Where to begin?
This weekend marks the last for Texas Rangers baseball at Globe Life Park, the team’s home for the last 25 years.
For those who became a Texan-by-choice after 1994, or if you are one of that uncomfortably large group that hadn’t even been born yet, Globe Life Park was once known simply as The Ballpark In Arlington.
Just two months before the new stadium opened, I’d left my longtime radio home at 103.7 KVIL for Newsradio KRLD. At the time KRLD was located inside an old building on the Carpenter Freeway in Dallas. Assuming that cavernous structure had ever had any better days in the first place, those days were far behind it. So far in fact that prior inhabitants had nicknamed the abandoned studio I adopted as my office “The Tomb”, due to its eternally dank vibe and general clamminess.
Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? I felt that one night while working late, and turned to see a rat the size of a small throw pillow sizing me up from the shadows.
Admittedly, rats aren’t that uncommon in broadcasting – but they generally confine themselves to ownership or the executive suites.
Soon thereafter KRLD outbid WBAP for the Rangers’ radio broadcast rights, and rumors began circulating that we were to move our entire operation to the new baseball stadium. When the whispers were confirmed the staff practically did cartwheels in the parking lot. The rat was to stay behind, although I’m sure he too was ready for new digs. Not only was the Ballpark facility a quantum leap forward in terms of broadcasting and production capacity, it was also destined to be a sales tool – designed to woo prospective advertisers both with KRLD’s enormous audience reach and in terms of that view.
Oh, you’re thinking of advertising with us? Great! Why don’t you bring your family to our corporate suite this weekend and we’ll talk about maybe buying an even bigger schedule!
It worked like a charm. Last time I looked, the call letters “KRLD” remain engraved above what used to be the station’s main entrance – at 1080 Ballpark Way.
Our back door opened directly into Vandergriff Plaza, which meant we could pretty much come and go from our offices into the ballpark and back again as we pleased. Believe me, we did. One memory all of us who were there at the time share is batting practice prior to the Major League All-Star Game of 1995, when Mike Piazza drove a ball over the visitor’s bullpen in deep left center off the windows of our conference room. The shot took a chip out of the frame, 580 feet from home plate.