Texas Rangers

Devoted longtime Rangers fan throws back catch of a lifetime

William De La Paza, 34, and son Micah De La Paza, 10, of Arlington, showed their support of the Rangers with face paint.
William De La Paza, 34, and son Micah De La Paza, 10, of Arlington, showed their support of the Rangers with face paint. Star-Telegram

The most ardent fans act on instinct. Levi Weaver didn’t mess around.

Seconds after catching Troy Tulowitzki’s three-run homer in the sixth inning Sunday evening, Weaver, a longtime Texas Rangers fan from Dallas, hurled the ball back onto the field in disgust with his Rangers trailing 5-0.

“I just leaned over three guys to the left of me who were leaning back and caught it right in the pocket,” said Weaver, who was sitting.

“Before I could even think about the potential money to be made I got emotional and made a dumb decision and threw it back.”

Dumb or the ultimate sign of Rangers fandom? Consider this, it was the first major league ball Weaver, 35, has ever caught. Dugout journal applauds his team devotion. He showed off quite an arm too, putting some zip on his throw.

“I one-hopped it to Elvis,” he said.

Fellow Rangers fans high-fived his defiant gesture. But the reality soon set in for Weaver.

“One guy from Toronto came over and said ‘you didn’t think maybe about giving that to one of my kids?’ ” Weaver said. And then another Toronto fan approached him, saying he worked with Tulowitzki and could offer him $500 and tickets to Game 4 for the ball.

Like father, sorta like son

William De La Paza and son Micah, from Arlington, know how to show their team’s true colors. It’s written all over their faces. Mom painted a giant white Texas T across dad’s face and dyed his hair white. Micah was a little more conservative, donning a more elegant Rangers logo on his left cheek for Game 4.

Rangers fans(3)
William De La Paza, 34, and son Micah De La Paza, 10, of Arlington, watched batting practice before Monday’s Game 4 between the Rangers and Blue Jays at Globe Life Park. Max Faulkner Star-Telegram

“The Rangers are out there doing their best so I want to make sure that they understand that us fans support them and we believe in them,” said William De La Paza, 34. “And the only way I can do that is show my pride. I’m very proud of my Rangers for never quitting.”

Rangers fans(2)
William De La Paza, 34, of Arlington, showed his Rangers spirit by painting his face with a big Texas T. Max Faulkner Star-Telegram

Game 4 is the third Rangers game Micah, 10, has attended. “It’s awesome,” he beamed. But how come he didn’t go full face-painter mode like dad? “I don’t really like facepaint,” he confessed. “It gets annoying sometimes.”

Bowtie causes

MLB on Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal famously wears bow ties. Each bowtie usually has an inspiring back story. The red one he wore for Game 4 at Globe Life Park represented the Jason Motte Foundation, which provides comfort and care for those affected by cancer. Rosenthal started the BowTie Cause on Fox sports in 2013.

During Game 4 of the ALDS at Globe Life Park Monday afternoon, MLB on FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal was wearing a red bowtie to promote the Jason Motte Foundation, which is dedicated to “striking out” cancer. Jason Motte Foundation Jason Motte Foundation

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @StevensonFWST

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram