Precautions taken before big boom at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on July 9, 2012 at 10:41 PM

ARLINGTON - Sunday night's thunderbolt at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington provided players and fans with their most startling moment since game six of the 2011 World Series.

It seemed to come from out of nowhere, with almost no rumblings beforehand. But Rangers management was monitoring storms and checking with a meteorologist even before the boom.

"Our groundskeeper, Dennis Klein, spoke to the umpire crew chief probably 10 minutes before lightning struck to tell him thunderstorms were coming,"  said Vice President of Operations Rob Matwick.

He said the club brought in parking attendants about 20 minutes before the big boom and blinding flash hit in the top of the fourth. Supervisors inside the ballpark were notified, too. And between innings, public address announcer Chuck Morgan encouraged fans in upper levels to seek shelter.

"I think we handled it as we should have," Matwick said.

He said Major League Baseball has not questioned whether the game should have been suspended sooner.

Storms were developing and falling apart across north Texas. Matwick said the club will review the incident to see if there's anything to be learned from it.

Players tweeted about it later.

"The replay of this lightning strike has me cracking up.I can't stop laughing," said Rangers catcher Mike Napoli. "It was a reaction and I was out of there."

"That's the loudest noise I've ever heard. I thought Jesus was comin!" joked Twins center fielder Denard Span.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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