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Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Texas Rangers: 2023 World Series Champions

Texas+Rangers%3A+2023+World+Series+Champions

After 62 years of becoming established as a franchise of Major League Baseball, the Texas Rangers have won the 2023 World Series, and many fans can now leave the heartbreaking losses of the 2010 and 2011 World Series in the past. With their win last Wednesday, the Rangers became the 2nd DFW-area professional sports team to win a championship in the 21st-century, ending a drought that spanned for over a decade.

Since their loss in the 2011 World Series, the Rangers have had several losing seasons and seemed to be situated near the bottom of the MLB standings almost every year. In fact, the Rangers, prior to the 2023 season, suffered through six consecutive losing seasons, with their last playoff appearance dating back to the 2016 season. Jay Ballauer, Pre-calculus teacher, believes that it was the team’s lack of transactions to create a competitive roster that really led to their struggles in the past seasons.

“The struggle really starts with the lack of willingness and ownership to put money into the team. Then, they started stripping it back a little bit and tried to build from within and draft some players to see if those players would develop, and they failed at that. Now once they got tired of losing and struggling, they began to start spending money again and making a number of good timely trades for good players, which really allowed the team to come together,” said Ballauer.

It’s been an overall turn-around season for the Rangers as they snapped their streak of six consecutive losing seasons, finishing the season with a 90-72 record and tied for 1st in the AL West division. When the regular season ended, the Rangers entered the playoffs as the fifth seed in the American League with one of the best home records in the entire league at 50-31. Rick Wickel, Algebra teacher, sees that the team’s success this year and in the future could be attributed to the younger players that played their best when it mattered the most.

“I don’t really look at this season as a bouncing back. I see we have a lot of strong years ahead of us and a lot of excitement. There’s so many young guys- Evan Carter came through for us, we got Nathaniel Lowe, Heim, Young- so we’ve got a lot of growing to do, so I really am hoping that we got a little dynasty going on. Also, having Bochy as our head coach and manager really made the biggest difference and then other things started falling into place,” said Wickel. “We’ve had some pieces, but it’s just that the right things came along at the right time because it didn’t look like we had the pitching then we lost deGrom, for example, but the young guys just kept coming through, and they just gelled at the right time.”

Unlike their home record, the Rangers struggled on the road with a record of 39-42 going into the playoffs, but most of their success throughout the playoffs would be attributed to their record on the road. Although being underdogs in the Wild Card round against the Tampa Bay Rays, against the top ranked Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS, and against the Houston Astros in the ALCS, the Rangers swept both the Rays and Orioles, and remained undefeated on the road after winning the ALCS and entering the World Series. US History teacher Leigh Ann Smith, who attended the road games during the World Series, describes her unforgettable experience to witness the team’s success on the road. 

“Being there with my friend to witness them win was such a surreal experience because you’re there, and you’re witnessing them winning, then you watch the final out. After the win, we even got to go on the field, and it really took me a couple of days to soak in what had happened. When you’re there in person, you can even see how the team seems to be more relaxed, whereas they may get too worked up and try too hard at home, where the fanbase is bigger,” said Smith.

The World Series would be no different for the Rangers’ success on the road, but this time they were the favorites to take home the trophy over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Game one proved to be a thriller for Rangers fans, as it ended with a walk-off home run game winner at home for the Rangers by Adolis Garcia. The Rangers then took care of business on the road. 

Last Wednesday’s win in game 5 started off slow for the Rangers with not a single hit to start the first seven innings. It seemed as if the Diamondbacks would be able to steal a game from the Rangers at home until the seventh inning, where series MVP Corey Seager scored the first hit for the Rangers and eventually broke the scoreless tie on the next couple hits. Finally in the ninth inning, the Rangers pulled away with four runs, including a two-run home run that would punctuate the series with an exclamation mark. Ballauer was proud to see the Rangers come through towards the end to rewrite a better ending for the bitter loss in 2011.

“Winning was amazing because it was redemption since we thought we were so close in 2011, and it was an awful way to be so close and still fall short. So 12 years later to have it actually happen with a perfect ending was the most wonderful thing, especially because they did this a year before they were supposed to, considering the trades they made to build this team, which really surprised everybody,” said Ballauer.

With the Rangers taking home the World Series, there were several school districts all across North Texas, including Mansfield ISD, that were affected and forced to close school on Friday, allowing students and staff to attend the afterparty parade in Arlington. During the parade, there were thousands in attendance lined up along the streets to celebrate the team’s first championship in franchise history. Fans from across North Texas gathered around to witness the team members pass by in their cars. Senior Kaila Akpabio, who attended the parade in Arlington last Friday, describes her experience celebrating this win and what winning the World Series meant for the DFW area. 

“The parade was very interesting even if it really wasn’t my thing as I’m not a big Rangers fan. Everyone that was around me were big fans of the Rangers, and they were really excited to have a good time and celebrate the Rangers’ victory,” said Akpabio. “I think winning was very important to the city, and maybe even to the state, because it made the fans very united and passionate. Even many school districts canceled school the day of the parade because of the staff shortages who wanted to attend the parade and even if they’re not a fan, it was still a historic moment for the Rangers and their fans to attend the parade and celebrate this win.”

As we enter the offseason, the free agency is underway, and many teams have already begun trading and signing new players to their rosters for the upcoming 2024 season that is set to begin in March. Multiple teams have already been selected as potential favorites to win it all next season. For the Texas Rangers, however, their main objective is to reassemble another dominant team and most importantly, defend their title and repeat as Champions.

“Overall, it was incredible witnessing the Rangers win, especially suffering through the 2010 and 2011 World Series,” said Wickel. “I certainly wouldn’t say that we will be heavily favored going into next year, but I definitely feel like it could just be like this year. There’s a lot of teams that are still going to be good, so it just depends if we can have some young arms come up and if it happens, then I like our chances to repeat once again next year.”

About the Contributor
Brycen Trinh
Brycen Trinh, ENN Staff