Column: The sights and sounds at Globe Life Field
One of the biggest perks of working in sports journalism is the opportunity to cover professional events. I have attended various football, basketball and baseball games over the years, but the biggest was Game 7 of the 2017 World Series.
It was surreal to take in that experience and it’ll always go down as one of the best moments of my life. With that in mind, it was odd sitting in the press box Sunday at Globe Life Field without any fans and watch as the Texas Rangers capped the regular season with an 8-4 win over the Houston Astros.
The simulated crowd noise doesn’t even come close to the sound of real fans. Not to mention the lack of smells that you usually encounter when you walk into a ballpark. There were no aromas of popcorn, hot dogs or anything else that you expect on game day.
I will say it was nice to take in a few sights at the brand-new Globe Life Field. I attended a Giants at Rangers game a few years ago at Globe Life Park and this new state-of-the-art facility is something to appreciate once fans are allowed to step foot inside.
I arrived at the ballpark around noon and that gave me time to take a lap around the main concourse. On my quick trip, I saw a number of Rangers mementos and one that stuck out was a jersey display for all-time great Nolan Ryan. He had quite a career and it was cool to see the Rangers legend commemorated with a special spot in the ballpark.
There was also time to look at announcer Chuck Morgan’s PA booth, which was very nice. But that didn’t match up to the two glass cases filled with keepsakes from his announcing career.
One of the those mementos was a handwritten letter and signed baseball from former President George W. Bush. The pair are also shown in a photo with Bush’s arm around Morgan in the PA booth.
I did some research and was surprised to find out Morgan just surpassed 3,000 consecutive games announcing for the Rangers. That is quite a feat and the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram article stated that he doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon, even though he's at the ripe age of 65.
With that fact aside, Sunday’s regular-season finale held special meaning for a longtime Ranger. Shin-Soo Choo was activated from the injured list for what many think will be his final game in Texas. The designated hitter led off the game with a bunt single, but suffered a mild left ankle sprain as he made it to first base.
He probably would've stayed in the game longer if not for the injury, so it was an interesting way to see him possibly end his Texas career. He was replaced with a pinch runner and different Rangers teammates gave him a hug as he walked into the dugout.
That was just one of the many highlights of the game as Jose Altuve absolutely crushed a ball to left field during the first inning. I remember seeing him in person at the 2017 World Series and he’s not a very tall guy, so it’s amazing to see him power the ball that way — and he did it without the alleged help of a trash can this time.
Which brings me to the lack of actual noise coming from the field. I expected to hear more from my seat in the press box, but that wasn’t the case. All I could hear was the crack of the bat or a fastball hitting the back of a glove.
There also wasn’t much verbal communication going on during the game, but that really shows you how much baseball is all about managers and coaches using signs to communicate.
And it was different to actually hear the umpire call strikes every once in a while, especially considering crowd noise usually drowns that out.
Another thing that stood out like a sore thumb were the fans as cardboard cutouts. I can’t imagine all of the work it took to not only make them, but also individually stick one in each seat. The press box allows you to see all of them them compared to just catching glimpses on TV.
It was interesting to see one get dinged by Rougned Odor’s three-run homer in the fourth inning. However, the cardboard lady popped right back up like nothing happened.
It makes you wonder if they have to replace one if it gets damaged by multiple home run balls. But the bigger question is if fans will be allowed inside when Globe Life Field hosts the National League Division and Championship series along with the World Series.
Only time will tell, but I look forward to covering another Rangers game next season and hopefully I’ll see fans in the stands and experience the normal sights and sounds of a baseball game.