Texas Rangers

Greg Abbott, George W. Bush, Nolan Ryan Taking Part in Texas Rangers Opening Day

Opening Day pregame ceremonies are scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Globe Life Field in Arlington

NBC 5 News

The Texas Rangers on Tuesday shared details for their Opening Day festivities when they host the Philadelphia Phillies at 3:05 p.m. Thursday.

For the ceremonial first pitch, the team will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Texas Rangers, the law enforcement group that is part of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Rangers "conduct major violent crime, public corruption, cold case, and officer-involved shooting investigations, and oversee the department's tactical and crisis negotiation."

Team officials said Lt. Reuben T. Mankin, a 21-year veteran of the Texas DPS who is assigned to Company B in Hurst, will throw out the first pitch. He'll be joined on the field by a distinguished list of Texans including former Texas governor and former President George W. Bush and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Mankin will be joined on the mound by MLB Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and his pitch will be caught by MLB Hall of fame catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez.

The Star-Spangled Banner will be performed by three-time Emmy Award-winning vocal group The Texas Tenors. Amber Nall, of Abilene, will sign the national anthem. The colors will be presented by the Texas DPS and large US and Texas flags will be unfurled in centerfield by members of the team's front office after the flags are escorted onto the field by DPS Rangers and members of the Arlington Police Department mounted patrol. Weather permitting there will be a flyover at the end of the national anthem.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will be in the stadium on Opening Day. MLB awarded Globe Life Field the 2024 All-Star Game, the 94th, which will be held on July 16.

Rangers Hall of Fame members Nolan Ryan (2003), Ivan Rodriguez (2013), Jim Sundberg (2003), Toby Harrah (2009), Tom Grieve (2010), Jeff Russell (2015), Michael Young (2016) and Ian Kinsler (2022) will be introduced on the field ahead of the game.

All fans attending Thursday's home opener will receive a 2023 Texas Rangers magnet schedule.

Parking lots will open at 11 a.m. and ballpark gates will open at noon. Rangers' batting practice begins at 12:05 p.m. followed by the Phillies at 12:55 p.m., and the pregame ceremonies are scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m.

The Rangers haven't had a great track record on Opening Day. They're 23-28 overall, losing two straight, five of six, and eight of ten, the longer span beginning 2013.

After Thursday's opener, they'll be off on Friday and will finish a three-game set against the Phillies on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the first 15,000 fans will also take home a Rangers Replica Cap and on Sunday the first 15,000 fans will receive the Corey Seager Powder Blue Replica Jersey.

Fans attending games on Saturday and Sunday will want to give themselves extra time to get to the ballpark -- Taylor Swift fans will be filling AT&T Stadium next door, so expect traffic delays. Some tips are here.

They'll next host the Orioles from April 3-5.

For more on the schedule and stadium events visit rangers.com.

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