TICKET SITUATION FOR ANGELS SERIES: The home opener on April 5 is a complete sellout. There are approximately 1,000 tickets remaining for Saturday's game and 9,500 tickets available for the Sunday series finale. Tickets for Rangers 2013 home games can be purchased at texasrangers.com, by calling 972RANGERS, or at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington first base ticket office.
PARKING INFO: The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington cash parking lots will open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday The Rangers will offer cash parking in the Cowboys Stadium 4 Lot (west of the A Lot) and the Star Lot (corner of Arlington Downs and Magic Mile) as well as the regular cash lots. In addition, Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, and the Arlington Convention Center will be offering cash parking in their lots on Friday.
HOV RAMP: The Westbound T-Ramp on I-30 will be open from 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Friday for traffic coming to Rangers Ballpark. The T-Ramp will be open Eastbound onto I-30 from 3:30 until 6:00 p.m. for traffic exiting the game.
OPENING DAY ACTIVITIES: The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington gates will open at 10:00 a.m. on Friday Robbie Parker, the father of six-year-old Emilie Parker, who was killed in the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day. Mr. Parker, who grew up in North Texas, will be accompanied by his wife Alissa and daughters Madeline and Samantha for the first pitch ceremony. Mr. Parker is also a longtime Texas Rangers fan and took Emilie to several Rangers games in Arlington, Seattle, and Boston. One of the major's all-time catchers and current Rangers Special Assistant to the General Manager Ivan Rodriguez will catch the first pitch. Rodriguez will also be one of over 50 former Rangers players and coaches who will be introduced on-field prior to the game.
The National Anthem will be performed by Texas country recording artist Jack Ingram. The United States Air Force Honor Guard from Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, TX, will present the Colors and members of the United States Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy will unfurl oversized American and Texas flags in the outfield and on Greene's Hill, respectively. There will be a flyover of six vintage warbirds (C-47, T-6's, AD Skyrader) from the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison. Technical Sergeant Shonda Winkler of the 531st Air Force Band will sing God Bless America in the middle of the 7th inning.
All fans, 21 years of age and older will receive a Rangers Budweiser Opening Day Magnetic Schedule as they enter the park. Budweiser will also host a pre-game concert on the North Lawn with country singers Max Stalling (10:00 a.m.) and Cody Johnson (11:30 a.m.) performing.
OPENING DAY NOTES: The Rangers are 22-19 overall in home openers, winning the last four since losing to Baltimore on April 8, 2008. Texas is 10-9 in the season's first game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. This will be the seventh time that the Angels have provided the opposition in the home opener, matching Cleveland for the most vs. one team. The Rangers defeated the Angels in 1972, 2001, and 2004, and lost in 1992, 2002, and 2005.
SATURDAY: The first 30,000 fans entering the Rangers Ballpark gates on Saturday will receive a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores 2013 Rangers Calendar. Adrian Beltre (2012 Rawlings Gold and Platinum Gloves) and A.J. Pierzynski (2012 Silver Slugger Award) will be honored in a pre-game ceremony. Christian music artists FourTwelve will perform the National Anthem and God Bless America. Budweiser will present country singer Mark McKinney in concert at 1:30 p.m. on the North Lawn. A game ticket is required for admittance. The Rangers will be wearing their red jerseys for every Saturday home game in 2013.
SUNDAY: Texas A&M's 2012 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Manziel became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy while leading the Aggies to an 11-2 record with a Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma in the school's first year in the Southeastern Conference. The Texas A&M University Singing Cadets will perform the National Anthem and God Bless America. The first 10,000 youngsters, 13 and under, will receive a CPI Office Products Rangers Batting Helmet.
TAMPA BAY SERIES: The Rangers conclude their first homestand with a three-game series against the Rays, Monday and Tuesday, April 8-9 at 7:05 p.m. and Wednesday, April 10 at 1:05 p.m. The first 30,000 fans receive a Capital One Bank Yu Darvish T-Shirt on April 9 and April 10 is the first Nolan Ryan Beef Dollar Hot Dog Wednesday of the season. Good seats remain for all three games of the Tampa Bay series.
A NOTE FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Five Rangers pitchers combined to shut out the Astros with 15 strikeouts in Texas' win in Houston on Wednesday afternoon. That followed the 15 strikeout, zero run performance by Rangers pitchers - led by the nearly perfect Yu Darvish - on Tuesday. The Rangers are the first team since 1900 to allow no runs and register 15 or more strikeouts in consecutive games.