The Texas Rangers are an American professional baseball team located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex and based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers franchise is currently a member of the West division of the American League (AL) in Major League Baseball (MLB). Since 1994, the Rangers have played in Globe Life Park in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. The team's name is borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name.
The franchise was established in 1961 as the Washington Senators, an expansion team awarded to Washington, D.C., after the city's first American League ballclub, the original Washington Senators, moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. After the 1971 season, the new Senators moved to Arlington, Texas, and debuted as the Rangers the following spring.
The Texas Rangers Baseball Club has made seven appearances in the MLB postseason, six following division championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011, and 2015 and as a Wild Card team in 2012. In 2010, the Rangers advanced past the Division Series for the first time, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays. Texas then brought home their first American League pennant after beating the New York Yankees in six games. In the 2010 World Series, the franchise's first, the Rangers fell to the San Francisco Giants in five games. They repeated as American League champions the following year, then lost the 2011 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
Globe Life Park in Arlington is a stadium in Arlington, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth. It is home to the American League's Texas Rangers, and the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame. It was constructed as a replacement for nearby Arlington Stadium. It was known as The Ballpark in Arlington until May 7, 2004, when Ameriquest bought the naming rights to it and renamed it Ameriquest Field in Arlington. On March 19, 2007, the Rangers severed their relationship with Ameriquest and announced that it would be renamed Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. On February 5, 2014, Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company bought the naming rights to it. Globe Life is owned by Torchmark Corporation, which is based in McKinney, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas.
Funding was approved for a new home for the Rangers in 1991 by the City of Arlington. Construction began on April 2, 1992 a short distance away from Arlington Stadium, the stadium it would replace, and the new Ballpark in Arlington opened on April 1, 1994 in an exhibition contest between the Rangers and the New York Mets. The first official game was on April 11 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The largest crowd to watch a Rangers baseball game was on October 30, 2010, when 52,419 fans watched Game 3 of the 2010 World Series against the San Francisco Giants.
The stadium was designed by David M. Schwarz Architectural Services of Washington, D.C. The Rangers chose to build a retro-style ballpark, incorporating many features of baseball's Jewel Box parks. A roofed home run porch in right field is reminiscent of Tiger Stadium, while the white steel frieze that surrounds the upper deck was copied from the pre-1973 Yankee Stadium. The out-of-town scoreboard (removed in 2009 and replaced with a state-of-the-art videoboard) was built into the left-field wall—a nod to Fenway Park, while the numerous nooks and crannies in the outfield fence are a reminder of Ebbets Field. The arched windows are a reminder of Comiskey Park. However, it has a few distinct features of its own. Several traditional Texas-style stone carvings are visible throughout it. A four-story office building in center field encloses it, with a white steel multilevel facade similar to the facade on the roof.
As the stadium was built on one of the former Arlington Stadium parking lots, the irregular dimensions of the outfield were planned independently, rather than being forced by neighboring structures. The home plate, foul poles, and bleachers were originally at Arlington Stadium. The Home Plate was inserted into place by Richard Greene (then Mayor of Arlington), Elzie Odom (Head of Arlington Home Run Committee and later Mayor of Arlington), and George W. Bush (former part Rangers owner, later Texas Governor and President of the United States).
The stadium's 810-foot (250 m)-long facades are made of brick and Texas Sunset Red granite. Bas-relief friezes depict significant scenes from the history of both Texas and baseball. The calculus of seating arrangements represented a new economic model for the sport: a critical mass of high-dollar seats close to the infield boost ticket revenue. The stadium has three basic seating tiers: lower, club and upper deck. Two levels of luxury suites occupy spaces behind sliding glass doors above and below the club tier.
The stadium has a large number of obstructed-view seats. In some cases, the view is cut off by an overhang or underhang, and others are directly in front of the foul or support poles. Also, the design of the upper deck leaves it one of the highest in baseball. The view from the grandstand reserved sections in left is particularly obstructed.
Prior to the 2012 season, the visitor bullpen was reconfigured to be parallel to the field after the previous visitor bullpen configuration had excessive amount of heat during hot weather games. To allow construction, a few rows of bleacher sections were removed.