It all started with an infield single by Coot Veal on April 10, 1961. Fifty seasons later Alex Rodriguez is called out on strikes and the Texas Rangers are headed to their first World Series.
You won't see any curly W's inside the Rangers Ballpark; other than a couple of pages in their media guide - the 1961-71 Washington Senators aren't given much recognition by the Rangers. Those of us who embraced that team during those years have - hopefully - recovered from losing the franchise, particularly with the launch of the Nationals in 2005. It's not too hard to cheer their success in the ALCS against the heavily favored Yankees.
Face it: the Rangers outplayed New York in pretty much every aspect of the game during this series. They hit better, they pitched better, and they ran better. At times tonight, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi appeared on the verge of tears. He was clearly not expecting the end result.
With the Yankees vanquished, I'll now turn my attention toward rooting for the Giants. Former Nats' executive Tony Siegle is San Francisco's senior advisor for Baseball Operations. I'm sure I'm not alone in extending best wishes toward he and those Giants' fans by the bay who've never won a World Series. A Rangers-Giants matchup guarantees a first-time winner, at least as far as individual cities are concerned.
What, you don't remember Coot Veal? He batted leadoff for the expansion Senators against the White Sox in the inaugural opener. He also scored their first run that first inning on an 2-RBI triple by the late Gene Woodling.
Might be nice for the Rangers to bring Coot back for one of their World Series' games.