The beer was flowing and the chips and queso were plentiful. Rangers faithful came out by the dozens Wednesday night to cheer for their team in game one of the World Series, which Texas lost 11-7 to San Francisco.
But the Texas-sized wait is over, the World Series is finally here. Neither team hails from the Bronx or Boston, but the excitement Rangers fans have for their team’s first World Series appearance was evident Wednesday night.
“Ever since the playoffs have started, we Rangers fans keep hoping for the best and enjoying every second of it,” said electrical engineering freshman Greg Pruss.
While San Francisco is 1,503 miles away from Austin, many Texas fans did not restrict themselves to watching the game in the comfort of their dorm or living room. Donning their ruby red and royal blue hats and T-shirts, fans came out by the dozens to watch the Rangers take the field at Cuatro’s on 24th and San Gabriel streets. The bar was buzzing all night, though the chatter dropped noticeably in the fifth inning when the Giants scored six runs to take the lead.
“It’s incredibly exciting to be here,” said UT alumna Jennifer Rasmussen. “I grew up watching the Rangers and it felt so amazing to see them win their division. Hopefully they win so I can relive that feeling.”
Currently in their 50th season, with the last 39 spent in Texas, the Rangers endured the longest wait to make it to their first World Series; Montreal/Washington and Seattle have endured 42 and 34 seasons, respectively, without making it to the championship thus far. But for the Rangers, making it to the playoffs this season did not come at an easy price. The team’s last division championship came back in 1999.
“Being from Texas, this has been an awesome experience,” said Jordan Walker, a patron enjoying game one at Cuatro’s. “This is the biggest thing that has happened for the state of Texas in a long time.”
Rangers fans have grown accustomed to wearing their emotions on their sleeve, especially this post-season. Winning in game six over their old nemesis, the defending champion New York Yankees, in the American League Championship Series, could not have been better. But the icing on the cake came when ex-Ranger Alex Rodriguez struck out in a fitting finish to punch the Rangers’ ticket to their first World Series.
“There is a lot of anticipation. I honestly did not expect them to make it this far,” Walker said. “It’s a really good surprise. I cannot wait for the series to go back to our home field where they can see us fans’ true excitement.”
Even if the entire East Coast was lost in the two League Championship series, both San Francisco and Texas are likable and both are underdogs. So while tickets to the World Series can run upward of $500, Austin-area fans are not ruling out the option of traveling up to Arlington for a game or two.
“I have been thinking about it,” Walker said. “Yeah, I could, if I get off work.”
But why spend the money when fans can watch the game on a 16-screen, giant TV?
“But honestly, why pay that sort of money when I can watch it here?” Walker said. “The fans at this bar are awesome.”
While the game one loss was not the exact outcome Rangers fans were looking for, there is always the next game. Ranger fans have kept the faith this long, waiting for their first win in a World Series game shouldn’t be too tough, right?