The Texas Rangers celebrated their first World Series title with an official parade in Arlington on Friday.
Over 500,000 fans decked out in Rangers garb and carrying signs to show their support for the team turned out as each member and coach rode along Cowboys Way, AT&T Way, Stadium Drive, and the rest of the area surrounding Globe Life Field in pickup trucks. The din grew louder with every vehicle and person that passed, provoking plenty of “Let’s Go Rangers” and “M-V-P” chants for ALCS MVP Adolis Garcia and World Series MVP Corey Seager.
The crowd near the intersection of Stadium Drive and Chapman Cutoff even spotted a stray Astros fan, which caused brief tension followed by an “Astros suck” chant before the unlucky fan was doused in beer.
After the parade, the crowd gathered in front of Globe Life Field for an official ceremony led by Chuck Morgan, the Rangers’ executive vice president of ballpark entertainment, promotions, and production, who introduced the team as it predictably but enthusiastically entered the stage to Creed’s “Higher,” the team’s adopted postseason anthem, much to the crowd’s delight as it sang in unison.
“Ranger fans, our lives have not been complete,” Morgan began. “We’ve been waiting a long time for this. Some have been for over 50 baseball seasons waiting for the celebration of a lifetime. For me, I have been waiting 40 years to make this announcement. Ladies and gentlemen, Please welcome the world champion Texas Rangers.”
Morgan first asked Arlington Mayor Jim Ross to address the crowd.
“Hello Ranger fans, and welcome to the American Dream City — Arlington, Texas,” Ross said. “Does anybody believe the Rangers made the dream come true?! … They have given us a very special victory, and that is the world championship. Through it all, this team proved what Arlington knows to be true, and that’s [that] we’re better together.”
Team owner Ray Davis also spoke to the crowd from the stage, but chants from the fans mostly drowned out his remarks. Executive vice president and general manager Chris Young followed at the podium.
“Rangers fans, what a day!” Young exclaimed. “This is a dream come true to look out and see so many people out here celebrating the team I grew up rooting for, but more importantly, an unbelievable team of special, special people. As I think about this team, I think about all the adversity they’ve faced this year. The ups and the downs, the hard times, the times when things felt impossible, and I hope for each of you that when you’re going through hard times, this team can inspire you to keep fighting and keep believing because that’s what this team did, and they brought home a world championship because of it.”
The attention then turned to those who made the decisions and plays on the field and in the dugout, beginning with manager Bruce Bochy, who won his fourth World Series title and drew inspired chants from the crowd.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be here, but here I am,” Bochy told the crowd as he recounted Young’s attempts to hire him last offseason. “[It was] C-Y’s leadership, his vision, [and] his commitment to getting these world-class talented players to make this dream become a reality, so I can’t thank him enough.”
Bochy also thanked the fans for their role in the historic season.
“Don’t ever think you didn’t play a part in this,” he said. “You do, trust me. These guys feed off of you. We heard you in Tampa, we heard you in Baltimore, we heard you in Houston, and we could feel you in Arizona. We play for you guys. You’re the reason we do this.”
“We talked about in spring training, ‘We’re going to do something special,'” Bochy added. “Well, fellas, we did something special here together.”
Bochy’s remarks were followed by some from various players like Garcia, Seager, second baseman Marcus Semien, and pitching ace Nathan Eovaldi.
“This one feels very special, starting from the very beginning with the guys we have. This is up there with [my] best moments,” said Eovaldi, a native Texan, of his second World Series win.
Seager’s day continued as he met with fans during a post-ceremony event at nearby Raising Cane’s, spending about an hour helping out at the restaurant while signing autographs for those who showed up.
“I enjoyed working the Drive-Thru the most and hanging out with the Crew,” Seager told the media present. “Being able to interact with fans in a different kind of way by serving them Chicken Fingers was really fun.”