Since playing their first game at Globe Life Park on April 11, 1994, the Texas Rangers created numerous memories at the second home field in team history. Among those memories are reaching the postseason for the first time and qualifying for the World Series for the only two times in team history.
Those memories will be celebrated Sunday afternoon when the Rangers host the New York Yankees in their final game before moving to a climate-controlled domed stadium next season.
Texas is 1,144-936 in the regular season at the ballpark. The Rangers also are 9-16 at the ballpark in the postseason with nine of those games coming against the Yankees. They lost four times to New York at the ballpark in the ALDS in 1996, 1998 and 1999 but clinched their first trip to the World Series by beating the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS when Neftali Feliz struck out Alex Rodriguez for the final out.
After Sunday's game, the Rangers will introduce the Globe Life Park Era All-Time team and players will be introduced at their respective defensive positions. Following the ceremony, the Rangers will dig out home plate and transport it across the street to be installed at the new ballpark.
"It's going to be an emotional day on Sunday, right after the game when the ceremonies are going to be happening," Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez told reporters Saturday. "Great memories. It's hard to believe this place is 25 years old and looks the way it is. It looks like a brand-new ballpark.
"The next ballpark is going to be great for the players with the roof. But all the years I played here, coming here as a visitor, this was the best ballpark I played in to play baseball."
Rodriguez and Robinson Chirinos will be the all-time team at catcher. Will Clark and Mark Teixeira will be the first basemen. Michael Young and Ian Kinsler are the second basemen while Adrian Beltre and Hank Blalock will be the third baseman and Elvis Andrus and Alex Rodriguez are at shortstop.
The outfielders are Josh Hamilton, Juan Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo, Rusty Greer and David Murphy while Rafael Palmeiro and Vladimir Guerrero are the designated hitters. The pitchers are Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish, Feliz, Derek Holland and Kenny Rogers, who tossed a perfect game here in July 1994.
The Rangers (77-84) will head into the final game on a positive note after struggling second baseman Rougned Odor hit a grand slam and set a career high with six RBI in a 9-4 win on Saturday.
Lance Lynn (15-11, 3.76 ERA) will be the final Texas starting pitcher at this ballpark and is 9-1 with a 3.67 ERA in 15 home starts this season.
Lynn last pitched a week ago in Oakland when he allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings in an 8-3 win to snap an eight-game winless skid.
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees.
The game will be relatively inconsequential to the Yankees, who head into the postseason with the third-best record in the majors. New York lost for the third time in four games Saturday and enters the regular-season finale with 305 homers, one more than Minnesota for the most in the majors.
"There's no back off this or that," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Saturday when asked if he will tell his players to ease off. "Tomorrow's an important day for us for guys to try and stay in rhythm. Some guys trying to find their way a little bit. We're going to make sure we're going to get our high leverage guys work tomorrow. So tomorrow is important for us."
The Yankees will use Chad Green as the opener and Masahiro Tanaka (11-8, 4.47) will follow and make first career relief appearance. Tanaka last pitched on Sept. 19 when he allowed one run in seven innings in a 9-1 home win against the Los Angeles Angels.
He is 1-4 with a 6.53 ERA in seven career starts against Texas.
--Field Level Media
Rangers host Yankees in Globe Life Park sendoff