Fans arrive early, pumped for Game 3

October, 9, 2010
10/09/10
3:43
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is filling up quickly and it's clear fans couldn't wait for the first playoff game in 11 years.

At 11:30 a.m., there were fans in the parking lots tailgating -- a rarity before a Ranger game -- and a large group watched Rangers batting practice. With more than a half hour before the first pitch, many are in their seats, ready to go.

"I was here in 1999 and all we want is a 'W' today," said Mitch Nicholson, a 44-year-old partial-season ticket holder from Denton.

He came to the game with his buddy, Mike Jurcy from Coppell. Both of them had plenty of choices of sporting events in the Dallas area today.

"I know there's college football and I like that too, but there's only one thing today and that's postseason baseball," Jurcy said.

Bill Brownfield and his 28-year-old daughter, Katie, were in their seats an hour before the first pitch, ready to go. Bill wore his blue Texas batting helmet with antlers glued to it. Both Brownfields had their brooms, hoping for a sweep.

"I could hardly sleep last night," Katie said. "I just could not wait for this to get here."

Bill Brownfield said he got out of the Navy in 1971 and became a Rangers fan as soon as they arrived in Arlington for the 1972 season.

"This is my first playoff ever," Bill said. "This team is a lot of fun to pull for. The claw and antler thing is an example. The fans jumped on that and the players loved that the fans could be invovled."
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.92 159 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .322
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 53
RA. Beltre 52
OPSA. Beltre .880
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159