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Texas Rangers players celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 5 of the World Series, clinching their first title, at Chase Field in Phoenix.
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Keeping the faith: Texas Rangers win the World Series

After the long-awaited triumph, it’s easy to draw parallels between baseball and the Christian life.

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ARLINGTON, Texas — I lived to see it.

The Texas Rangers just won the World Series.

Forty-one years after I first walked into the old Arlington Stadium and became a Rangers fan at age 14, my team achieved the ultimate baseball glory.

Finally.

“He struck him out looking. It’s over! It’s over!” longtime Rangers radio play-by-play voice Eric Nadel proclaimed as Texas reliever Josh Sborz retired Arizona’s Ketel Marte to secure the 5-0 victory Wednesday night. 

Texas took four out of five games in the best-of-seven Fall Classic.

“Rangers fans, you’re not dreaming!” Nadel declared. “The Rangers are the World Series champions! After 52 years in Texas and 63 years as a franchise, the wait is over!”

As I celebrate the Rangers taking me higher “to a place with golden streets,” I can’t help but draw parallels between baseball and the Christian life.

The ups and downs. The perseverance required. The journey together with those of like minds. The promise of an indescribable reward at the end.

As a teen in the early 1980s, I would lie in my bed late at night with a transistor radio, listening to Nadel and the late Mark Holtz — famous for his “Hello, win column!” catchphrase — describe the action at Texas games. 

As an Associated Press reporter in the early 2000s, I sat in the radio booth with Nadel as he called a game for a profile I did on him.

In 2011, as my team suffered one of the most difficult losses in World Series history, I felt Nadel’s pain as the opportunity to utter the phrase “Your World Series champion Texas Rangers” once again eluded him.

But after 45 seasons on the air, the call of Nadel’s life finally came on a 73-degree night in Phoenix. 

Rangers fans everywhere shared in his joy.

Among those fans: my friend Joey Roberts, who serves as executive vice president for Herald of Truth Ministries in Abilene, Texas.

“Tears flowed. I’m speechless,” Roberts said on Facebook. “I got to enjoy this with my wife and daughter and my son. My baseball loving son. 

“Tears flowed. I’m speechless.”

“Hey dad,” he added. “Our Rangers just won the World Series and you had the best seat in the house! I’m high-fiving you from here! And sending you a hug!”

Even a few weeks ago, nobody gave the Rangers much chance of advancing in the postseason, much less winning the World Series.

But the Rangers overcame all obstacles, including a gut punch at home that could have crushed their spirits. Instead, the resilient team led by manager Bruce Bochy refused to let one loss define it. Texas finished an incredible 11-0 on the road in the playoffs. 

My team made it — at long, long last — to baseball heaven.


Related: A baseball blessing in Cuba


The lesson for followers of Jesus is simple: Don’t give up during the difficult times.

Keep pressing forward toward the goal (Philippians 3:13-14).

Glory awaits.

My sons Brady and Keaton and I witnessed Game 1 of the World Series from the third deck at Globe Life Field in Arlington. With the Rangers down 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the prospect for victory seemed gloomy.

But then All-Star shortstop Corey Seager stepped to the plate with a runner on first base. Seager swung at Diamondbacks closer Paul Sewald’s first pitch and smashed it 418 feet into the crowd in right field to tie the game.

In the bottom of the 11th, Rangers slugger Adolis García hit a laser over the wall in right to give Texas the win, 6-5. 

Pandemonium ensued as Texas fans whooped and hollered with delight.

The Rangers lost the next day at home before winning three straight in Phoenix to claim the Commissioner’s Trophy for the first time in franchise history.

Brady, the oldest of my three children, attended his first Rangers game while still in diapers. 

At age 13, he shared wisdom beyond his years for a column I wrote in 2006.

“Baseball seasons are long, like a faith journey can be.”

“Baseball seasons are long, like a faith journey can be,” my son told me then. “Baseball players get injured, just as Christians get hurt by the world. You have to keep going if you want to be the best.”

At age 18, Brady — like all Rangers fans — experienced the heartbreaking disappointment of the Game 6 collapse in the 2011 World Series. 

He’s now 30.

Our entire family connected via FaceTime to watch the final out Wednesday night. My apologies to all the neighbors who heard screaming right at 10 p.m.


Related: Bobby Ross Jr.’s Top 10 Rangers games of 2023


“I don’t remember life before becoming a Rangers fan,” Brady wrote on Twitter. “At times, I thought we’d never win a playoff series (let alone a World Series). Now here we are. Unbelievable.”

Unbelievable indeed.

The Rangers just won the World Series.

And — I count this as a tremendous blessing — I lived to see it.

Texas Rangers players celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 5 of the World Series, clinching their first title, at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Texas Rangers players celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 5 of the World Series, clinching their first title, at Chase Field in Phoenix.

BOBBY ROSS JR. is Editor-in-Chief of The Christian Chronicle. Reach him at [email protected].

Filed under: baseball baseball fans baseball fans and faith Inside Story Inside Story major-league baseball National Texas Rangers Top Stories World Series

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