This message was posted on Facebook by new Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg, who's as, if not more, accessible than his fellow Pittsburgh transplant Dallas sports franchise owner Mark Cuban, to all of his facebook friends (all 5,001 of them). We've copied it below to spread his inspirational message to Rangers fans beyond the 5,001 on his friend's list.
This season has transcended expectations and transformed the psyche and hearts of legions of Rangers fans across Texas and throughout our country and beyond. At the core of the remarkable journey we have shared together is a ballclub and a community who collectively have consigned the conventional wisdom of the past to the dust bins of history, busting myths and charting a new course previously thought to be unattainable.
Can't pitch successfully in Rangers Ballpark. Wrong.
Can't compete successfully late in the season because the heat will break you down. Wrong.
Fans will lose interest when training camp opens. Wrong.
Fans won't come to Rangers Ballpark after the All Star break because its too hot. Wrong.
Rangers can't win a playoff series. Wrong.
Rangers can't win a playoff game at home. Wrong.
Rangers can't beat the Yankees in the playoffs. Wrong.
Rangers can't get to the World Series. Wrong.
Rangers can't captivate the hearts and emotions of fans new and old deep into the fall. Wrong.
And on and on and on....
I can't even begin to count the memorable moments we have shared this year thanks to a very special group of players with hearts and smiles as big as Texas, who always pull together, stand up for one another, and who have changed the sports landscape here in the Metroplex forever.
But here is a simple reality. Monday will be the last game played in Rangers Ballpark this year. We all owe it to ourselves, our players and each other, to celebrate with passion, enthusiasm and indefatigable belief from lineup cards to the final out, loud and proud.
The defining team of my young life was the 1979, "We are Family" Pittsburgh Pirates. I have often remarked how much this Rangers club reminds me of that team, with a confident but friendly swagger and an abundance of character and personality.
Now these two teams have something else in common. Both fell behind 3-1 in the World Series. Kent Tekulve, the great closer from the '79 Pirates, texted me after tonight's game to pass along this story. Before Game 5, Willie Stargell told his teammates:
"We are playing in front of the whole world. We may not win this thing, but before we go, let's show the world how the Pirates really play baseball".
The Pirates, playing against a team whose colors were black and orange, won Game 5. Then they returned to Baltimore and won Game 6. Then they won Game 7.
I know our players will show everyone how the Rangers play baseball tomorrow. As fans, let's do the same. We have one final opportunity this season to show the world what we have accomplished together and the passion we all hold for our players and our shared dreams.
The World Series is going back to San Francisco. And then there will be one final piece of conventional wisdom to prove wrong....
Now if that isn't a "Hoosiers" or "Remember the Titans" or "Miracle" or any other inspirational sports speech, including the awesome, obscenity-laden "Any Given Sunday" speech from Al Pacino, then I don't know what is.
This thing is not over yet. It's far from it. And for Greenberg, he's seen this happen before, so he's got plenty of reason to believe.
Just think Rangers fan, if you were told you had to win three straight games, which your team did 11 times this year, and you could choose your 3-man rotation for said three games. What would it be? I'm guessing it wouldn't include Tommy Hunter. It'd likely be Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis. Well, that's what we've got to look forward to.
Sure they have a huge hill to climb, beating Lincecum and then Matt Cain back in the Bay. But if it gets to Game 7, look out.
In fact, Greenberg guaranteed a Game 7 on ESPN 103.3's Ben and Skin Show. Not sure how much I like an owner doing that, but give the guy credit for his confidence.
Regardless, if you're heading out to the Ballpark tonight, enjoy your night. It's been a wonderful ride.