The Texas Rangers' 45th opener in Arlington take place this afternoon when the club hosts the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
The home opener, scheduled to start at 3:09 p.m., is sold out. Highlights of the opening day ceremonies include:
Ceremonial First Pitch
In 1967, a pair of outfielders began their professional careers playing for the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Washington Senators. Nearly 50 years later, Tom Grieve and Bobby Jones remain integral members of the Texas Rangers organization.
To honor their 50th years in professional baseball, Grieve and Jones will throw out ceremonial first pitches before the 2016 season opener. Catching will be Rangers Hall of Famers Ivan Rodriguez and Rusty Greer.
Grieve made his major league debut with the Senators in 1970 and then played for the Rangers from 1972-77. After his playing career, he joined the Rangers' front office as the club’s General Manager from 1984 through 1994. For the last 22 years, he's been the primary analyst on the Rangers’ television broadcasts.
After three minor league seasons, Jones served 14 months in Vietnam before resuming his career in 1971. He had two stints as a Ranger before beginning a long career as a manager in the team's minor league system.
Country music star Neal McCoy — a Jacksonville, Texas, native — will sing the Star Spangled Banner before Monday's game. McCoy will also sing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.
The National Anthem will be preceded by a live performance of Texas, Our Texas by Joel Lagrone.
A.L. West Champs
The opening day ceremonies will include the official raising of the 2015 A.L. West Division Championship flag in center field.
After the National Anthem, the United States Air Force 301st Fighter Wing will perform a flyover. The Air Force Reserve F-16 unit is based out of Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base. The anthem and flyover will begin at 2:57 p.m.
Salute the Flag
Large United States and Texas flags will be unfurled in center field and on Greene’s Hill by Rangers season ticket holders and their families.
The Ashley Game Ball Delivery will be made by seven-time WWE world heavyweight champion Big Show, who has been in town for WrestleMania 32 at AT&T Stadium. Big Show, Paul Donald Wight, Jr., is 7-feet tall and weighs about 450 pounds.
Moment of Silence
Before the National Anthem, a moment of silence will be observed for two members of the Rangers' family who died recently. Edward W. "Rusty" Rose, the team’s General Partner from 1989-98, died Jan. 29 and John McMichael, a front office executive from 1984-2002, passed away March 31.
Rangers fans can rally behind Cole Hamels each time he takes the mound in Arlington. Section 9 of the Lower Reserved seats has been designated Hamels’ Heroes for his home starts. Fans who buy a ticket in that section will receive a Hamels' Heroes T-shirt and "K" card.
56 and Counting
Nancy Wangner will attend her 56th consecutive home opener Monday. Wangner, the wife of the late club executive Charles Wangner, was in Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., for the franchise's first game in 1961 and has been at every home opener since.
Members of the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame will also be introduced on-field before the game. All fans, 21 years old and older will receive a Rangers Budweiser Opening Day Magnetic Schedule at the ballpark entrance.
Globe Life Park in Arlington cash parking lots will open at 10 a.m. and gates open at noon Monday. Fans are encouraged to arrive early, as they are required to undergo Major League Baseball-mandated metal detection screening before entering the ballpark.
The players will be introduced at 2:49 p.m. with the anthem, flyover and first pitch soon to follow.
The westbound Interstate 30 managed lane will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The eastbound managed lane will be open from 6 to 11 p.m.
Opening Day Notes
The Rangers are 21-23 overall in season openers, losing the last three. This is the third time they played Seattle in the opening game, but the first at home.
The Rangers are 23-21 in home openers, dropping two in a row. Monday marks the 25th time in 45 years they open a season in Arlington.
The Rangers and Mariners conclude the series with a 7:05 p.m. game Tuesday and a 1:05 p.m. contest Wednesday.
Tickets for Rangers 2016 games can be purchased at texasrangers.com, Globe Life Park in Arlington or 972-RANGERS.