Lone Star Series

The Lone Star Series (also known as the Silver Boot Series) is a Major League Baseball (MLB) rivalry featuring Texas's two major league franchises, the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. It is an outgrowth of the "natural rivalry" established by MLB as part of interleague play as the Rangers are a member of the American League (AL) and the Astros were a member of the National League (NL) until 2012. During interleague play, the winner of the six game series was awarded the Silver Boot, a 30-inch (760 mm) tall display of a size 15 cowboy boot cast in silver, complete with a custom, handmade spur. If the series was split (3 to 3), the winner was the club which scored the most runs over the course of the series. In 2013, the Astros joined the American League West with the Rangers and changed their rivalry from an interleague to an intra-division rivalry.

Houston Astros cap logo
Houston Astros
Texas Rangers Insignia
Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers Insignia

History

19th century: the beginning of baseball in Texas

The birth of baseball in Texas happened just prior to the Civil War in 1861 with the formation of the Houston Base Ball Club to promote the game the same way Alexander Cartwright had during the 1840s with the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club in Manhattan. Baseball was played in Galveston and other Lone Star locations prior to the Civil War.[1] The distribution of the game was interrupted by the Civil War but would pick up by the end of the war.[2] Baseball was played during the Civil War mostly by Yankees but occasionally by Confederates. A humorous story by Texas-based Union soldier George A. Putnam told of a baseball game interrupted by Confederate gunfire. Putnam stated:

Suddenly there was a scattering of fire, which three outfielders caught the brunt; the centerfield was hit and was captured, left and right field managed to get back to our lines. The attack...was repelled without serious difficulty, but we had lost not only our centerfield, but...the only baseball in Alexandria, Texas.[3]

On April 21, 1867, the first occurrence of a baseball game was taken into account by the Houston Post. At the San Jacinto Battlegrounds near Houston, where General Sam Houston led Texas to triumph in the War of Independence from Mexico in 1836, a baseball game took place on the anniversary now celebrated as San Jacinto Day. The Houston Stonewalls defeated the Galveston Robert E. Lees, 35–2, that rivaled the result of what originally happened on the same site.[4]

Baseball spread throughout the state in the next two decades as a popular amateur game. The influence of what Houston had done in the early 1860s, those who acquired the nuances of the game from Civil War travels, and experience of immigrants who moved to Texas during the Reconstruction Era helped in organizing the sport and bringing more attention to the game in the state of Texas. Scarcely a generation after the state's first recorded game in 1867, Texas fielded 100 minor league clubs—more than any other state.[5]

The acceptance of baseball had greatly expanded throughout Texas by the end of the 19th century. Houston was the founding member of the Texas League in 1888 and also won their first league pennant the next year. The Houston ballclub went by the nicknames of Babies, Red Stockings, Mud Cats, Magnolias, and Wanderers[6] before the Houston Buffaloes name became permanent around the turn of the 20th century.

20th century: Growth and popularity of baseball in Texas

The roots of the Lone Star Series started in the late 19th century and early 20th century in the Texas League. There were teams in Austin, Beaumont, Cleburne, Corsicana, Fort Worth, Galveston, Greenville, Paris, San Antonio, Sherman, Temple, Texarkana, Waco as well as Dallas and Houston. (Both the Rangers and Astros have teams in present-day Double-A Texas League. The Rangers' affiliate is the Frisco RoughRiders while the Astros' affiliate is the Corpus Christi Hooks.) Along with the Texas League, there have been many baseball leagues that briefly existed in Texas or included at least one team from the Lone Star State such as: Lone Star Colored League of Texas,[7] Negro American League, Colored Texas League, Texas Negro League, Texas-Oklahoma Negro League, South Texas Negro League,[8] West Texas Negro League, Mexican National League, Central Baseball League, American Association, All-American Association, South Central League, Arkansas State League, Cotton States League, Rio Grande Valley League, Rio Grande Association, Southwestern League, Panhandle-Pecos Valley League, Longhorn League, North Texas League, West Texas–New Mexico League, Sooner State League, Arizona–Texas League, Lone Star League, Big State League, Gulf States League, East Texas League, Texas Association, Arkansas–Texas League, West Texas League, South Texas League, Middle Texas League, Central Texas League, Texas-Southern League, Texas–Louisiana League, Texas Valley League, Texas–Oklahoma League, Southwest Texas League, Evangeline League, West Dixie League, Gulf Coast League, Western Association, and Sophomore League and also including present-day Pacific Coast League, United League Baseball, Texas Collegiate League, Continental Baseball League, Texas Winter League, and American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

