Arlington, Texas -The Texas Rangers today announced the details of the pre-game ceremonies for the club's 2014 season opener on Monday, March 31 against the Philadelphia Phillies at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers' 43rd opener in Arlington will begin at 1:05 p.m. and is a complete sellout.
Highlights of the opening day ceremonies:
CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH: One of the top pitchers to ever play the game, a recent first ballot Hall of Famer, and a current member of the Texas Rangers family will perform the ceremonial first pitch honors for the season opener. Greg Maddux won 355 games and four Cy Young Awards in a 23-year major league career from 1986-2008 with the Cubs, Braves, Dodgers, and Padres. The right-hander, who was born in San Angelo, Texas, posted nine seasons with 18 or more victories and recorded at least 15 wins a major league record 18 times. The winner of a big league record 18 Gold Glove Awards, Maddux was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in January, receiving 97.2% of the vote. He is currently in his third year with the Rangers as Special Assistant to the General Manager and has been with the club through the majority of spring training.
Catching the first pitch will be Greg's brother, Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.
A SPECIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM: On April 11, 1994, the Texas Rangers hosted the Milwaukee Brewers in the first regular season game ever at The Ballpark in Arlington. The pre-game ceremonies featured an unforgettable performance of the Star-Spangled Banner by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra accompanied by Fort Worth resident and award-winning classical pianist, the late Van Cliburn.
Nearly 20 years later, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya will return to play the National Anthem. The FWSO will once again perform on the field as it did in 1994.
"It's a great honor to celebrate this anniversary with the Texas Rangers and recreate that historic moment in memory of our dear friend Van Cliburn," said FWSO President and CEO Amy Adkins.
SALUTE THE FLAG: A large United States flag will be unfurled in centerfield by Soldiers from the Dallas Army Recruiting Battalion and Airmen, Soldiers, and Marines from the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. A large State of Texas flag will be unfurled on Greene's Hill by members of the Dallas Army Recruiting Battalion. The colors will be presented by Company B of the Texas Rangers Law Enforcement from Garland, Texas.
MORE ACTIVITIES: Following the National Anthem, there will be a flyover of vintage warbirds from the Cavanaugh flight Museum in Addison. Country recording artist Neal McCoy will sing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch. All fans, 21 years of age and older will receive a Rangers Budweiser Opening Day Magnetic Schedule as they enter the park.
TIMELINE: Globe Life Park in Arlington cash parking lots will open at 8:00 a.m. and ballpark gates will open at 10:00 a.m. on opening day.
REST OF SERIES: The Rangers and Phillies conclude the series with 7:05 p.m. games on Tuesday, April 1 and Wednesday, April 2. Good seats remain for both games. April 2 is the first Nolan Ryan Beef Dollar Hot Dog Night of the season as well as Dr Pepper Autograph Wednesday.
Tickets for Rangers 2014 home games can be purchased at texasrangers.com, by calling 972RANGERS, or at the Globe Life Park in Arlington first base ticket office.