving. I think it's something that means a lot to me and my family.”
Gray added that it’s always been important for him and his family to give back and they feel blessed to be in a position to do so consistently.
Rangers pitcher Taylor Hearn also hosted his Week of Giving event, which included a food and coat donation at the Arlington Life Shelter, and the inaugural Turkey Trot Classic, which was organized after Hearn’s Woodbat Classic, originally scheduled for Oct. 28-29, was canceled due to inclement weather. The Week of Giving has been a yearly tradition for Hearn since he was traded from the Pirates to the Rangers as a Minor Leaguer in 2018.
Semien spoke to the Rangers Youth Academy’s 13U team after practice ahead of the tournament to give them tips and pointers to prepare for the competition.
“It's very important,” Semien said of giving back all year round, not just during the holidays. “I wish I had the opportunities that these kids have here. I grew up in the Bay Area and we didn't have an academy like this. It's just special to see young kids, especially kids of color, playing ball, for me as a Black player in the league. I want to see more and more kids come out and I know that Dallas has a lot of kids who love the game and this is a place for it.”
All four Rangers who were present at the Youth Academy for the Thanksgiving event are spending their first full offseason in Texas and noted how great it felt to connect with the DFW community.
“It's huge,” Heim said. “I mean, this is our home base now, so we want to do everything we can to help it grow and make it a better place for everybody to live. So just being able to live where you work and work where you live, it's special to us and we love every second of it.”