Are you watching Friday’s Game 1 of the ALCS with some buddies? If so, here are five Texas Rangers facts you can share with friends — they might think you’re smarter than Ron Darling.
Fact No. 1: During the broadcast of Game 1, you will probably hear TBS broadcasters discuss how the Rangers used ginger ale, instead of champagne, during their ALDS victory celebration. The Rangers did this because outfielder Josh Hamilton has a troubled past that involves alcohol. What might get missed is that Texas’ Game 1, starting pitcher C.J. Wilson also lives a drug-free lifestyle, a choice that he made when he was young.
Fact No. 2: During the regular season, Wilson was the second-hardest pitcher to hit in the American League, allowing just a .217 batting average to opponents — Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez led the AL at .212.
Fact No. 3: The first time New York and Texas met in the postseason was in 1996 — the Yankees won the series, 3-1. Okay, that’s not a huge fact but wait for it… Only two current Rangers players, designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, 35, and lefty-bullpen pitcher Darren Oliver, 40, were active in ’96. Coincidentally, Oliver pitched in Game 3 of the series and record the loss in the Yankees 3-2 victory. Oliver has a postseason ERA of 3.86 in 30.1 innings pitched.
Fact No. 4: During their time with the Rangers, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira each set career-highs in home runs (Rodriguez 57* — ’02, Teixeira 43 — ’05) and total bases (Rodriguez 393* — ’01, Teixeira 370 — ’05).
*still a franchise record.
Fact No. 5: According to The Elias Sports Bureau and ESPN Dallas blog:
"Rangers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler and outfielder Nelson Cruz each hit three home runs in the ALDS and became just the second pair of teammates in major league history to hit three home runs apiece in a postseason series of five-or-fewer-games. The other pair was Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the Yankees four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1928 World Series."