Long before professional baseball came to Texas, college baseball also has been a staple of Texas culture. Outside of the Lone Star Shootout, college baseball in Texas is overwhelmingly popular and has some intense in-state rivalries such as the Battle of the Brazos between Texas A&M and Baylor University, the Silver Glove series as part of the Houston-Rice rivalry, the Holy War between Baylor and TCU, Battle of the Piney Woods between Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin State University, and the Lone Star Showdown between the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies. Other in-state rivalries include Sam Houston State-Rice, Texas-Rice, Texas State-Rice, Texas State–University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas Tech-Baylor, Texas-Texas Tech, Texas Tech-Texas A&M, Texas-Baylor, Sam Houston State-Houston, Texas SouthernPrairie View A&M, St. Mary'sUniversity of the Incarnate Word, Dallas BaptistHouston Baptist as well as other esoteric rivalries. Tournaments, like the Southwest Diamond Classic in Frisco, Texas, Whataburger College Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Houston College Classic played at Minute Maid Park, take place there in late February because of the more convenient, warmer weather. Texas collegiate baseball programs can be found throughout the different levels of the NCAA. 1-A conferences that include Texas collegiate baseball are the American Athletic Conference, Big 12 Conference, Conference USA, and the Mountain West Conference as well as the Southland Conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference, and 1-A Independent teams, UTPA and Dallas Baptist. (TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Rice, Houston, Baylor, and SMU (ceased operations after 1980) baseball programs once belonged together to the Southwest Conference before 1996; Clark Field, Dan Law Field, Olsen Field, and TCU Diamond are just some of the ballparks that played host to Southwest Conference baseball over the course of the SWC.) Other conferences that include one or more Texas collegiate baseball programs are the Heartland Conference, Lone Star Conference, American Southwest Conference, Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, Red River Athletic Conference, Sooner Athletic Conference, Southwest Junior College Conference., Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Western Junior College Athletic Conference, and NAIA independent schools (University of Houston–Victoria).

The Lone Star Series was the consequence of many things that happened to Texas in the 1950s: population shift westward from metropolitan areas on the East Coast, the space program, more modernized higher education, and the formation of the brief Continental League resulting in expansion in Major League Baseball shortly thereafter.

1962: Texas has its first major league team, the Colt .45s

Prior to 1962, there were no Major League Baseball teams in Texas until the Houston Colt .45's of the National League. They played in Colt Stadium for the first three years of existence, fighting against hot and humid weather and outrageously large mosquitoes, which also had an effect on the fans.[9] Unbelievably, they did not play a Sunday night baseball game at home until June 9, 1963, which was also the major leagues' first Sunday night game.[10] The Astros, as they came to be with the new all-weathered Harris County Domed Stadium, really did not have a strong rivalry with any team in the NL, except for the St. Louis Cardinals and later on the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves.

During the planning of the second wave of expansion in the big leagues in 1968, the National League considered putting a new team in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by an overwhelming majority of its owners. However, Judge Roy Hofheinz did not want it to happen or allow it because he owned all the television and radio rights in Texas for Astros ballgames. The other owners were in favor, except Hofheinz, of having a rivalry approaching the intensity of the Dodgers–Giants rivalry in the Senior Circuit. San Diego and Montreal were selected instead.[11] The Dallas-Fort Worth area would have to wait four more years for a team to arrive when the Senators (see below) moved to Arlington, Texas. It would be another 32 years before there was a meeting between the Rangers and Astros.

