ARLINGTON -- Last week on Postcards from Elysian Fields, we asked readers to share why they are such big Rangers fans and what was their most memorable moment at Rangers Ballpark.The idea was to find a big Rangers fan to represent the team on MLB Network later this month. We received many great entries and ended up choosing three who will be revealed next week. But with so many great responses, it is appropriate to share some brief excerpts from those who did not get chosen. These are just glimpses of the passion that has gripped those who have embraced the Major League team in Arlington. Thank you to all who responded. Sharon Perkins: "I'm a Rangers fan because they have taught me valuable lessons about life, not just baseball. If a guy can make it off the Dr Pepper loading dock to become the starting catcher, my dream job might not seem so impossible. If a 44-year-old can pitch a no-hitter, then I can't use my age as an excuse. And if Bengie Molina can hit for the cycle, anything can happen!" Trey Shipman: "They're the little guy that's always trying to run with the big boys, and until last season, had always come up a little bit ... well, short. There's always something to be said for the underdog, the David vs. Goliath." Michael McKissick: "When I was a kid, my favorite Ranger was Rusty Greer. I had has cards, T-shirts, everything. I decided to write a letter to Rusty to tell him how much I liked watching him play. I'm not quite sure what I expected in response, but to my eternal gratitude, Rusty wrote back to me and enclosed a signed baseball card. That card is one of my most prized possessions." Vince Ellwood: "Watching my son (who was 8 at the time) pitch me a strike from the official pitcher's mound at the Ballpark in Arlington, even before it was finished construction!" Keith Harris: "My personal moment at the ballpark was the last game I went with my Grandmother. I don't want to be sappy, but this is the same lady who sat through the three-hour rain delay with me during the NYY playoff game ... she is one special lady." Elias Holland: "I attended my first game in 2000 ... Chad Curtis was in the starting lineup, and I remember he was batting .500 at the time. I thought Chad Curtis was the best player on the field." Grant Schiller: "I have traveled to see every Rangers Minor League team except for Spokane. I have followed the Rangers on multiple road trips and have been to 26 of the 30 Major League ballparks. Also, I got the autograph of every player on the Rangers' Spring Training rosters and every player who played for the Rangers in the regular season from 2006-2010." Jimmy Glasgow: "Ryan -- 1, Ventura -- 0." Kyle Stacy: "I met Nolan Ryan when I was about 8 years old and swore I'd never wash that hand ever again. My mom made me wash my hands before dinner that night and I couldn't have been any more crushed." Craig Stambaugh: "The greatest moment was getting out of my car in my usual parking spot, crossing the street to the first-base gate, seeing a World Series banner hanging above the gate, and tears welling up in my eyes as my ticket was scanned." Greg Biggs: "I was actually at the Ballpark on the day it opened to the public. My wife and I brought my son (3) to that first day, and I will never forget watching Jose Canseco and Juan Gonzalez hitting home runs in batting practice!" Christopher Pettit: "I even used to do the Fantasy Play by Play (still miss it) and would picture myself doing play by play with Eric and Mark." Ranger Donnell: "My parents named me Ranger because they loved the Rangers and just knew that I would, too. I play baseball myself, and one day I am going to catch for the Rangers. Can you imagine hearing 'Now up to catch for the Rangers is Ranger Donnell'? This is my dream."
Corey Patterson: "I took my son Kyle to his first Rangers game on July 13, 2001. The Rockies were in town and we sat in section 15, row 3, just behind third base. Kyle was about to turn three years old and his face lit up when he saw A-Rod. A guy caught a foul ball with a green net and gave it to my son."Jeffrey Fink: "A tie between the night I caught my first foul ball, and when Elvis Andrus tossed a ball into the stands that I was lucky enough to catch. They both sit in a case with the ticket, and I can still remember exactly what was happening up to those moments." Katy Nieman: "I was there at Game 6 of the ALCS. I have never screamed so loud, clapped so much, or had so much fun. Being in the seats watching Derek Holland spray us with ginger ale ... perfect." John Bowman: "Took my son to the season-ticket-holder picnic and he got to meet Mitch Moreland and say hi to Josh Hamilton. Later that night, Josh hit a walk-off homer to end the game." Jorge Diaz: "Seeing all the great work that the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation does in the community and for children make me very proud to be part of the Rangers family." Drew Wyrick: "I was there for Kenny Rogers' perfect game. I almost didn't get to go to that game because my mother was late getting home from work. Thanks to my mom taking me to all the games when I was little." Cody Richards: "I am a huge Rangers fan because my father is a Rangers fan. I have played ball since the time I could walk, and wanted nothing more than to follow in his shoe steps, and he is a huge fan and, like all sons, I just wanted to be like him." Kacie Miller: "Being at the Ballpark for the World Series Game 3, to see the Rangers beat the Giants, was the best game I've ever been at. It truly felt like everyone in that stadium was on the same team, cheering like no one has ever cheered before. There were no signs of the wave or fans leaving the park in the 7th or 8th inning." Cody Conger: "When Jon Daniels traded for Cliff Lee. It was a paradigm shift in the mentality of the organization and sent a message to the AL East saying, "We're coming for you." Rodney Bergeron: "I have a collection of over 20,000 baseball cards, and I once traded a 1974 Reggie Jackson (A's) card for 1975 Bill Hands (Rangers), Jackie Brown (Rangers), and Joe Lovitto (Rangers)." Chandler Harris: "I love the Rangers because we seemingly never get national attention but always find a way to steal the spotlight." Jeff Cambra: "I had the opportunity to meet Josh Hamilton, Marlon Byrd, and Nate Gold at the Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City for a final Spring Training tune-up against the Chicago White Sox. I was able to express to Josh how his book "Beyond Belief" has inspired me and my family." Dave England: "I get a rush of being a little boy each time I go to the ballpark." Brandon Bird: "Standing on the infield at 10 years old as Nolan Ryan threw out the first pitch of the 1995 All-Star Game. I'll never forget how great that was!" Blake Bradley: "Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS. That whole day was amazing ... next to my wedding (don't have kids yet), it was the greatest day of my life, and I did shed sports tears that day on multiple occasions." Lance Aljian: "The Rangers have become a bond between me and my boys that I would not trade for anything." Melissa Viitas: "Is it bad if I say it's a tie between last October and our wedding reception held at the Diamond Club on 3/21/09?" Brad McConkey: "I was picked and sang 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' several years ago. It was amazing to help the crowd get revved up during the 7th inning." Matt Daigle: "Prom date, senior year, taking me to the game the Friday before the dance." Jason Bird: "My most memorable moment at the Ballpark was my first, I attended a game after a day at Six Flags and watched the Rangers and A's get into a slugfest. While there I just remember walking around the entire park in awe of it's size and architecture. I don't think you can ever take away the feeling of your first ballgame." Joe Siegler: "I'd say when Johnny Oates returned for his induction into the Rangers Hall of Fame. Oates means a lot to me personally, given I grew up in Philly and remember him as a catcher there when I was a kid." Rick Weintraub: "The greatest moment was meeting Nolan Ryan. I followed him since his Mets days and was thrilled when he came to Arlington. Not only is he one of the greatest pitchers of all time, he is a true gentleman. As a baseball records lover, it was a thrill to meet the man that could be mentioned in the same breath as Cy Young, Walter Johnson and Sandy Koufax." Billy McGill: "A curveball freezes A-Rod, called strike three. Poetic justice in so may ways. The crowd lets loose a defeaning yell -- 39 years of Ranger frustration swept away with that final pitch. An indescribable moment I will never forget. The Rangers are going to the World Series!! I still well up thinking about it."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.