This was in September 2001, and I’m volunteering with the Texas Rangers Women’s Club. A wonderful organization that uses its fund to bring kids to Rangers games. The Rangers honored us by allowing us to line up right by the dugout as the Ranger players took the field.
I know what you are thinking because I thought the same thing too.
I had visions of the guys giving me high fives as they took the field. What actually happened was another story.
Now everyone in baseball knows Frank Catalanotto and Gabe Kapler. Nice guys, signs stuff for fans. You get the picture.
Now as a fan, we see it from a far, never up close. The GAME FACE. I was not prepared. I had only seen these guys off the field. As we lined up they changed, the intensity came over them as the announcer drew out “your Texas Rangers!!!!” And the image I could use is a wolf. Strong, Beautiful, Intense, Deadly.
Gone was the nice Frank Catalanotto instead he ran quickly to his position with an intense brooding that was frightening. Gabe Kapler, whose massive physique only intensified his wolf persona. As he ran by I wanted to throw a steak at him and run the opposite direction.
As they took the field the ground rumbled, and I had this fear that the wolves would attack but they just ran by and I had a sense of relief as we were escorted off the field.
To witness first hand the drive, the determination, the focus. It made me proud that these guys still had their fire. That being said I would never want to be on the field at game time ever again. When it’s game time I will be in the stands away from the wolves.