1972: Washington Senators move to Arlington to become the Rangers

Before they were the Texas Rangers, the team belonged to the Beltway as the second version of the Washington Senators where they played mediocre baseball most of the time for the first 11 years of existence. They replaced the old Washington Senators who had moved to Minnesota to become the Twins in 1961. The new Senators changed into the Texas Rangers in time for the 1972 season and so a rivalry was born. (At one time, the Kansas City Athletics were interested in moving to the Dallas/Fort Worth area in the early 1960s but were voted down, 9–1, by the other American League owners.)[12][13] The Astros have been in Texas ten years longer than the Rangers, but the Senators/Rangers franchise is one year older than the Astros. They met, starting in 1992, at the end of Spring training with the Rangers winning 2–0 claiming the very first Silver Boot. On April 1, 1993, Nolan Ryan returned to the Astrodome as a member of the Texas Rangers in front of 53,657, the biggest crowd to see a big league game in Texas up to that point. The Rangers won the last two exhibition games, a 6–5 victory in Arlington in 1999 and a 9–3 victory at Houston in 2000, before the two teams met for the first time in regular season in 2001.[14]

First meeting and interleague rivalry

AstrosRet 34
Nolan Ryan's number 34 was retired by the Houston Astros in 1996.
NolanRyanRangers
Nolan Ryan's number 34 was retired by the Texas Rangers in 1996.

One year before their first official matchup in Interleague Play, both teams retired the number of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan who had successful runs with both teams. According to Mike Lamb and Mark Teixeira, the Rangers-Astros "rivalry" is more for the fans of Texas than like a bitter rivalry (e.g. Windy City Series).[15][16] On July 1, 2006, Gary Matthews Jr. made an unbelievable catch by taking away a home run from Houston Astros first baseman Mike Lamb in the top of the 8th inning.[17][18] While with the Astros for two years, Roger Clemens never pitched against the Rangers in twelve Lone Star Series matchups. Only six players have played for both the Rangers and Astros against their in-state opponent since 2001. Those players are: Doug Brocail,[19][20] Mike Lamb,[21][22] Richard Hidalgo,[23][24] Ivan "Pudge" Rodríguez,[25][26] Hunter Pence,[27][28] and Robinson Chirinos.[29][30] Minute Maid Park and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington both had been using Sea Isle 1 turf through the 2008 season rather than natural grass because of the aggressive Texas summer heat. Before the 2009 season, the Astros chose to replace the previous surface in their respective ballpark with a more durable sod that requires less sunlight than other natural grass turf systems.[31] Beginning in 2008, the Lone Star Series saw for the first time two African-American managers go head-to-head against one another, the Astros' Cecil Cooper and the Rangers' Ron Washington which lasted for two years. There has only been one rainout in the history of the Lone Star Series. A game scheduled for Sunday June 30, 2002 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was unceremoniously postponed due to rain and rescheduled for Monday September 2. The Rangers won the last matchup of the year against the Astros, 7–2, in front of a minuscule crowd of 24,468, but the Astros won the Silver Boot regardless of the outcome of the game.[32] The contrast between the Rangers and Astros in their ballpark histories, and uniform histories are very apparent. The Rangers, since 1972, have always played in open-air stadiums (Arlington Stadium and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington) while the Astros have mostly played in indoor stadiums (Astrodome and Minute Maid Park). While the Rangers have traditionally worn variations of red, white, and blue to represent the Lone Star flag, the Astros have changed color schemes (e.g. Shooting Star of the late 1960s, Rainbow Guts) and logos many times throughout their history. Other differences, not related to baseball, include the weather during the summer, population, cultural, and allegiance preferences between the different regions of Texas. Both Houston, Texas and Arlington, Texas have humid subtropical climates; however, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex mostly has dry winds in the summer (and icy conditions in the winter, with some frost at night) compared to Greater Houston's severe relative humidity and minimal wind except near the coast (and milder winter conditions). The Metroplex is inland located in North Texas while Houston is in the face of the Gulf of Mexico in Southeast Texas. The city of Dallas has the 9th largest population in the United States and 3rd largest population in Texas; the city of Houston has the 4th largest population in the United States and largest population in Texas. The Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex is the 4th largest metropolitan area in the US, while the Greater Houston area is the 5th largest in the US. Since their inductions into Major League Baseball, there has been 77 players to play for the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. Some notable names are Nolan Ryan, Ken Caminiti, Richard Hidalgo, Mike Lamb and Carlos Lee.[33] But out of those 77, only 3 have played their entire careers for both teams, Chuck Jackson, Mike Richardt & Mike Simms.[34] On February 6, 2008, Nolan Ryan became the Rangers' team president after being the special assistant to general manager, scouting players, and holding pitching camps with the Astros for the past three seasons.[35] On February 11, 2014, Ryan returned to the Astros as an executive advisor to his son, Reid, the president of business operations; general manager Jeff Luhnow; and owner Jim Crane.[36] (Nolan Ryan was also the only person to be named DHL Hometown Hero by two organizations, the Rangers and Astros, respectively.)[37][38] On August 18, 2009, the Rangers acquired Iván Rodríguez in a trade from the Houston Astros to help them down the stretch for the purpose of achieving their first playoff appearance in ten years. It will be Rodriguez's second stint with Texas.[39] On September 14, 2010, the Houston Astros Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express, announced that they would become the Texas Rangers new minor league affiliate. This left the Houston Astros without a Triple-A team and the Texas Rangers old Triple-A team, the Oklahoma City RedHawks without a parent club. On September 20, 2010, the Houston Astros made the Oklahoma City RedHawks their own affiliate. These changes went into effect immediately due to neither team making the play-offs but changes won't be seen until the 2011 Season.

