Home opener started early for Rangers fans

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA Sports

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 8:37 AM

ARLINGTON -- Opening day means different things to different people.

"Opening day is the beginning of a new era," said Julia McMullen from Arlington.

Some Rangers fans arrived early enough Friday to cook breakfast.

"We're doing bacon and eggs, breakfast taquitos, and sausage and bacon," said Brad Board from Justin.

The team took note.

"I showed up here at 8:30 this morning, and there are several fans out here tailgating, so it's fun to see the energy that's around the ballpark," said Rangers outfielder David Murphy.

The home opener is always a special day, not just for the fans, but for the players, who finally get a chance to come out of the dugout again.

The return of Josh Hamilton to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington just added to the day.

"Texas is home," Hamilton said. "I've always said it is, and it's always going to be."

Nolan Ryan was in attendence, but still wouldn't talk about his future with the team. He did say he'll talk sometime in the future and when asked if it'll be positive for Rangers fans, Ryan said, "I don't know."

Former President George W. Bush has become an opening-day fixture and today, even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones couldn't stay away.

"I'm telling you, I’m so happy to have this big, beautiful day with the sun out -- it's really great today," Jones said. "It’s great to be out here. [My wife] Gene and I are going to enjoy this ball game."

Country music star Jack Ingram sang the national anthem before Robbie Parker threw out the first pitch. Parker, who lost his six-year-old daughter at Sandy Hook Elementary, fought back tears as he was hugged by Pudge Rodriguez.

"He just said I want you to know how much I love you and he said your daughter is being a great example to so many people," Parker said. "He just pointed to the crowd and said all these people are here for you and they're here because of her."

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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