Fan’s letter spurs Rangers, Globe Life to switch ballpark sign

Posted Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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kennedy The new name Globe Life Park in Arlington might grow on us, but not the clashing blue sign.

So one persistent Rangers fan got it changed.

After an Arlington resident’s complaint letter, the team and stadium sponsor Globe Life Insurance agreed to come up with a better-looking sign for the formerly named Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

When Leanne Rand saw the new ice-blue Globe Life Park sign replace the old Rangers logo, “I had an actual physical reaction,” she wrote by email Friday.

A Facebook post on an “Arlington Proud” page drew more than 40,000 readers and 743 comments, mostly complaints about the 10-year naming agreement but also some about how Globe Life’s contemporary logo didn’t fit the ballpark’s green-and-brick throwback look.

“Once we took a look at it and thought about it, we said, ‘They’re right,’ ” said Mike Majors in the McKinney office of Oklahoma City-based Globe Life, a subsidiary of McKinney-based Torchmark.

He and Rangers spokesman John Blake said the new sign will be green and will respect the park’s historical architecture.

“We got a letter and decided she had a very, very valid point,” Blake said.

“I think all the other signage fits in. That sign was rushed. We’re going to work on a better one.”

Rand included the Facebook readership analytics in a letter to Rangers and Globe Life executives.

“Let me first assure you that I am not upset about the sweet deal that we signed for the naming rights,” she wrote, arguing that what made her gasp wasn’t the name change but the aesthetics.

The mismatched sign is “quite upsetting to this baseball traditionalist,” she wrote, even quoting Washington-based architect David M. Schwarz’s description of the park’s historic Texas pink granite and red-brick facade.

Even the Wal-Mart nearby was required to have a better-looking sign, she wrote.

She has three children in public schools and another at a state university, and has gone to Austin as a PTA president asking the Texas Legislature for more school funding.

She got better results from the Rangers.

“I am so grateful that they took our concerns seriously,” she wrote Friday by email.

She was careful to argue about the sign and not the name, she wrote: “I don’t think anyone is truly happy when a ballpark or stadium changes a traditional name … but I chose to pick my battles and to not try to fight that one.”

She has been going to Rangers games for 30 years at two adjoining stadiums known by a combined total of six names in Arlington’s 50-year minor- and major-league baseball history.

In her letter, she called Globe Life “OUR ballpark and it feels almost as though it has been desecrated by this offensive sign.”

Of all the comments about the change, that sign generated the most complaints and the strongest reaction, Majors said.

Blake asked forgiveness.

“I think everybody realizes it was a mistake, and we’re working hard to correct it,” he said.

“We’re pretty responsive to our fans.”

We need a sign that’ll look good for 10 years.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @BudKennedy Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/budkennedy

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