josh-hamilton

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to compile my Top 10 of games I’ve attended. I’ve been extremely lucky to attend many games in person. While I don’t have exact statistics, this is the approximate breakdown of the number of games I’ve attended (listed by the team I was there to see):

  • Texas Rangers: 40 (20 have come in the past 6 years)
  • Dallas Cowboys: 9
  • Dallas Stars: 6
  • Abilene Christian (football): 5
  • Dallas Mavericks: 4
  • University of Texas (football): 1
  • Texas A&M (football): 1
  • St. Lous Cardinals: 1
  • FC Dallas: 1

Out of the 70-ish games I have listed, I’ve been to some bad games and some fantastic games. Got me thinking of the greatest games I’ve ever seen. While this is certainly not an exact science, I created a list of the Top 10 of the Best Games I’ve ever attended. It’s interesting to note (to me at least) that 8 are from the Rangers, 1 from the Cowboys, and 1 from Texas A&M.

10. June 17, 1991: Rangers 10, Royals 9

I don’t remember much of this game (I was very young) but it is possible this was my first Rangers game. I remember sitting in the outfield of Arlington Stadium with my parents. It was late in the game (top of the 8th) and the Royals just hit a home run. My parents wanted to leave, but I told them (I remember this vividly): “No I don’t want to leave! We are going to win!” Keep in mind, it was 9 to 3 going into the Bottom of the 8th. I was persistent and finally they gave in.

A nice Ruben Sierra 3-run home run in the 8th, Sierra 2-run double in the 9th, and a Gary Pettis walk-off single in the 10th. An amazing game and I officially fell in love with the Rangers.

9. June 8, 1995: Rangers 10, Royals 9

I don’t want to say it was the exact situation as game #10, but it’s close. This was in the new Ballpark in Arlington and this time the Rangers were down 8 to 1 going to the bottom of the 8th. I still remember vividly the Rusty Greer walk-off home run in the 10th.

8. April 5, 2010: Rangers 5, Blue Jays 4 (Opening Day)

Salty-s-Walk-off

Start of a fantastic season in which the Rangers would go on to their first World Series appearance. It was easily the Rangers loudest and largest crowd I’d experienced at a Rangers game to this point and would feature a Saltalamacchia walk-off double. What a way to start the year a fantastic couple of years of baseball.

7. November 11, 2000: Texas A&M 31, Oklahoma 35

I went on this trip with a few of my good buddies, El Torro and Wheels. (It should be noted Wheels was one of the best teachers I ever had.) El Torro was actually being recruited by A&M and Wheels is/was a die-hard Sooner fan. I got to tag along. It was incredible.

Since we were on a recruiting trip, we got to sit on the 50 yard line and watched the sea of students on the other side. This was also the game that ESPN Game Day was on-campus (for the first time) and the Sooners were ranked #1. The stadium was rockin’. (A&M actually tried to set a world record for loudest outdoor stadium but came up short a few decibels.)

Highlight of the game: Ja’Mar Tooms “carried” 3 people in the end zone. One of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen in person.

6. September, 23, 2013: Rangers 12, Astros 0

At the last minute, I was extremely blessed to have been given tickets to go to this game. While the game turned out to be a blow out, I was able to see one of the Game’s rarer feats: a cycle. It has been called one of the most difficult feats for a hitter to achieve and is about as rare as a no-hitter (though arguably without the fanfare; 304 cycles to 282 NH).

Still, knowing Rios needed a triple and got it, was incredible.

5. September 29, 2013: Rangers, 6, Angels 2

Arguably the most important Rangers’ regular season game in the team’s history (until the following night’s Game 163). Coming a day after the infamous “Rain Game“, this game featured the loudest Rangers’ crowd I heard that season. Loud chants of “baseball town” and thunderous boos for Josh Hamilton when he tipped his cap to the crowd. Loved every second of it.

4. July 30, 2013: Rangers 14, Angels 11

CJ Wilson (who I strongly dislike) was on the mound for his shortest outing of the year, which was great, but Josh had 4 RBIs. Rangers were down 11-7 in the 8th when Soto rocked a 2-out, 3-run home run to pull within a run. Rangers had a great 9th to tie and Leonys hit a huge walk-off.

I remember thinking that the Angels were out of pitchers (Daniel Strange, who gave up the walk-off was their 8th pitcher), and I just knew we were going to win. Hard to explain, but I just had one of those feelings.

3. October 16, 2010: Rangers 7, Yankees 2 (Playoff Game)

Not much to say: My first postseason game and the first postseason home win ever for the Texas Rangers.

2. September 7, 1992: Cowboys 23, Redskins 10

So many memories connected with this game – my first (I think) Cowboys game, my first Monday Night game, we went on to win the Super Bowl, and it was the loudest stadium I’ve ever been to. Jimmy Johnson actually still references this game as the loudest crowd he’s ever heard. (Note: I can’t seem to find his quote that actually points to him saying this, but multiple players on both teams point out the noise of the crowd.)

The blocked punt happened right in front of me. Absolutely amazing.

1. August 13, 2010: Rangers 10, Red Sox 9

Nelson Cruz

This game has been called one of the best days in Rangers’ history. I remember it as the greatest game I’ve ever seen. There are several reasons this game sticks out in my mind. I got to see the game with my dad for free thanks to a promotion by Kelly Moore.

Saying I wanted to win this game would be an understatement. Since the Red Sox were in town, they had a ton of fans there. During the 4th, the Sox scored 7 runs. I thought the game was over and, if even for a moment, thought about leaving.

Enter Josh Hamilton. Here. Here. and Here.

This is the night he became my favorite player and I’m convinced it’s the night he won the MVP. Went 4 for 5 and had two huge catches. Three of my favorite plays from the game:

  1. Josh’s Homerun
  2. Vlad diving at first, Josh diving at home
  3. Cruz’s walk-off homerun

I hope you’ve enjoyed my favorite games I’ve ever seen live. I’ve been so fortunate to go to so many games and share them with great friends and family. Looking forward to new games to replace those on this list.