Growing up as a baseball fan, I always started looking for signs of spring. Read The Sporting News and find out when clubs were reporting and then checking when the Topps 1st Series was going to be available. Years later after leaving The Grand Ole Opry and joining the Rangers, I still looked for those signs of spring. The Mid-Winter Banquet was one of those. We also had a former Washington Senator outfielder named Johnny Welaj that worked for us. Among other things, Mr. Welaj was in charge of running the business side of spring training for the Rangers...and he was a sign of spring for me...when Mr. Welaj headed to Pompano Beach or Port Charlotte, long before anyone else, you knew the Opening Day first pitch was not far away. In 1987, another sign of spring was born, the Rangers Winter Carnival, modeled after the Chicago Cubs Fans Convention I heard about in the fall of 1986. You saw the players in their everyday clothes and you knew the next time you would see Charlie Hough, that he would be in uniform tossing knuckleballs on Opening Day.
A sign of spring is coming this weekend and if you are a Rangers fan, you need to be at the Rangers Fan Fest. As I said in an earlier post, the Rangers new ownership led by Chuck Greenberg has really stepped up to make Rangers Fan Fest better and bigger than ever before. It is all inside at the Arlington Convention Center. It is back to a 2-day event and John Blake and Taunee Taylor of our staff have done a great job in getting a great lineup for autographs, photos, Q & A sessions, etc. A great lineup of 30 players that feature the AL MVP and 3 Hall of Famers. And there is someting for Rangers fans of all ages...wiffle ball park, base running, clinics and a whole lot more.
I hope you can make it this weekend to a sign of spring. If you get a chance, I will be at the Event Stage most of the weekend, stop by and say hello and we talk new scoreboards with you.
Also as I said earlier, we take your emotional and passionate investment into the Rangers very seriously, you are important to us and let us know how we can help you.
Hope you can make it.