For the fourth year in a row the Waxahachie Indians varsity baseball team will have the opportunity to play a non-district game against Grapevine at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers major league baseball team.
This year the Indians will play at the stadium that was built in 1994 and host of the 1995 MLB all-star game, on Tuesday, March 10. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
To play at the ballpark where legends of the game have walked, Waxahachie must sell 1,000 tickets to the Texas Rangers game on Friday, June 12 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series last season before falling to the eventual World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.
Tickets to the game against the Dodgers are either $15 or $16 and can be purchased from any Waxahachie baseball player or by contacting Russell Phillips 972-351-2215 or Barry Navarro 972-935-5401.
Tickets in the lower level bleachers in left-centerfield are $16 each and upper level thirdbase line tickets are $15 each. Following the game, attendees will enjoy a fireworks show choreographed to the music of the Beach Boys.
“Playing at the Rangers Ballpark is an amazing experience,” Waxahachie starting pitcher Colton Cain said. “There are very few high school players that are fortunate enough to have this experience.”
There are 1,113 schools that compete in UIL baseball each year. Only 22 of those schools, roughly 2 percent, get the opportunity to take the diamond in the same position as many of their baseball heroes.
Nathan Schmidt, WHS’s second baseman, will be able to take the field on March 10 in the same position his role model Michael Young first played with the Rangers, second base.
Several of the Waxahachie baseball players list the Texas Rangers as their favorite baseball team.
The program to allow high school teams the chance to play on the pro ball field is only extended to a few area high schools and is by invitation only. Participating teams are required to purchase 1,000 Rangers home tickets at half of the face value and can sell the tickets at face value as a fundraiser for the baseball program.
“As players, parents and boosters we have the responsibility each year of making this program a success to insure that future teams are afforded this once in a lifetime opportunity,” RBI Club president Barry Navarro said.
Last year, the Indians defeated Grapevine, 3-1, at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Starting first baseman and pitcher, Drew Harrison said playing at the ballpark is one of the best experiences he has ever had.
“It was undoubtedly one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had,” Harrison said. “It was awesome looking up and seeing my name in lights. It’s what every boy dreams about.”
Admission and parking to the Waxahachie-Grapevine game is free and open to the public.
The March 10 game is a varsity game but any freshman or JV player who sells their allotted tickets will have the opportunity to suit up, take pre-game and join the team in the dugout for the game.
To make this event a little more exciting the RBI Club has provided an additional incentive.
If the team can sell all of the 1,000 tickets by Tuesday, March 3 the RBI Club will provide a charter bus for the players and coaches to travel to Arlington for the game.
The first base gates will open to the public one hour and 30 minutes prior to the scheduled game time. Free parking will be available in the B Lot on the south side of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Ballpark seating will be restricted to areas between Section 18 to Section 34 and concessions will be available behind section 127 with limited menu items.
Both teams’ pitchers and catchers will be allowed to utilize the visiting bullpen for the game. Players who have warmed up in the bullpen include Francisco Rodriguez, Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera and Jim Morris, who was a Texas high school teacher before playing briefly for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
A major league baseball scout will be on hand during the seven-inning game.
The Indians celebrate 100 years of Waxahachie baseball. What better way to remember the season than to take the field at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington – the same field Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, Josh Hamilton, Juan Gonzalez and other legends of the game have played.