The 2023 Texas Rangers are World Series Champions.
It still feels surreal to write that.
The theme of my ALCS preview was that the Rangers were the underdogs. And even though I didn’t like them; the Astros were still the champs until someone took it from them.
I don’t know then if I truly believed it would be the Rangers. But I dreamed it would be.
When Eric Nadel yelled “Ranger fans you’re not dreaming!!” it was like he knew at that moment all Rangers had one of two feelings: this can’t be real can it? OR if I’m dreaming; don’t ever wake me up! And yet, even though it is really legitimately real life… it does still feel like a dream.
Texas was down 3-2 in the ALCS going back to Houston and it felt like there was no hope. No matter how abysmal the Astros home record and the Rangers postseason road game record was - 2 games in a row…by the Rangers??
And then they did it. They went and took it.
I think we all had the same two thoughts: the euphoria of “Is this really happening?” crashed hard against the “Oh no what happens next” as the nightmare of 2011 came back for its haunting.
This year the Rangers debuted their city connect jerseys. Along with it, many different elements to tell the story of the Rangers. The Peagle was the element that captured our collective imagination. However, There’s a smaller element, often overlooked because it’s lower on the jersey and therefore tucked in, but it’s powerful. It’s a mantra, “Dream The Big Dream.” It seemed quaint then but now it seems down right prophetic.
Back in September, I went to a game where the Rangers played the Boston Red Sox and bought a city connect pennant. The TX with the spur bold, next to it, “Dream The Big Dream.” I remember thinking then “The Big Dream, wouldn’t that be nice?!
Never in my wildest ones did I allow myself to believe it would be 2023 when the dream would become tangible.
When Nadel exclaimed “It’s over! It’s over!” It was like the collective Rangers fans all released a breath. Some of us had been waiting 12 years. Some of us had been waiting even longer. And someone of us never got to release our breath.
This world series felt like so many different things for all of usBut some of those things are universal:
It was a tip of the cap to 2011 team. ‘Your time on watch is over. Rest easy pals!’
When the news broke that Nelson Cruz was retiring the next day it was almost like - he just couldn’t rest until the franchise won and he got that monkey off his back.
A mental release from all the hauntings of ghosts from postseasons past.
The late blooming RF who was DFA’d by an NL Central team, but had a breakout year at age 28. Cannon arm, and a penchant for postseason home runs.— Levi Weaver (@ThreeTwoEephus) November 2, 2023
It worked. pic.twitter.com/AR4VUg8Qd3
A big fat middle finger to the “Rangers choke” narrative courtesy of Adolis Garcia who almost single handedly redeemed every bad postseason moment the Rangers had in the last 12 years. And of course Mr MVP himself Corey Seager - his at bats, his steadiness made it all seem possible.
History doesn’t always repeat but it usually rhymes a little. pic.twitter.com/XCgxPEEccF— Levi Weaver (@ThreeTwoEephus) October 20, 2023
For me, I experienced an emotional release for my Uncle Greg, a die hard Rangers fan who passed away too soon. Some of us didn’t get to exhale and it was a bittersweet responsibility for those of us left behind to remember and breathe for them. Because he was there, just like anyone else we all collectively lost along the way. They live on through the memories we all shared, and this belongs to them too.
We dreamed the big dream and got to experience the magic of the postseason that had always eluded this franchise.
We went and took it. Now we get to hold on to it.