MLB Betting Editorial on Texas vs Boston Game in April 1989

Posted by Daniel Strum on September 17, 2015 in

On April 30, 1989, Texas Rangers fans and other MLB betting fans were absolutely giddy. Their team was an unlikely 17-5, with an impressive lead in the American League West and with the best April record that the team had ever compiled. They had signed free agent pitcher Nolan Ryan away from the Houston Astros, and this Sunday afternoon game was featuring a matchup between Ryan and the young phenom for the Boston Red Sox, one Roger Clemens.

Closer Look at the MLB Betting Editorial on Texas vs Boston Game in April 1989

The Rangers played in Arlington Stadium then, as Globe Life Park had not been built. Arlington Stadium was a converted minor league stadium that perched right on the edge of Interstate 30. On this Sunday afternoon, the stadium was unusually full for the marquee matchup. The center field seats (really curbs for people to sit on) were usually roped off to give the batter more of a clear sight on the ball, but they were open on this day, with a small area covered with black cloth to preserve the batter’s eye.

The game actually didn’t start that well. Nolan Ryan walked Wade Boggs to start things off. The next batter, Danny Heep, would ground into a fielder’s choice, but then Ryan hit Ellis Burks, who would need a pinch runner. Mike Greenwell grounded out to second, moving Heep to third. Ryan threw a wild pitch that allowed Heep to score. Jim Rice would fly out to deep left, but the Rangers were already in a hole after the top of the first.

Roger Clemens opened things with a strikeout of Cecil Espy. He would walk Rafael Palmeiro, but no Ranger would get past first in that inning as Clemens made quick work of the remaining batters. Things progressed quickly until the bottom of the eighth inning. Neither pitcher had to face more than five batters in any of those innings, but then Cecil Espy, who had struck out to start the Rangers’ first inning, hit a line drive single to left field. Scott Fletcher attempted to but Espy to second, but he popped the ball up to first for an out.

Then Rafael Palmeiro strode to the plate. With a 2-2 count, Palmeiro swung and lofted a ball to right. It had plenty of distance, but it was curving quickly. With a clang, it hit the screen connected to the right-field foul pole, about two-thirds of the way up the pole. As the ball fell down to the field, the stadium erupted while Palmeiro circled the bases, with the Rangers now ahead 2-1. Ruben Sierra was next and just came a few feet from making it 3-1 with a deep drive to center, but his shot died on the warning track. Julio Franco followed with a single, but then Clemens recovered to strike out Geno Petralli.

Jeff Russell would come on to pitch the ninth for Texas, striking out Nick Esasky, getting Rich Gedman to ground out, and striking out Sam Horn looking. While the Rangers would be out of first place not long after the All-Star break, this was a terrific moment in their early history.