It took 50 seasons and a wild, wild Game 6 to get to Game 7 of the World Series.
Painful. This Game was hard to watch. An ugly game. Dadgum, Chris Carpenter is good. And shucks on walking in a run, and then, hitting a runner to push in another run.
Yet I had to watch it all because it was the Texas Rangers, which is better than not being in the Big Show. The phrase Texas Leaguers finally has a new, better meaning.
Here are a few memories that came with this journey.
April 15, 1972: The former Washington Senators (not to be confused with former Washington Senators that became the Minnesota Twins) play their first game as the Texas Rangers against the California Angels in California. The almost mythological Ted Williams is manager.
June 27, 1973: David Clyde, 18, who been pitching high school baseball earlier this year, debuts in the Rangers first ever sellout and wins his first start.
1974: Billy Martin turns the Rangers in a winning team after two seasons of 100 losses apiece. Martin’s next job, after getting fired by the Rangers in 1975, was his first of many stints with the New York Yankees.
April 1, 1994: The Ballpark in Arlington, now named the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, opened.
April 4, 1993: Less than two months before retirement, 46-year-old Nolan Ryan’s legendary fast ball hit 26-year-old Chicago White Sox Robin Ventura on the right elbow. Ventura rushes the mound. Ryan locks him under his arm as if wrestling a steer in a rodeo, and delivers five punches to the top of Ventura’s head before both benches flooded over them. To this day, people remember the Ryan beatdown of Ventura more readily than the Hall-of-Famer’s seven no-hitters. Golden Glover Ventura now manages the Chicago White Sox, but he’s remembered in Texas mainly for being on the losing end of that fight.
1996: The year of manager Johnny Oates, and the batting lineup that included Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Mickey Tettleton, Will Clark, Mark McLemore, Dean Palmer, and Rusty Greer. They make their first playoff appearance in team history.
October 19 , 2011: Texas and Waco native Arthur Rhodes makes his World Series debut. Rhodes, a La Vega High standout in the 1980s, and now one of the oldest players in the leagues, signed with the Rangers last year, and released by the Rangers on August 2. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals 9 days later.
Because of the timing, the Rangers are paying the majority of Rhodes’ salary, who helped beat them in Game 1.
He finally played his first World Series game in Game 1 when he was brought in to face Josh Hamilton. He retired Hamilton on a flyout for the final out of the eighth inning. Cardinals hung on to win 3-2.
Ironically, Rhodes was assured a championship ring before Game 1. He’s eligible to receive the ring regardless of who wins because he played for both teams.
October 28, 2011: The Rangers play their first World Series Game 7. They lose, dang it, but the top 10 baseball payrolls watched them and the Cardinals battle it out.
Thanks for an extraordinary seven-game run, Rangers. Wish you’d won.
 Texas Leaguer has meant awful and stinker.