Tonight, the Texas Rangers hit a magic number, that for the longest time I thought was only reserved for baseball teams in Los Angeles, New York and some others. Some others might take credit, but I am the original "sleeping giant" guy. I first uttered those words to Rangers owner at the time Eddie Chiles in 1986...that all we needed to do was win. George W. Bush and I shared an office for a few days when he first became a managing general partner in 1989, I told him the same thing. And then I told Nolan the same thing the first day he sat down in the presidential office.
There are only a few of us, but guys like me, John Blake and Jay Miller use to attend Major League Baseball's Fall Business Meetings in Arizona back in the 1980s. We used to watch these other clubs for years walk up and receive an award for 2 million in attendance, we wanted one of those and finally got one in 1989. Many of you might remember that we ran an ad in the newspapers that said "2 Million Fans, A Miracle In Sports, Thank You Fans". We had a pretty good team in 1989, but a free agent pitcher helped us get over that 2 million mark. Little did we know at the time, but years later, that same free agent pitcher would be helping the Rangers again.
You don't realize how many meetings that I and others have had, talking about how to get fans to come to Rangers games. Used Car Night, Flip Flop Night, Floppy Hat Night, Ranger Aid, Rootin' Tootin' and yes even Snow Monkeys. If we thought it would have drawn some fans, we probably would have suggested that we find a player like Eddie Gaedel to pinch hit one night, but that one never came up.
Over the next couple of days a lot of people are going to be thanked and patted on the back for us surpassing the magic 3,000,000 number...but our baseball people, from Nolan to JD to Thad, the scouts, minor league coaches, managers, support staff and then Ron Washington and his coaches, the team, Beltre, Josh, Ian, Michael, Cruz, Harrison, Holland, Yu, Joe Nathan, Murphy, the entire team, our entire baseball operation can't be thanked enough for the thrills they have given us over the past several years and the job they have done. You can have all the bobblehead nights you want, but it is what happens on the field that counts.
There is another group that needs to be thanked, a little bigger group than we had in the late 1980s and more are jumping on now than ever before. That is you. All of you. On behalf of the Texas Rangers, we thank you for your support...thanks for coming to the ballpark, thanks for watching and listening to us on radio and TV.
3 million is a magic number and a big milestone in the history of the Texas Rangers.