As a lifelong Texas Ranger fan dating back to the days of legendary Ted Williams and the towering Frank Howard, I must admit I am still in shock. When Elvis Andrus squeezed the last out in a historic victory by the Texas Rangers I sat in stunned silence with a silly smile on my face.
I must confess I feared that something terribly was going to go wrong especially after having my heart-broken by the two losses in Arlington.
However, I must admit my pride in being a Texas Ranger fan only soared after I witnessed footage of the victory celebration in the club house. Instead of a drunken hoard, the Rangers’ celebrated with real class.
MLB editor Andrew Johnson reported it as follows:
In a display of team unity, and deference to Josh Hamilton‘s well known past struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, the Texas Rangers celebrated their American League Division Series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays with a shower composed of Canada Dry ginger ale rather than the customary one of champagne and domestic beer.
Texas beat Tampa Bay 5-1 in Game 5 of the ALDS to seal a spot in the American League Championship Series against the Yankees Tuesday night, and Hamilton was the last Rangers player off the field because of a television interview with TBS.
That gave his teammates more than enough of a window to break out the ginger ale in his absence, lie in wait and then douse him with it when he finally made his way into the clubhouse.
“That was cool,” said Hamilton, who famously spent years out of professional baseball because of his struggles with drugs before returning to the game in 2006.
In a day when our kids–and adults for that matter–need real heroes the Texas Rangers showed real class and an example to follow. It appeared to me there was no diminishing of the fun and celebration when ginger ale flows freely.
Pitcher C.J. Wilson made a strong point when he said:
“I’m drug-free, he’s drug-free. We stay away from anything. It just allows the team to jell maybe 3 or 4 percent more, and allows us all to experience the traditional celebration without having any sort of downside.”
This kind of creative “out-of-the-box” thinking I hope will be remember long after everyone forgets who won the World Series this year. Good examples are hard to come by in the world of professional sports, but the Texas Rangers won both on and off the field last night in my book.
Their example reminds me of the words of Jesus:
14“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)