1997–2012: First official meetings and interleague play

During the 1997 off-season, "radical" realignment plans were bandied around about possibly rearranging teams from one league to another, especially Houston and Texas. In order to cut down on traveling costs and align teams together based on geography, the MLB owners came up with many plans to put the Astros and Rangers in a more suitable placement together. However, the American League and National League would lose their respective identities in the process.[40][41][42] (The only move was the Brewers from the AL Central to the NL Central.) One of the plans in 2000 even featured the Texas Rangers in a six-team AL Central, so that they would be with other teams in the Central Time Zone, while the fledgling Arizona Diamondbacks would have had to leave the NL West for the AL West to replace the Rangers.[43] During the 2005–06 off-season, the Florida Marlins were considering moving to San Antonio, among other cities, due to the lack of funding for a new stadium. Another professional baseball team in Texas, whether by relocation or expansion, in either league would create greater rivalries, similar to the kind in the NBA with the Spurs, Mavericks, and Rockets, and possible realignment issues.[44]

The Lone Star Series was not conceived until 2001, four years after interleague play began. It was only logical to have the Rangers and Astros matched together since they are the only MLB teams representing Texas. Since both played in two different divisions (AL West and NL Central, respectively), Major League Baseball had to rectify the oversight even though interleague play would not be rotated from division to division on a yearly basis until 2002.

On July 1, 2006, Rangers outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. stole a home run from Astro Mike Lamb in what was considered one of the greatest catches of the decade according to MLB Network.

2013–present: Astros join the American League

Lone Star Series, Houston Astros vs Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, 2013
Houston plays Texas at Globe Life Park in Arlington during the 2013 edition of the Lone Star Series

Major League Baseball approved the sale of the Astros on November 11, 2011 to Jim Crane on the condition they join the American League West. The Rangers, located in the Central Time Zone, had many of their games start late in the Pacific Time Zone due to the Angels, Athletics and Mariners all being located on the West Coast. To help ease the Rangers' schedule, Commissioner Bud Selig required that the Astros join the AL West in 2013 so both teams would have another division rival in relatively close geographical proximity to one another while ensuring that both the AL West and the National League Central both would have the same number of teams as the other divisions. The move's consequence for the rest of the league resulted in all teams having to play interleague games year round due to the odd number of teams in each league.

The Astros and Rangers played each other on Opening Day on March 31, 2013, with the Astros winning convincingly at home. The next game, Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish was one out away from a perfect game when Marwin González hit a single through Darvish's legs.

In April 2015, a brawl started between Rougned Odor and Hank Conger; the brawl escalated when Astros manager AJ Hinch shoved Prince Fielder, which was followed by Rangers manager Jeff Bannister yelling in Hinch's face, "Don't touch my guy!"[45] In September 2015, with both teams in contention for the playoffs, the Astros and Rangers faced each other in a pivotal series, with Texas sweeping all four games. The Rangers, who entered the series 1.5 games behind Houston for the AL West lead, ended the series leading the Astros by 2.5 games.[46] The Rangers would go on to clinch the 2015 AL West Division title, while the Astros entered the 2015 playoffs as a Wild Card team. The Rangers marked the AL West division title by taunting the Astros with a parody of the Astros "Come And Take It!" campaign by proclaiming "We Came And Took It!" during a game at Globe Life Park.[47]

