1000 Ballpark Way
Plays Here: Texas Rangers (AL)
First opened: April 1, 1994
Surface: Bermuda Tifway 419 grass
David M. Schwarz Architectural Services (Washington, DC); HKS, Inc.
Owner: City of Arlington
Cost: $191 million
Public financing: $135 million (71%) from a one-half-cent sales tax
increase in the city of Arlington over 12 to 15 years
Private financing: $56 million (29%) from the Rangers owners
to purchase stadium replica from the Danbury Mint Collection
between the Rangers and the city of Arlington, Texas to build a new
ballpark was announced on October 24, 1990. The ballpark was named on
September 28, 1993. The first game was an exhibition between the Rangers
and the New York Mets on April 1, 1994.
And the result - the Ballpark in Arlington - is a beaut. It was one
of the first to go classic - the columns are a throwback to
turn-of-the-century ballparks like Ebbetts Field or the South End Grounds,
trading intimacy for a few seats with obstructed views. The
architecture celebrates classical lines, with lots of granite, structural
steel and brick. The quirky outfield walls have lots angles, making
it very tough to be an outfielder here.
The ballpark is approximately 1,400,000 sq feet, a
17,000-square-foot baseball museum and a children’s learning center,
open year-round. Outside
the park, visitors can wander up Nolan Ryan Expressway and stroll along
the Rangers Walk of Fame, reading about each team in franchise history on
the brick path beneath them.
The field itself is located
22 feet below street level, in order to avoid summer winds; on top of the
offices in center field stands a wind screen (measuring 42 feet by 430
feet) that minimizes the impact of stiff breezes.
field consists of Bermuda Tifway 419. The sod was grown on a farm in
Granbury, Texas. Drainage lines are laid every 15 feet over the entire
field. The playing surface is covered by 4-5 inches of pea gravel and
14-15 inches of sand mixture as the field is expected to have the capacity
to drain 9-10 inches of water per hour.
The Ballpark in
Regular Season Game - April 11, 1994 vs MIL
(Brewers 4, Rangers 3)
Pitch - Kenny Rogers 3:57 P.M.
- Pat Listach
Hit - David Hulse
Homerun - Dave Nilsson
- Bernie Williams
Stolen Base - David Hulse
Strikeout - Doug
No-Hitter - Kenny Rogers
Perfect Game - Kenny
Error - John
This ballpark consistently
plays as the most lively, offensive park in the American League. With
game time temperatures in the 90s and 100s throughout the summer, the warm
air can help the ball carry a fair bit. Also, the right field wall
is a reachable 325 at the foul pole, and slopes gently away, so even
though the power alley is a goodly 381 feet, seemingly harmless fly balls
can carry into the stands. The left field wall is further away by 7
- 10 feet, from foul pole to the alley, so right-handed power hitters
don't benefit as much as do left-handed sluggers. In fact, the park
typically has played roughly neutral for right-handed HR, going back to
its inception in 1994, but boosts left-handed HR by roughly 20%.
With its spacious dimensions
and quirky outfield walls, this part boosts triples like few others in the
The spacious outfield, plus the fact that the wall has many nooks and
crannies that make for interesting bounces and tough angles for
outfielders, makes it difficult to play outfield. Odd caroms result
in one of the higher error factors in the majors. A center fielder
with range, a left fielder with good range, and corner outfielders with
sure hands are all appreciated.
benefits: Left-handed power hitters fare best. Rafael
Palmeiro is a prime example - over the last two seasons, he has hit 54 of
his 86 homers at home. Rusty Greer has also done much better at
home, both for average and power, by taking advantage of the right-field
porch. Hitters who can hit
shots to gaps, and then use speed to turn doubles into triples, do well
also. Right-handed hitters see their batting averages rise here by
as much as lefties (4 - 5%), probably because the spacious dimensions of
left field and the tendency of the ball to carry in the warm air spreads
out the infield.
gets hurt: With game time temperatures usually over 90 degrees,
pitchers with high pitch counts who work slowly are not smiled upon.
Fielders have to have stamina - it's amazing that Ivan Rodriguez gets 140
starts a year. Flyball pitchers suffer from the park's propensity to
allow lots of extra base hits - right-handed pitchers are especially
vulnerable to the LHR (see Rick Helling and John Burkett).
2001 STATS, Inc.
Arlington, Texas: Adjacent to Six
Flags over Texas on the west side of the amusement park at the northwest
corner of East Randol Mill Road and Ballpark Way. Left field (E) Ballpark
Way, right field (S) E Randol Mill Road and parking lot, 1st base (W)
Pennant Drive and parking lot, 3rd base (N) park, Copeland Road and I-30.
field: 334 ft.
field: 400 ft.
- deepest: 407 ft.
field: 325 ft.
- Second highest run factor in the AL in
- Highest run factor in the AL in 1998
- Highest home run factor in AL in 2000
- Highest LHB home run factor in AL in 2000
- Second highest error factor in AL in 2000
Third highest triple factor in the AL in 1999
- Second highest RHB average factor in the
AL in 1999
- The bullpens raised 5 feet above playing
surface so fans can see who is warming up.