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Flashback: Auction was one year ago today

8/3/2011

DETROIT -- This time one year ago, TV cameras and reporters were poised outside a courthouse in downtown Fort Worth waiting for Nolan Ryan, Chuck Greenberg, Mark Cuban and a bunch of lawyers to walk inside and begin a bankruptcy auction for the right to buy the Rangers.

Meanwhile, the Rangers were in Seattle, trying to continue their quest for the AL West title. They were eight games ahead in the division and trying to ignore all the talk surrounding ownership.

"We knew that our team was going to be in better hands and that we wouldn't have to be constantly answering questions about whether we were worried about the ownership situation," David Murphy said. "At that point, we had already gotten Cliff [Lee] and we basically had the team to get where we wanted to get last year."

The game, which started after 9 p.m. Dallas time, provided an interesting backdrop. Michael Young hit a grand slam that helped the Rangers to a come-from-behind win. Greenberg told the story several times that his group was sending in its final bid as Young's grand slam occurred. He took it as a good omen. And they found out a little later that they had won the auction. That victory insured that Ryan would remain in the organization. Since then, Greenberg is no longer with the club and Ryan is now president and CEO.

"At one point, we thought Mark Cuban was going to get the team," Ian Kinsler said. "Then we heard Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg's group got it. The biggest thing for us was that Nolan was going to stay with the team. We didn't want to see him leave."

As the players entered the clubhouse following a long game in Seattle that spilled into the next day, word filtered around that the auction was over. It didn't officially end until the early morning of Aug. 5.

"I don't think anyone let the situation bother them in a baseball or clubhouse atmosphere," Murphy said. "We knew that we were going to go out and play the same game either way and play hard. We weren't worried about whether our paychecks were going to show up. We could go out and play and not have to worry about one more outside distraction once it was done. But I wouldn't call it a distraction to begin with.

BTW, if you'd like to relive that night at the courthouse, be sure to read ESPNDallas.com's Jim Reeves' column on it.