"That’s the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on the ball." Team owner Bill Veeck
What was Branch Rickey thinking when he dragged his lowly St. Louis Browns down to Florida in 1914 for spring training? A visionary baseball man far ahead of his time, Branch Rickey was obviously going to make the St. Louis Browns a contender. I can spend hours telling of the greatness of Branch Rickey. He was one of the most influential men ever to grace our game baseball. Please take the time to find out more about this great baseball pioneer. Needless to say he was the father of baseball spring training among other great firsts in baseball. Let us begin with where we are today, Spring Training.
As far as I am concerned, spring is here today. Forget about the calendar. Ignore the rodent in Punxsutawney. Don’t even pay attention to the snow still covering most of the upper part of the United States. Spring is here folks and I can prove it. Pitchers and catchers are pitching and catching. That’s all the proof I need.
For the rabid baseball fan spring brings one thing. The arrangement of life’s priorities.
"There are three things in my life which I really love. God, my family, and baseball. The only problem, once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit." – Infielder Al Gallagher
Never have truer words been spoken. Lucky for me, my wife and kids share in this life of a baseball fan. For me family and baseball are one. I hope God is a baseball fan and will understand.
The 2008 season has a lot to offer the Rangers fan. There is great possibility for a successful and contending team here.
"With the fine job of under-the-radar talent acquisition performed by Jon Daniels over the past two seasons, the Texas Rangers find themselves in a rare position. Not only do they have several fine, young Major League players worthy of building their future around in second baseman Ian Kinsler, Hamilton, Wilson and Saltalamacchia, but they also possess one of the game’s deepest and most talented farm systems.
And believe it or not, enough potential exists on this 2008 squad for the Rangers to contend for the AL West title. Injury avoidance and a little help from some overachievers could propel this team beyond the 90-win threshold; conversely, an ACL tear here or some lingering elbow tendinitis there, or a return to the underachieving ways that derailed the Rangers 2007 campaign before it really had an opportunity to get started, might send Texas tumbling back into last place for a second consecutive season.
But no matter the outcome, it promises to be an exciting ride."
Well spoken Joey. Take it from me, this is one wild ride I am not going to miss.