Rangers outfielder Michael Choice thought it was a mistake. He got the signal from third base coach Gary Pettis for the hit and run. It was his first at bat for his hometown team in Thursday’s spring training opener.
“I was like, did he mean to put that on? All right, I guess this is the early test,” said Choice, who promptly singled to right-center, his first hit as a Ranger.
Choice roped an infield single in his next at bat that nearly took the glove off the Royals third baseman.
It was a great way for the former Mansfield Timberview and UT Arlington star to begin his first spring training with Texas. Especially one where he’s trying to earn a job as the team’s fourth outfielder.
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“It helps a lot to calm the nerves down and kind of get in the groove of playing in live games,” he said. “It can be one of those things where you come out and you’re searching for that first hit and the next thing you know the next day comes and you’re searching for that first hit and it can kind of be a snowball-type deal. It definitely can relax you and at this point you can just go out there and play your game.”
Choice’s solid debut prompted tweets from his former UTA coach Darin Thomas and other friends and family back home in Arlington.
“I did get a lot of responses from friends back home,” he said. “They keep track of everything that goes on with the Rangers.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760