When Stephen Herrera’s high school baseball team played at Globe Life Park, he couldn’t be part of the action.
But on Saturday morning at the home of the Texas Rangers, Herrera took a full batting practice session and had an opportunity to win his season ticket package for free.
“I think I hit a few doubles and singles in there,” Herrera said afterward.
While he didn’t hit one over the fence, he managed to land a hit in one of three prize-winning zones scattered across the outfield and walked away with a Pudge Rodriguez autographed baseball.
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But someone did hit a home run Saturday. Byron Anderson of Fort Worth lifted a pitch into the left field seats to win $8,500 Lexus Club season tickets.
Anderson, who played baseball at Tarleton State, was eligible because he isn’t currently playing collegiate or professional baseball.
In his Facebook post, Anderson claimed he bet on himself and delivered.
Anderson was among a small number of participants in the promotional event designed to encourage new season ticket holders. They came from all around North Texas to have their name announced by Chuck Morgan as they approached home plate.
Fans took about 10-15 swings from a pitching machine throwing 65-70 miles per hour.
The Rangers got the idea from the Washington Nationals, who hosted a similar event last October. While the event was promoted as three swings, it wasn’t enforced too heavily. Everyone had a chance at about 10-15 swings from a pitching machine throwing 65-70 miles per hour.
It was also a chance for fans to meet former Rangers star Michael Young, who brought his two kids to watch him take the first swings of the day. While he wasn’t driving pitches out of the ballpark, he was spraying his patented line drives all over the field.
But to hear him tell it, he’s more than a little rusty.
When I played, if I took a couple of days off, my swing would go haywire quick.
Former Rangers star Michael Young
“When I played, if I took a couple of days off, my swing would go haywire quick,” Young said. “I had to be on it every single day. So a couple of years into retirement was kind of fishy out here.”
Young hung around and signed a few autographs, calling the event a great opportunity for fans to walk around on the field.
“[The pitching machine] is coming kind of hard,” Young said after he took his cuts. “It’s going to be difficult, but the wind looks like it’s coming in pretty standard, so it should be OK.”
But it’s hard to find anything wrong with an event that offered diehard season ticket holders a chance to step into the batter’s box at the home of their Rangers.
Michael Wang from Colleyville didn’t hit a home run, but he stepped into the shoes of a true major league player when he sent some pitches into the outfield and delivered a cliché-filled interview.
“You know, I got a couple of base hits, so I’m pretty happy about that,” Wang said. “The batting coach will help me straighten things out, and we’ll get things back on track.”
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