Hundreds Line Up to Meet Nelson Cruz - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Hundreds Line Up to Meet Nelson Cruz



    Hundreds of fans stood in line Saturday for a Nelson Cruz autograph. (Published Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011)

    By all means, Nelson Cruz is used to screaming fans.

    But it was different story Saturday evening at the Academy Sports and Outdoors in Mesquite.

    When Cruz drove up in his personal vehicle, you would've thought it was the latest pop star inside.

    Not only girls, but moms, dads and children bombarded the outfielder's car just to get a glimpse of him.

    "Ready to go," they shouted. "Ready for Cruz."

    Academy employees said Cruz agreed to sign autographs Saturday -- win or lose -- well before the World Series began.

    And even after the Texas Rangers' devastating loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 on Friday, fans showed up by the hundreds to support their favorite player.

    "I don't know any other athlete that would do that," Rangers fan Chris Smith said. "You know, he was hurt in Game 6, and now he's coming out here to sign for fans -- that's pretty impressive."

    Inside the store, just the sight of the outfielder brought a group of teenage girls to tears.

    "He touched my hand," one of them yelled. "He touched by hand."

    But others said it wasn't just the chance to get an autograph that brought them to the store; they wanted to say "thanks."

    "I want him to be a Ranger for life," fan Annette Story said. "I want to thank him for his hard work, because he's done a great job, and I want to thank him."

    Cruz admitted even he wasn't expecting the crowd.

    "I definitely wasn't suspecting that," he said. "I was shocked to see all those people."

    He said it just goes to remind him -- and the rest of the Rangers -- to work that much harder next year.

    "I hate for what happened to him ... the whole team," Story said. "But we're season ticket holders; we'll be out there again next year. We know they can do it."