It was a Rangers home opener that is sure to go down in club history – both because it’s the first with fans at the new Globe Life Field and because it comes amid a global pandemic.
The organization's decision to allow a near-capacity crowd has been criticized in recent days by federal health officials, concerned it could aid the spread of COVID-19.
But on Monday, Rangers fans were all smiles as they entered the cavernous new ballpark, excited to watch baseball in person for the first time in well over a year.
“I grew up going to that old one over there, it’s a wonderful park but this is such an improvement,” Rangers fan Adam Russell said.
Russell’s grandmother, a lifelong fan was even more excited.
“I love the Rangers, I’ve been coming with my grandson for many years,” Nancy Robinson said.
All around the ballpark in the hours before the first pitch, there were scenes not seen since 2019 when fans were last able to attend baseball games. Near the bullpen, kids shouted down to players for autographs and young Jack Schnell was even able to briefly play catch with Rangers pitcher Kyle Gibson.
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“I just said, 'Hey Kyle, you want to play catch?'” said Schnell with a smile and shrug, recounting how it happened.
Fans in attendance said they believed the team’s safety efforts were sufficient. Masks are required inside the ballpark and hand sanitizing stations are widely available. The Rangers have also made all concessions cashless for the 2021 season.
“We are going to stay with our little group, and be real careful, keep our mask on – we are just glad to be here,” Julie Russell said.
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