MUSIC - Time by Pink Floyd
Photographed in 1987 and 1988 using film.
Arlington Stadium / Turnpike Stadium - Opened in 1965 and demolished in 1994. The site is now a parking lot. On the google map, Legends way runs right thru the center of where Arlington Stadium stood.
Known as Turnpike Stadium 1965 - 1971, Arlington Stadium 1972 - 1993.
Location: 1500 E. Copeland Road Arlington, Texas -- Bounded by Nolan Ryan Expressway and Road to six flags E.
Born as Turnpike Stadium in 1965, the simple facility served north Texas for 28 years. It started out as a minor league park, hosting the Dallas - Fort Worth Spurs of the Texas league. Dallas is 30 miles east of Fort Worth, and Arlington is just about half way. The park was on Copeland Road, just south of I-30. The two major things fans remember about the stadium is the oppressive heat in summer, and the blast furnace winds that would blow in from the East. It wasn't fancy, but it was serviceable.
The original capacity was 10,500. After the 1971 season, the Washington Senators were looking to relocate. They struck a deal with the city of Arlington, and capacity of the park was expanded to 35,185. After several renovations, the final capacity was 43,521. Day games were rarely played after May 1st. Even Sunday games were played at night due to the heat. The original scoreboard in left was shaped as the state of Texas. Later on, it was dismantled and a rectangular wall ran from the top of the left field bleachers to the right field bleachers. The scoreboards were located in this wall. The park had a minor league feel to it. You could see the additions that were built over the years.
The first game for the new Texas Rangers was on April 21st, 1972. The Rangers defeated the California Angels 7-6. Dick Bosman got the first win for the Rangers, and "Hondo" Frank Howard hit the first home run. Unfortunately, the Rangers continued their losing ways as had the old Washington Senators.
In 1989, the Rangers signed free agent pitcher Nolan Ryan. Ryan completed his hall of fame career in 1993 as a member of the Rangers. Two of the parks highlights came courtesy of the Ryan express. On August 22nd 1989, Ryan blew away Rickey Henderson of the Oakland A's to become the first pitcher to amass 5,000 career strike outs. On May 1st 1991, Von Ryan's express struck out Roberto Alomar of the Toronto Blue Jays to record his 6th no hitter. One of the more infamous moments happened with Ryan also. August 4th, 1993, Ryan hit Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox. Ventura charged the mound and Ryan got him in a headlock and proceeded to pummel him. I have been watching baseball for geez over 40 years now, and the only two pitchers who could seemingly throw a no hitter any time out were..... Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan. I personally have seen Ryan throw 2 one hitters and 3 two hitters.
Other milestones were Cal Ripken, Jr. of Baltimore and Oddibe McDowell of the Rangers being the only two players to hit for the cycle at Arlington. Mike Witt of the California Angels threw a perfect game against Texas on the last day of the season in 1984. There were never any playoff games or all star games played at Arlington Stadium.
Towards the end of the 80's, the park began to show her age. The Texas heat took its toll on seats and the paint job on the bleachers. After 21 heat induced seasons of Major League use, the park was closed for good. On October 3rd 1993, the Kansas City beat the Rangers 4-1 to close out Arlington stadium as a major league park. The last winning pitcher was Kevin Appier, and the last home run was hit by the Royals Gary Gaetti. The final Ranger win was 2 days earlier when Roger Pavlik shut out the Royals 2-0. A day later, Rob Ducey hit the final Ranger home run in a losing cause.
It was quirky, hot, windy and had a minor league feel. But the park was major league for 21 years. It was the metroplex first major league ballpark. Arlington Stadium was demolished in 1994. The ground where Arlington Stadium once stood is now a grassy lot. It is just a long fly north of where the present Ballpark in Arlington now stands. So if you ever get to Dallas and want to go to a Rangers game, just gaze north to the large green grassy area and imagine the quaint minor league park that served north Texas well.
Arlington stadium from the roof of the Wyndham hotel. 8-94. The following 3 photo slideshows depict the life and slow death of a ballpark.
Arlington stadium from the parking lot. 11/87
The main entrance to the park. 11/87
The third base side of the park, and the visitors clubhouse. 11/87
Luxury boxes behind home plate. 11/87
The main concourse behind home plate. 11/87
The Rangers dugout complete with astroturf. 11/87
The team store in the background, and the Rangers offices. 11/87
Arlington stadium from I-30. 11/87
The front of Arlington Stadium just before demolition of the park. You can see to the left of the park, the new ballpark in Arlington. The two parks were literally a Juan Gonzalez fly away from each other.
The Rangers play the Orioles on July 2 1988. July 1988 I would actually be living in Dallas for a year between 1989 and 1990. It is a great city.
The visitors dugout. You can see the funky astroturf on the dugout floor. July 88
A good view of the field and the bleachers that ran from left to right. July 88
The big white building in back of the bleachers in left is the Wyndham hotel. July 88
Ahhhh a nice cool July evening in north Texas. At 7:55, its a refreshing 94 degrees. July 88
Looking out towards left field. The orange tower to the left of the big Dr. Pepper sign is part of six flags over Arlington amusement park. July 88
The outfield bleachers in Arlington were huge. July 88
Leaving the park after a HOT and humid July night. July 88