2014 Silver Boot Trophy
2014 Silver Boot Trophy

In 2017, the rivalry between the Astros and Rangers continued to heat up. During a radio interview Rangers Manager Jeff Bannister was quoted as saying, "All I know is they get to put Houston on their chest, we get to put Texas on ours." Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. would fire back on Twitter stating, “It’s because nobody knows what Arlington is."[48] Later in the 2017 season after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston controversy arose when the Astros and Rangers could not negotiate swapping series forcing the Astros to play a series of home games against the Rangers at the Tampa Bay Rays' stadium in Florida.[49] The Rangers would go on to win the series in Tropicana field 2–1 but would go on to lose the season series 7–12. The Astros would go on to sweep the Rangers in the final 3 games of the series and outscore the Rangers 42–8 in the final 4 games.[50] The Rangers did not make the 2017 playoffs and the Astros would go on to clinch their first World Series championship, the first World Series Championship in the Astros-Rangers rivalry, and the first World Series title for the State of Texas.[51]

2018 Series: The 2018 Silver Boot Annual Ledger Account Gambling Bet Between David R. Meyer, herein referred to as "TEX", and James DW Grubb, herein referred to as "HOU".

HOU was victorious in the 2018 MLB Silver Boot Annual Ledger Account Gambling Bet with a win on June 10 giving them 10 wins on the season against TEX. With 19 games on the schedule, the Boot was won early this season. TEX came back with a sweep in late July, but it didn't matter. The Boot series is over with a record of 12–7 in favor of HOU.

HOU was victorious in the 2019 MLB Silver Boot Annual Ledger Account Gambling Bet with a win on July 20 giving them 10 wins on the season against TEX. As of the writing of this, the Rangers and Astros still have three games to play against each other during the season.

Notable players who played on both teams

A Total of 77 players have played for both franchises[52]

Rivalry trivia

  • Former Astros and Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan chose to have his Hall of Fame plaque depicted with a Rangers cap.[54] He would later play roles in both the Astros and Rangers front office staff.
  • The Houston Astros played Game 3 of the 2005 World Series on October 25, 2005. It was the first World Series game played in the state of Texas.
  • The Texas Rangers won Game 3 of the 2010 World Series on October 30, 2010. It was the first World Series game won by a team from Texas.
  • Former Astro Lance Berkman would win a World Series Championship with the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals providing big moments in Game 6 against the Rangers.[55] Berkman would later play for the Rangers in 2013 but would sign a one-day contract to officially retire as an Astro on April 5, 2014.[56]
  • The Astros defeated the Rangers on March 31, 2013, in their first game as a member of the AL West.[57]
  • Former Ranger Yu Darvish lost two games against the Astros as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series.[58]
  • The Astros won the 2017 World Series over the Dodgers, becoming the first team from Texas to win a World Series (the Astros had previously lost the 2005 World Series, while the Rangers lost both of their appearances, in 2010 and 2011).

See also

Sources

  • The Dallas Morning News (2008). Texas Almanac 2008–2009.
  • Farmer, Neal (1996). Southwest Conference's Greatest Hits.

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2001 Houston Astros season

The Houston Astros' 2001 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros winning the National League Central.

2001 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers 2001 season involved the Rangers finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 73 wins and 89 losses.

2005 Houston Astros season

The Houston Astros' 2005 season was a season in which the Houston Astros qualified for the postseason for the second consecutive season. The Astros overcame a sluggish 15–30 start to claim the wild card playoff spot, and would go on to win the National League pennant to advance to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. It was longtime Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell's final season and first World Series appearance.

2005 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers finished the 2005 season in 3rd place in the West division of the American League. The Rangers had four players in the 2005 All-Star Game. Michael Young, Kenny Rogers, Alfonso Soriano, and Mark Teixeira. Young was also the A.L. batting champion in 2005.

On offense, the team led Major League Baseball in home runs (260), at bats (5,716), slugging percentage (.468) and total bases (2,677). The Rangers used 30 pitchers during the season, the most by any team.

2017 Major League Baseball season

The 2017 Major League Baseball season began on April 2, 2017 with three games, including the 2016 World Series champions Chicago Cubs facing off against the St. Louis Cardinals, and ended on November 1. The postseason began on October 3. The World Series began October 24 and Game 7 was played on November 1, in which the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games, to capture their first World Series championship in franchise history.

