Rangers visit children's hospitals on holiday trip
FORT WORTH,Texas -- The Rangers announced Monday that pitcher Matt Bush was re-signing with them. The timing turned out to be perfect.
It allowed Bush to join others in the organization for its annual visit to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth on Monday. The Rangers will make a similar visit to Children's Medical Center Dallas on Tuesday as part of their annual holiday celebration.
"We just want to be with the kids and help put a smile on their faces," Bush said.
"I also do some charity stuff for the children's hospital in Atlanta, so I always enjoy coming out here," Delino DeShields said. "I think they really appreciate us being here."
Joining Bush and DeShields were teammates Willie Calhoun, Joey Gallo, Nick Gardewine, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Chris Martin. Also in attendance were broadcasters Eric Nadel, Emily Jones, Matt Hicks, Mark McLemore, Dave Raymond and Eleno Ornelas, front-office executives Josh Boyd, Raul Cardenas and Michael Young, and owners Ray Davis and Neil Leibman.
And, of course, there was Rangers Captain. The Rangers' ever-present mascot steals the show whenever the team is around young children.
"It's always special for everybody to come here," Gallo said. "I always want to make sure I am in town to visit the kids. This is something we take pride in and we love to do."
Martin was especially busy on Monday. In addition to the hospital visit, Martin served as the honorary chairman for the Rangers in the Cowboys Santas Toy Drive. The public finale was held on Monday evening at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
This is the eighth consecutive year in which the Rangers have been involved in the initiative, which provides toys to children from low-income Tarrant County families during the holiday season. The toy drive and the hospital visits are significant endeavors in the Rangers' mission of maintaining a strong presence in the North Texas community.
"Getting to see all the kids, [it] brightens their day and brightens our day," Martin said. "It means a lot for us and for them. It is special to be here and show our love for the kids."
This is a special time for Cook Children's Medical Center. It's celebrating its 100th anniversary this year as it opened on March 21, 1918. Cook Children's is annually recognized as one of the best children's hospitals in the United States by U.S. News and World Report and treats more than 100,000 patients a year.
The facility continues to grow with a variety of new attractions to help children in their recovery even beyond its world-class medical care. The Child Life Zone is a state-of-the-art environment that uses games, art, music, creativity and imagination as part of their patients' therapy.
There is a broadcasting studio, recording studio, cooking kitchen, and reading library. Another area of the hospital, called the Flip Side, has a pool table, ping pong table, Wii, X-Box, PAC-MAN machine, air hockey table, racing arcade game and a large-scale projector screen for movies and sporting event watch parties.
There is also the Build-A-Bear Workshop, where children can make their own stuffed animal friend. For those who like the real thing, therapy dogs are a part of the Child Life Zone.
Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth remains a vital institution in the city, and that's why the Rangers were happy to be there on Monday.