ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Corey Seager took the stage to thunderous chants of “MVP!, MVP!” as the Texas Rangers celebrated the franchise’s first World Series branch on Friday.
“This has been really special, we appreciate all of your support,” Seager, a second-time World Series MVP, said during the ceremony after a two-hour parade along a 2-mile route near the ballpark of teams.
Arlington fire officials estimated 400,000 to 700,000 fans attended the celebration.
Although usually quite stoic, although he did have a few emphatic displays of emotion during the game, Seager then took swipe at the Houston Astros, the team that took the AL West title from Texas on the final day of the regular season. That made the Rangers a wild card team, and then set an MLB record by winning 11 of their postseason road games.
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“I have only one thing to say. You know, everybody was wondering what would happen if the Rangers didn’t win the World Series. I guess we’ll never know,” said Seager, an obvious answer what Astros third baseman Alex Bregman said to kick off their champagne celebrations as they clinched the division title.
Texas defeated the Astros in the AL Championship Series, and the Rangers won all four ALCS games played in Houston, including the Game 7 clincher.
Stacks fans were many deep in some spots during the parade, which came two days after the Rangers wrapped up the World Series title with a 5-0 win on the road in Game 5 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It came a week after Texas won the series opener at home on an 11th-inning homer by Adolis García after Seager hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to tie the game.
“Years from now, I’m going to think about this moment, and I’m going to cherish the time I got to spend with (these players),” manager Bruce Bochy told the crowd. “We talked about it in spring training. We are going to do something special. Well, my friends, we did something for her together. Thank you.”
Bochy then said that his granddaughter, who was with him during the parade, said she wanted to do it again.
“Well, I’m with her. I want to do this again. Let’s go,” said the 68-year-old Bochy, the oldest manager in the majors.
The Rangers won their first championship in their 63rd season as a franchise, which began as an expansion Washington Senators in 1961 before the team moved to Texas in 1972.
AL Championship Series MVP García, Seager and all the Rangers players were in the parade through the entertainment district of Arlington, the city where they play along Interstate 30 halfway between downtown Fort Worth and downtown Dallas.
Seager was also the World Series MVP in 2020 while playing for the Dodgers, who won that title in the MLB postseason at a neutral site played during the COVID-19 pandemic at Globe Life Field, the Rangers’ retractable roof stadium which opened that season. There was no celebratory parade in Los Angeles that year.
The Rangers arrived home in North Texas on Thursday, with All-Star second baseman Marcus Semien leaving first and raising the World Series trophy in the air as he stepped off the plane. By then, some fans were already lining up spots along the parade route.
After starting on the south side of Globe Life Park, the parade passed by AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and up around Mark Holtz Lake, named after the late Rangers broadcaster known for his column “Hello Win! ” call. The parade then passed by the former Rangers ballpark where they played when they made their only other World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011.
“The Texas Rangers World Series victory is a dream five decades in the making,” said Arlington Mayor Jim Ross.
This is Bochy’s fourth World Series title. He won three with the San Francisco Giants, the first in 2010 with a Game 5 clincher in Texas. Bochy was named the manager of the Rangers a year ago, when the team was coming off its sixth consecutive losing season.
“I’ve been asked: Hey, does this ever get old. It never gets old, trust me,” Bochy said. “No, not when you can watch these boys with their deep drive, their resilience, and the heart that brought them together, and playing as one to do what they did do. These guys put their individual act aside to be (a) team to win a world championship here with the Texas Rangers for the first time in our franchise.”
At least six local school districts were closed Friday so students and faculty could participate in the celebration. Several high school bands participated in the parade held on a picture-perfect day, with clear, sunny conditions and temperatures around 70 degrees.
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