The 88th Major League Baseball All-Star Game was held on July 11 at Marlins Park, the home of the Miami Marlins. For the first time since 2002 when the game ended in a tie, the All Star Game did not determine home field advantage for the World Series. Instead, home field advantage was awarded to the team with the better regular season record. The American League won 2–1 in 10 innings.

Bay Bridge Series

The Bay Bridge Series, or the Battle of the Bay, is a series of baseball games played between—and the rivalry of—Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics of the American League and San Francisco Giants of the National League. The series takes its name from the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge which links the cities of Oakland and San Francisco. As of 2018, the winner of the annual series retains a trophy fashioned from a piece of the original bridge.Although competitive, the regional rivalry between the A's and Giants is considered a friendly one with mostly mutual companionship between the fans, as opposed to Cubs–White Sox, or Mets–Yankees games where animosity runs high, though sections of each fanbase does harbor towards the entirety of the other. This, however, is limited as many people see the opposing team as no threat to their own; hats displaying both teams on the cap are sold from vendors at the games, and once in a while the teams both dress in uniforms from a historic era of their franchises.

The series is also occasionally referred to as the "BART Series" for the Bay Area Rapid Transit system that links Oakland to San Francisco. However, the name "BART Series" has never been popular beyond a small selection of history books and national broadcasters and has fallen out of favor, likely because BART does not provide direct or easy access to Oracle Park in San Francisco. Bay Area locals almost exclusively refer to the rivalry as the "Bay Bridge Series" or the "Battle of the Bay."

Originally, the term described a series of exhibition games played between the two clubs after the conclusion of spring training, immediately prior to the start of the regular season. It was first used to refer to the 1989 World Series which the Athletics won and the first time both teams had met since they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, it also refers to games played between the teams during the regular season since the commencement of Interleague play in 1997. Through the 2019 season, the A's have won 63 games, and the Giants have won 57.

Cubs–White Sox rivalry

The Cubs–White Sox rivalry (also known as the Crosstown Classic, The Windy City Showdown, Chicago Showdown, North-South Showdown, City Series, Crosstown Series, Crosstown Cup, or Crosstown Showdown) refers to the Major League Baseball (MLB) geographical rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. The Cubs are a member club of MLB's National League (NL) Central division, and play their home games at Wrigley Field, located on Chicago's North Side. The White Sox are a member club of MLB's American League (AL) Central division, and play their home games at Guaranteed Rate Field, located on Chicago's South Side.

The terms "North Siders" and "South Siders" are synonymous with the respective teams and their fans, setting up an enduring rivalry. The White Sox currently lead the regular season series 62–60. There have been nine series sweeps since interleague play began: six by the Cubs in 1998, 2004, 2007, 2008, and both series in 2013 (thereby sweeping the season series), and three by the White Sox in 1999, 2008, and 2012. The Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line runs north-south through Chicago's neighborhoods, stopping at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field. Halsted Street (800 W) also runs north-south passing each park within a distance of a half-mile.

Interleague Minor League Postseason Series

Below is a list of Interleague Minor League Postseason Series since the founding of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues in 1902.

Interleague play

Interleague play in Major League Baseball refers to regular-season baseball games played between an American League (AL) team and a National League (NL) team. Interleague play was first introduced in the 1997 Major League Baseball season. Prior to that, matchups between AL teams and NL teams occurred only during spring training, the All-Star Game, other exhibition games (such as the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, New York), and the World Series. Unlike modern interleague play, none of these contests, except for the World Series, counted toward official team or league records.

James Reasoner

James Reasoner (5 June 1953) is an American writer. He is the author of more than 350 novels and many short stories in a career spanning more than thirty years. Reasoner has used at least nineteen pseudonyms, in addition to his own name: Jim Austin; Peter Danielson; Terrance Duncan; Tom Early; Wesley Ellis; Tabor Evans; Jake Foster; William Grant; Matthew Hart; Livia James; Mike Jameson; Justin Ladd; Jake Logan; Hank Mitchum; Lee Morgan; J.L. Reasoner (with his wife); Dana Fuller Ross; Adam Rutledge; and Jon Sharpe. Since most of Reasoner's books were written as part of various existing Western fiction series, many of his pseudonyms were publishing "house" names that may have been used by other authors who contributed to those series.

