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The Texas Rangers will open up their 40th season in Arlington this weekend with Opening Day on Friday and the players receiving their AL Championship rings on Saturday.
“As we recognize the Rangers’ 40th season in Texas, we felt that the first pitch ceremony should reflect the history of the club,” commented Rangers’ President Nolan Ryan. “Jeff Burroughs was the first great offensive star for the Rangers in the 1970’s, and Charlie Hough was the club’s ace throughout the 1980’s. It is a very appropriate that they take part in the opening day activities.”
Hough was the anchor of the Rangers pitching staff in the 1980s with at least 14 wins in seven consecutive seasons. He has more wins than any other Rangers pitcher at 139 and will be throwing to Darren Oliver.
Burroughs was the first power hitter in team history, combining for 102 HRs and 383 RBIs from 1973-76. The former AL MVP will be throwing to AL MVP Josh Hamilton.
Also on Opening Day, the team will raise their 2010 AL Championship Flag prior to the introduction of the 2011 team.
The Texas Rangers Law Enforcement Honor Guard from Company B in Garland will present the Colors and members of the United States Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy will unfurl an oversized American flag in the outfield. Nationally renowned Christian recording group MercyMe will perform the Star Spangled Banner. A B-52 Bomber from the 20th Bomb Squad of Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana is scheduled to fly over Rangers Ballpark in Arlington following the National Anthem.
After the National Anthem, there will be two moments of silence -- one for the late Tom Vandergriff and another for the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Gates to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will open at 12, parking opens at 10 for tailgating.
All fans 21 years of age and older will receive a Rangers Budweiser Opening Day Magnetic Schedule as they enter the park.
In both games, the AL Champs will face the Boston Red Sox. It will be the third time the club has opened the season with Boston, the previous two also at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, a 5-3 win in 1996 and a 7-3 loss in 2006.
On Saturday, game time has been pushed back to 7:15 p.m. to allow more time for the AL Championship ring ceremony.