Texas Rangers To Commemorate Two Major Anniversaries on Friday, April 15, 2022, in Arlington
By Texas Rangers Communications
Posted on April 14, 2022, April 14, 2022

Mayor Tom Vandergriff and Rangers Manager Ted Williams in 1972. Courtesy, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection, Special Collections, UTA Libraries.

The Texas Rangers will celebrate two very significant anniversaries this Friday, April 15 when the club hosts the Los Angeles Angels at 7:05 p.m. at Globe Life Field.

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers versus the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field.

On April 15, 1972, the Texas Rangers played their first regular season game after the franchise’s move from Washington, D.C., losing a 1-0 decision to the California Angels in Anaheim.

The Rangers will honor these two anniversaries with several pre-game ceremonies and events.

Jackie Robinson Day will be celebrated throughout Major League Baseball on Friday as players, managers and coaches will once again wear Robinson’s iconic number, with all teams for the first time using Dodger blue “42” jersey numbers (regardless of their primary team colors). Additionally, 42 patches with team-specific uniform colors will appear on Nike uniform sleeves and on New Era caps.

Opal Lee, who is often called the “Grandmother of Juneteenth” for her efforts in making Juneteenth a National Holiday, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Rangers-Angels game. The 95-year-old Ms. Lee’s efforts resulted in Senate Bill S. 475 being passed and signed by President Joe Biden on June 17, 2021 which made Juneteenth a National Holiday. Ms. Lee is a retired teacher and counselor from Marshall, Texas. She will be accompanied to the mound by former Rangers stars Ferguson Jenkins and Al Oliver.

The Rangers will also be hosting African-American community leaders at the April 15 game and providing them with Opal Lee’s Juneteenth Book. The club will also host youth from the Rangers Foundation’s just keep livin programs and participants from the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy Breaking Barriers Essay Contest.

Proceeds from the team’s Texas 2 Split Raffle on April 15 will be donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation and The Players Alliance.

The first 15,000 fans in the ballpark on Friday will receive a Charley Pride Bobblehead, presented by Medical City Healthcare. The bobblehead captures the late country music legend and long-time friend of the Texas Rangers performing one of his famous clubhouse concerts.

Charley Pride’s son, Dion will sing the National Anthem before Friday’s game.

The Rangers will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of Texas’ first game as well as the 1970’s on April 15-16, when a number of former players will attend the series with the Angels. The California Angels were the Rangers’ first overall opponent and the first visiting team to play in Arlington in 1972.

Among the players scheduled to participate in the April 15-16 weekend are Rangers Hall of Famers Tom Grieve, Toby Harrah, Ferguson Jenkins, and Jim Sundberg, Al Oliver, Jeff Burroughs, and Dick Bosman, who started that first game in Anaheim on April 15, 1972. Bosman will also throw out a ceremonial first pitch on Friday night.

The New Era Alumni Autograph Alley on the Globe Life Field main concourse will feature Burroughs, Harrah, and Oliver on Friday, April 15 from 5:15-6:15 and Bosman, Jenkins, and Sundberg on Saturday, April 16 from 4:15-5:15.

Other former Rangers from the 1970’s planning to be in attendance on Friday night are Mike Bacsik Sr., Rich Billings, Bill Fahey, Ted Ford, Rich Hand, Rick Henninger, Jim Kern, Don Stanhouse, Ken Suarez, Bump Wills, and Bill Zeigler.

Other 50th anniversary initiatives for this weekend:

--50th Anniversary Web Page: The Rangers launched a dedicated web page this week to include original content and information on the team’s 50th anniversary activities. Fans can find this content at texasrangers.com/50.

--Commemorative Poster Series: The Rangers have collaborated with local artists to create a series of five limited edition 50th anniversary commemorative posters. Only 100 of each poster will be produced and sold at the Rangers Authentics kiosk at Globe Life Field with the proceeds benefitting the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. The first poster has been produced by Warstic Sports Founder Ben Jenkins and will be available for sale at the Rangers-Angels game on Saturday, April 16. Additional posters will be released throughout the 2022 season.

Tickets for all 2022 Texas Rangers home games can also be purchased at texasrangers.com, by phone at 972RANGERS, and at the Southeast Box Office at Globe Life Field, which is located off Stadium Drive on the east side of the park.

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