Major League Baseball rivalries

Rivalries in the Major League Baseball have occurred between many teams and cities. Rivalries have arisen for many different reasons, the primary ones including geographic proximity, familiarity with opponents, various incidents, and cultural, linguistic, or national pride.

Silver Glove series

Silver Glove Series is a series played between the University of Houston Cougars and Rice University Owls in college baseball. The series officially began in 1998. The Rice Owls have dominated in the series, winning it each year from 2001 until 2014. The Owls and Cougars competed in the same conference, Southwest Conference, from 1973 through 1996, and Conference USA, from 2006 through the 2013 baseball season, after which Houston moved to the American Athletic Conference. Each year, the series consists of 5 games. During the time in which the two teams were part of C-USA, three of those contests were "conference" games with the other two "non-conference" games being played at the opposite site as the three "conference" games.

Southern United States

The southern United States, also known as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South, is a region of the United States of America. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the western United States, with the midwestern United States and northeastern United States to its north and the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico to its south.

The South does not fully match the geographic south of the United States but is commonly defined as including the states that fought for the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. The Deep South is fully located in the southeastern corner. Arizona and New Mexico, which are geographically in the southern part of the country, are rarely considered part, while West Virginia, which separated from Virginia in 1863, commonly is. Some scholars have proposed definitions of the South that do not coincide neatly with state boundaries. While the states of Delaware and Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia, permitted slavery prior to and during the Civil War, they remained with the Union. Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, they became more culturally, economically, and politically aligned with the industrial Northern states, and are often identified as part of the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast by many residents, businesses, public institutions, and private organizations, but the United States Census Bureau puts them in the South.

Usually, the South is defined as including the southeastern and south-central United States. The region is known for its culture and history, having developed its own customs, musical styles, and cuisines, which have distinguished it in some ways from the rest of the United States. The Southern ethnic heritage is diverse and includes strong European (mostly English, Italians, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, Irish, German, French, and Spanish American), African, and some Native American components.Some other aspects of the historical and cultural development of the South have been influenced by the institution of slave labor on plantations in the Deep South to an extent seen nowhere else in the United States; the presence of a large proportion of African Americans in the population; support for the doctrine of states' rights, and the legacy of racial tension magnified by the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, as seen in thousands of lynchings (mostly from 1880 to 1930), the segregated system of separate schools and public facilities known as "Jim Crow laws", that lasted until the 1960s, and the widespread use of poll taxes and other methods to frequently deny black people of the right to vote or hold office until the 1960s. Since the late 1960s, black people have held many offices in Southern states, especially in the coastal states of Virginia and South Carolina. Black people have also been elected or appointed as mayors and police chiefs in the metropolises of Baltimore, Charlotte, Birmingham, Richmond, Columbia, Memphis, Houston, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Jackson, and New Orleans, and serve in both the U.S. Congress and state legislatures.Historically, the South relied heavily on agriculture, and was highly rural until after 1945. It has since become more industrialized and urban and has attracted national and international migrants. The American South is now among the fastest-growing areas in the United States. Houston is the largest city in the Southern United States. Sociological research indicates that Southern collective identity stems from political, demographic, and cultural distinctiveness from the rest of the United States. The region contains almost all of the Bible Belt, an area of high Protestant church attendance (especially evangelical churches such as the Southern Baptist Convention) and predominantly conservative, religion-influenced politics. Indeed, studies have shown that Southerners are more conservative than non-Southerners in several areas, including religion, morality, international relations, and race relations. This is evident in both the region's religious attendance figures and in the region's usually strong support for the Republican Party in political elections since the 1960s, and especially since the 1990s.Apart from its climate, the living experience in the South increasingly resembles the rest of the nation. The arrival of millions of Northerners (especially in major metropolitan areas and coastal areas) and millions of Hispanics has meant the introduction of cultural values and social norms not rooted in Southern traditions. Observers conclude that collective identity and Southern distinctiveness are thus declining, particularly when defined against "an earlier South that was somehow more authentic, real, more unified and distinct". However, journalist Michael Hirsh proposed that aspects of Southern culture have spread throughout a greater portion of the rest of the United States in a process termed "Southernization".

Sports in the United States by state

Sports in the United States are an important part of American culture. American football is the most popular sport to watch in the United States, followed by baseball, basketball, and soccer. Hockey, tennis, golf, wrestling, auto racing, arena football, field lacrosse, box lacrosse and volleyball are also popular sports in the country.

