Globe Life Park had one last hurrah on Tuesday night.
“This is my first time playing here,” said TCU senior catcher Zach Humphreys, who played high school baseball at Midlothian.
“I’ve been to so many games here. It was really cool playing somewhere that I grew up watching.”
Humphreys distinctly recalled a game where his family had tickets on the fourth row down the first-base line.
“I was in a big Rafael Palmeiro T-shirt,” Humphreys said, smiling. “Palmeiro was on the team with Juan Gonzalez. That’s one of my childhood memories. It’s really cool to be in their spot.”
For TCU freshman pitcher Jacob Meador, the night had similar sentimental value. The Burleson native grew up going to Rangers game and shined with two perfect innings.
“It’s pretty crazy to know that this game was the last game that will ever be played in this park,” Meador said. “It’s unbelievable to have that experience.”
The same can be said for TCU manager Jim Schlossnagle.
Schlossnagle has become friends with the various Rangers managers over the years, starting with Buck Showalter to Ron Washington to Jeff Banister and now Chris Woodward.
He jumped at the opportunity when the Rangers approached him about the game. And, if the Rangers continue bringing their top minor leaguers to town in this fashion, the Frogs are ready and willing to take part in these games in the future.
“One of the great benefits of being the coach at TCU is being in a big-league city,” Schlossnagle said. “Every manager that’s been here, [Rangers president and general manager] Jon Daniels, they’ve all been super nice to me personally and letting me learn from them.
“That doesn’t go lost on me. I’m really thankful. It is really awesome to be in a big-league town.”
As stated, the game lasted 12 innings and featured some of the Rangers top prospects such as Josh Jung, Leody Taveras and Sam Huff.
Taveras made a difficult catch in center field look routine, easily tracking down a line drive hit by TCU’s Austin Henry in the sixth inning.
But TCU scored all three of its runs in the seventh inning. Hunter Wolfe drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk, and then Tommy Sacco followed with a two-run hit to take a 3-2 lead.
The Rangers scored a run in the 10th.
For TCU, though, it was more about the experience of playing in a big-league ballpark. The Frogs just started fall practices last week and have months before the 2020 season gets underway.
“What an awesome life experience to be in a big-league ballpark, especially the last game,” Schlossnagle said. “I’ve lived here for 17 years and this place has provided a lot of awesome memories. To play the last ballgame in here? We’re very, very grateful to the Rangers for hosting us.”
Globe Life Park has a couple concerts on the schedule before transforming into a football stadium for the XFL’s Dallas Renegades.
A country concert featuring Jason Aldean and Kane Brown is scheduled for Oct. 11, and then Billy Joel comes to town on Oct. 12.
After that, construction for the football field begins on Oct. 14.
The football field will run from the third-base line into right field. The project will include knocking out the third-base dugout and a dozen or so rows behind it, as well as a small section down the right-field line.
Approximately 4,000 bleachers will be installed in left field for the football games.
From a baseball standpoint, Tuesday served as the final final game. It didn’t have the theatrics of Sunday’s Rangers finale, although it did have a new home plate as Globe Life Park’s moved across the street to Globe Life Field on Sunday.
Still, Chuck Morgan served as the PA announcer, longtime Rangers public relations head John Blake roamed the press box and Daniels watched from the front row.
But, shortly after 10 p.m., Globe Life Park’s baseball life ended.