Rangers band reunites after three decades




Posted on September 17, 2012 at 2:31 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 17 at 2:39 AM

ARLINGTON — Love and baseball led to a reunion in Arlington on Sunday.

A group that once brought joy to beleaguered Rangers fans reunited to see if they still had it.

Thirty years ago, before the move to Rangers Ballpark, the sweet sounds of Dixieland music filled the old Arlington Stadium.

"We had a blast together back in the old days," said Mike O'Glee, who was part of the band from the University of Texas at Arlington that played at the Rangers games in the early 80s.

"I looked forward to it, especially being a college guy," he said.

Those guys hadn't seen each other in years. Then came a phone call from one of the members of the old gang.

"Monte told me his mom was having an 80th birthday party, and my dad had just had one last year," O'Glee said.

Together again, they tuned up their act on Sunday in Arlington — not at the Ballpark, but at a restaurant — to surprise Helen Ashcraft on her 80th birthday.

When the birthday girl entered the room, the band was right on cue with a rendition of "Happy Birthday to You."

"That's quite exciting!" Ashcraft said. "I feel very honored and privileged."

It was a son's gift to his mother she won't soon forget... aAnd a chance for the oldtimers to make some new memories.

"Any opportunity to get back together and and do that, I hope it's not the last one," O'Glee said.

The band said it was just a fluke they got to play for the Rangers. They were in the right place at the right time when a team representative came to UT Arlington.

They played about 40 games a season between 1978 and 1981.