Based on revenue, the four major professional sports leagues in the United States are Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL). The market for professional sports in the United States is roughly $69 billion, roughly 50% larger than that of all of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined. All four enjoy wide-ranging domestic media coverage and are considered the preeminent leagues in their respective sports in the world, although American football does not have a substantial following in other nations. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are the most financially lucrative sports leagues of their sport. Major League Soccer (MLS), which also includes teams based in Canada, is sometimes included in a "top five" of leagues. With an average attendance of over 20,000 per game, MLS has the third highest average attendance of any sports league in the U.S. after the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB), and is the seventh highest attended professional soccer league worldwide.Professional teams in all major sports in the United States operate as franchises within a league, meaning that a team may move to a different city if the team's owners believe there would be a financial benefit, but franchise moves are usually subject to some form of league-level approval. All major sports leagues use a similar type of regular-season schedule with a post-season playoff tournament. In addition to the major league–level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country. As in Canada and Australia, sports leagues in the United States do not practice promotion and relegation, unlike many sports leagues in Europe.

Sports are particularly associated with education in the United States, with most high schools and universities having organized sports, and this is a unique sporting footprint for the U.S. College sports competitions play an important role in the American sporting culture, and college basketball and college football are as popular as professional sports in some parts of the country. The major sanctioning body for college sports is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Unlike most other nations, the United States government does not provide funding for sports nor for the United States Olympic Committee.

Texas Derby

The Texas Derby is a soccer rivalry (derby) between the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas, recognizing the best club in the state for the season. The two squads play a series of games with the series winner taking home El Capitán, a replica 18th century mountain howitzer cannon. Houston currently leads the all-time series, 7–6.

The Houston Dynamo clinched the 2006 series with a win on August 12, 2006 and the 2007 series with a win on August 19, 2007. FC Dallas claimed the 2008 series on the away goals rule, after having tied with Dynamo in all three games played that season. The away goals rule is no longer used as a tiebreaker.

Both the 2016 and 2017 series were tied, the first since 2008 and the first since the tiebreaker rules were changed. Houston won the 2016 series on goal differential. The tiebreakers couldn't separate the teams in 2017 so Houston retained El Capitán.

Since the beginning of 2013, the teams have met 18 times. During this 7-year period (2013–2019), Houston has won only three of these matches while Dallas has been victorious 10 times, including a 7-match win streak.

Texas Rangers (baseball)

The Texas Rangers are an American professional baseball team based in Arlington, Texas, located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Rangers franchise currently competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) West division. Since 1994, the Rangers have played in Globe Life Park in Arlington. The team's name is borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name.

The franchise was established in 1961 as the Washington Senators, an expansion team awarded to Washington, D.C., after the city's first AL ballclub, the second Washington Senators, moved to Minnesota and became the Twins (the original Washington Senators played primarily in the National League during the 1890s). After the 1971 season, the new Senators moved to Arlington, and debuted as the Rangers the following spring.

The Texas Rangers Baseball Club has made eight appearances in the MLB postseason, seven following division championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2016 and as a wild card team in 2012. In 2010, the Rangers advanced past the Division Series for the first time, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays. Texas then brought home their first American League pennant after beating the New York Yankees in six games. In the 2010 World Series, the franchise's first, the Rangers fell to the San Francisco Giants in five games. They repeated as American League champions the following year, then lost the 2011 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

In 2018, the Rangers partnered with the KBO League's LG Twins, in business and baseball operations.In 2020, the Rangers will move from Globe Life Park to the new Globe Life Field.

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson (born 1959) is an author of Christian fiction. She writes many historical novels, with romantic threads in them, as well as writing with other Christian authors on joint novels. Many of her books are published by Bethany House. She originally used the pen name of Janelle Jamison.

Several of her series feature Harvey Girls, who are historically part of the Fred Harvey Company.

Peterson is married to Jim and has 3 children, Jennifer, Julie, and Erik; they live in Montana.

Peterson owns Peterson Ink, Inc. along with her husband Jim, daughter Jennifer, and friend Charity Kauffman. Barbour Publishing uses Peterson Ink to handle the entire production of their Heartsong Presents book line. Heartsong Presents publishes 52 Christian romance books a year, with half of those being contemporary stories and half historical.

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