Political figures make lots of promises during their campaigns. I’m no exception and the Texas Rangers World Championship reminds me of one of those commitments I made more than 30 years ago.
I’m really not sure I made this exact vow but maybe I did. If so, it’s finally been delivered as a terrific Christmas present. Here’s the story.
Leading the 1990 campaign to win voter approval for developing a permanent home for the Rangers, I constantly talked about what it would mean to us to achieve that outcome.
I emphasized the importance of maintaining our city’s unique privilege of being only one of 28 US cities that can call themselves Major League.
Including all that was possible beyond building a new, first class ballpark, I also projected a vision of how that could result in significant economic development in our entertainment district.
Then, I ended some of my speeches by declaring that one day we would get to host a World Series. That was quite a claim since the Rangers, in all their history, had never played even a single post season game.
So, when Neftali Feliz struck out the Yankee’s Alex Rodriguez and sent the Rangers to the 2010 World Series, I thought my promise had finally been fulfilled. And, I thanked the team for covering my only still-pending political assertion.
Or was it actually my last one. With the Rangers winning their first ever World Series last month, it got me to thinking.
Did I also tell voters that we would someday get to host a World Series Championship? That the Rangers would win it all if we helped to build that new ballpark and attract the game’s best players?
I honestly don’t remember if I said that. But, it’s entirely possible that I did. Like any other retired holder of an office awarded by voters, I don’t want to be remembered for failing to deliver, so I’m going to sleep better knowing my good name is now secure.
Again … my gratitude is expressed to this remarkable Rangers team that has accomplished something that no other team in the franchise’s history has done before.
It took a while, but now that World Championship banner can fly over Globe Life Field forever.
And there will be more of them. Oh, wait, is that another promise? Okay if it is, then we’ll revisit the outcome in times to come.
But, what about that other opportunity for economic development success we forecasted in that 1990 campaign? Look around and realize that we have the country’s most successful sports and entertainment industry between the East and West coasts.
All of that and this World Series Championship would never had happened were it not for the record turn out of more than 22,000 voters who showed up in January, 1991. With a 65% margin of victory, they said a resounding “YES” to ensuring all the possibilities that have developed since with more on the way.
They are the ones, in the traditional Arlington can-do spirit who set all this into motion. And they, together with the ones who again met the challenge under former Mayor Jeff Williams’ leadership in 2016 with the approval to build Globe Life Field, are the ones who deserve all the credit.
The fact that my campaign promises were covered in years that followed, is only a footnote to history and some measure of personal relief.
Richard Greene is a former mayor of Arlington.