Date: Saturday, July 15th, 2017
Rangers’ Record: 44-45 (2nd, 16.5 games behind Houston)
Wild Card Position: 5th (3.0 behind TBR, 2.0 behind NYY. Also trailing MIN, KC)
Tonight’s Opponent: Kansas City Royals (44-44)
Tonight’s Starters: Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.51) vs. Danny Duffy (5-5, 3.76)
You’re not likely to remember this.
In a week, a month, a year, you’ll likely forget that you read this article; a round-up of Texas Rangers news posted to the internet a couple of hours before Cole Hamels and the Rangers attempted to knock Danny Duffy and the Royals out of fourth place in the AL Wild Card position.
In four years’ time, perhaps someone will mention the name Pete Kozma or Jason Grilli, and you’ll remember the 2017 Rangers as a unit––the early season stumble, the blown saves, the jettison of Sam Dyson to San Francisco, Adrian Beltre’s 3000th hit, Pudge Rodriguez being elected into the Hall of Fame, and however this season ultimately shakes out––but if I asked you who pitched for Texas on July 14th in the game where Adrian Beltre hit the three-run home run to tie it and Mike Napoli hit the two-run home run to win it, you might struggle to remember that it was Martin Perez.
And unless something majestic happens tonight––a no-hitter, a perfect game, a four-home-run masterpiece––you’re equally as unlikely to remember the game we are about to watch.
Here, I’ll prove it: July 14th, 2013. The Rangers were playing the Tigers at Comerica Park In a game where Adrian Beltre got the night off at third base, but was hit by a pitch anyway, resulting in one Beltre (Engel) pinch-running for another (Adrian).
If you remember anything from that night, it’s probably that Justin Verlander was extremely Having a Night, and held Texas to just two hits: a Mitch Moreland double and a Geovany Soto single. Moreland and Soto both also walked once, as did Leonys Martin. Beltre (Adrian, not Engal), Elvis Andrus, and the erstwhile third baseman Jurickson Profar are three of the four Rangers players from that night that are still with the organization. None of the three relievers (Cory Burns, Joe Ortiz, Wilmer Font) are even still in the big leagues.
Joe Ortiz found his way into eight more big league games in 2013, but was injured the next off-season when a motorcycle ran over his foot. The Cubs claimed him on waivers a year later, but he never made the big leagues again. He was released in August of 2015 and was last seen pitching 9⅓ innings in Venezuela in 2016. Cory Burns pitched in three more games that season, but despite having been in the Rays, Blue Jays, and Mets organizations since, has not pitched in the big leagues again.
Wilmer Font is in the Dodgers minor league system now, having bounced around independent ball in 2015. He, too, spend a little while in the Blue Jays system. But July 14th, 2013 was Font’s last big-league game. He faced three batters, allowing one walk, one hit, and getting a foul ball fly-out to Alex Avila.
The starter (and the last of the four Rangers of that night who are still in the system) was Martin Perez. He had a forgettable night, allowing five runs on four hits, three of which were home runs.
Because baseball keeps intricate records, we can look these things up, but most of life is ephemeral. You’ll log a few deep memories, a few stories that you’ll recall for as long as you are here, perhaps repeating them a few times a day, as my grandfather did in his final weeks. It’s a profound discovery of what truly matters to a person, learning which stories stay until the end.
The rest becomes dust.
This is an odd Daily. It’s a slow news day: the Rangers traded Yeyson Yrizzari to the White Sox for international slot compensation. Perhaps if Shohei Otani becomes a Ranger in the off-season, we’ll remember July 15th. Or perhaps, as baseball is known to go, something special and unforgettable will happen in tonight’s game. But in the event that this day goes as most days go, there’s a good chance that on July 15th, 2021, you won’t remember tonight’s game.
That sounds bleak or nihilistic, but that’s not the intention. Allow me to explain. You don’t have the choice about whether or not you’ll remember every mundane detail of every nondescript baseball game, or work day, or evening at home. It’s part of what makes humans so good at retaining information: we dump the clutter to make room for the no-hitters and the promotions and the birthdays and the learning to ride a bike and first kisses.
The choice we do have is this: we can choose to fully immerse ourselves in this afternoon, this evening, this game, this “DAD LOOK AT THIS” Lego creation, or this repeated-for-the-fourth-time story, knowing that this moment is ours alone, likely a secret even from our future selves. For some of us, we will be Adrian Beltre, still shining years later, (even if today we need a pinch-runner). For others, we will be Wilmer Font, taking in the lights and the crowd for the final time. We don’t know until we know. But for now, this moment is yours. Take a deep breath, feel the air in your lungs, feel the soreness in your muscles, feel the freedom from the tyranny of past and the threat of future memories, and just ...Be.
You can follow Levi Weaver on Twitter at @ThreeTwoEephus, or for fewer puns and more straight-forward Baseball News updates, you can follow us at @BaseballTX, or download the app and get in-game updates and notifications by clicking on the logo below!
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