Twenty years later, Tom Schieffer remains proud of what he accomplished in spearheading the construction of The Ballpark in Arlington.
He called it the joy of his distinguished career and it’s certainly the signature moment from his years with the Texas Rangers.
And, as the Rangers celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Ballpark which is now known as Globe Life Park, Schieffer will become the 17th member of the club’s Hall of Fame.
The Rangers announced that Schieffer would be given the team’s highest honor during an induction ceremony on Aug. 23. He’s the sixth inductee in a “non-playing capacity.”
“I am sure most of you were surprised when you got the announcement; I was surprised,” said Schieffer, who graduated from Arlington Heights and the University of Texas.
“It’s a great honor. I always said that the definition of a good job was when you got paid to watch a baseball game, and I thought I had a really good job. Building this ballpark was really the joy of my life.”
Schieffer is proud of how well the facility has aged, saying: “I always thought it would be better when it had a little patina on it from use.”
Schieffer spoke at length about the ballpark and the importance of it to fans. He went on to say that a domed stadium was not economically feasible at the time and that he’s been disappointed that more development hasn’t occurred outside the ballpark.
But Schieffer, who was an original investor in the ownership group headed by George W. Bush and Edward (Rusty) Rose that purchased the club in April 1989, also reflected on his years with the team, specifically his tenure as team president from February 1991 until April 1999.
Schieffer recalled the day he signed Ivan Rodriguez to a five-year, $42 million deal on July 31, 1997. Earlier in the day, the Rangers had worked out a trade that would have sent the star backstop to the New York Yankees but worked out a last-minute deal.
Nick Tepesch appeared to be making a spot start in his season debut last Wednesday in Houston, but finds himself in the rotation for now.
Tepesch pitched well against the Astros, limiting them to one run on two hits with three walks and eight strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. The only thing he would like to change Wednesday against the Mariners is the number of pitches he throws early on.
“I would have liked to pitch deeper in a game like that,” Tepesch said. “But I’m going to keep the same approach. I’m not changing what I am as a pitcher — attacking, being down in the zone and getting quick outs.”
Leonys Martin slept on his neck the wrong way Monday night, causing neck stiffness severe enough to force him out of Tuesday’s lineup.
Daniel Robertson replaced Martin in center field and atop the lineup, but the club hopes Martin is ready Wednesday.
“He tried to get some treatment, but it just didn’t work,” manager Ron Washington said. “Right now, we’ve got to go day-to-day. It’s nothing serious, but Marty’s neck is stiff.”