ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington lined a single in his first at-bat of a Minnesota Twins alumni game on Sept. 5 at Target Field. Watching from the bench, his players were yelling and laughing and clapping for their manager.
They also gave him the "Claw." He gave it right back.
"They have a good time with that thing," Washington said.
Now everybody is doing it. Fans all over the country are getting to see the latest craze that has engulfed the Rangers during their playoff run.
"It has been pretty cool," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "People here in Texas have really grabbed hold of it. They enjoy it, so I enjoy it. As long as they are having fun, it's pretty exciting."
The Claw -- basically, a long-distance high five -- originated with infielder Esteban German in the Minor Leagues. If a player gets a hit, his teammates will hold up their hands, form a claw and wave as a sign of congratulations.
Then there's the "Antlers" -- both hands held up to the ears, palms outstretched. It represents a deer and is given to any player who uses his speed.
"You show you are running like a deer," outfielder Julio Borbon said.
Clubhouse manager Richard Price came up with a T-shirt
with the Claw and Antlers -- also available at the gift shop -- and since then the craze has taken off. There is a Deer Cam and a Claw Cam at the Ballpark and websites devoted to them. People are coming to the Ballpark wearing foam claws and home-made antlers.
"I love it because it's a true grassroots movement," Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg said.
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.