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Texas Rangers announce pre-game events for Opening Day03/29/2011 2:50 PM ET
The Texas Rangers begin their 40th year in Arlington and defense of their 2010 American League Championship on Friday against the Boston Red Sox at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in a 3:05 p.m. game. The game is a complete sellout.
Two players who played prominent roles in the club's first 20 years in Texas will take part in the ceremonial first pitch ceremony for Friday's home opener, outfielder Jeff Burroughs and right-handed pitcher Charlie Hough.
Burroughs was the first power hitter in Rangers history, combining for 102 homers and 383 RBI over a four-year span from 1973-76. He homered 30 times in 1973 and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award the following year after producing 25 homers, 118 RBI, and a .301 batting average. Burroughs made his major league debut with the Washington Senators in 1970 and had 240 homers and 882 RBI in a 16-year major league career that also included stints with Atlanta, Seattle, Oakland, and Toronto from 1970-85. Burroughs will throw to the reigning A.L. MVP Josh Hamilton.
Hough was the anchor of the Rangers pitching staff throughout the 1980's, posting at least 14 victories in seven consecutive seasons from 1982-88. He is the club's all-time leader with 139 wins, 2,308.0 innings, 98 complete games, and 1,452 strikeouts. The knuckleballer worked at least 250.0 innings five times and won a career high 18 games in 1987. A six-time selection as Rangers pitcher of the year, he was in the first class of inductees into the Rangers Hal of Fame in 2003. Hough won 213 games over 25 seasons with the Dodgers, Rangers, White Sox, and Marlins from 1970-94. Hough will throw to Darren Oliver.
"As we recognize the Rangers' 40th season in Texas, we felt that the first pitch ceremony should reflect the history of the club," commented Rangers' President Nolan Ryan. "Jeff Burroughs was the first great offensive star for the Rangers in the 1970's, and Charlie Hough was the club's ace throughout the 1980's. It is a very appropriate that they take part in the opening day activities."
The Opening Day ceremonies will also include the official raising of the 2010 American League Championship Flag, which will take place just prior to the introductions of the 2011 team.
Prior to the National Anthem, a moment of silence will be observed for the late Tom Vandergriff, the individual most responsible for bringing Major League Baseball to North Texas. The Vandergriff family will then unveil artwork on the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington outfield wall that will pay a season-long tribute to Mr. Vandergriff.
A moment of silence will also be observed for the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The Texas Rangers Law Enforcement Honor Guard from Company B in Garland will present the Colors and members of the United States Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy will unfurl an oversized American flag in the outfield. Nationally renowned Christian recording group MercyMe will perform the Star Spangled Banner. A B-52 Bomber from the 20th Bomb Squad of Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana is scheduled to fly over Rangers Ballpark in Arlington following the National Anthem.
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington gates will open at 12 noon on Friday. All fans, 21 years of age and older will receive a Rangers Budweiser Opening Day Magnetic Schedule as they enter the park. The Rangers are 19-20 in regular season openers since 1972, winning the last two seasons. It will be the third time the club has opened the season with Boston, the previous two also at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, a 5-3 win in 1996 and a 7-3 loss in 2006.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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