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Saturday, October 29, 2011
Fans turn out to welcome team home

By Travis L. Brown

IRVING, Texas -- The Rangers gave North Texas fans another long ride through the postseason and fans returned their gratitude around 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

“At least I made you smile,” Rangers fan James Clubb shouted at passing players at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after the team’s return trip from St. Louis, where it faltered in Game 7 of the World Series.

Clubb was one of around 100 fans who braved chilly weather to send out words of encouragement to players and team personnel who made the short trek from the plane to their parked cars after the loss Friday.

Most players gave a few tentative waves on their way past the line of fans, but pitcher C.J. Wilson returned from his car to walk down the line and shake a few hands.

Texas Rangers Hall of Famer Jim Sundberg also stopped off to sign a few autographs before heading to his car.

Fans such as Callie Harper and Ryan Steele traveled from as far away as Tyler to do their best to cheer up their favorite players.

“It was so much fun,” Harper said about the early morning trip to Dallas. “Totally worth it. I have an 8 a.m. class tomorrow and it was still totally worth it.”

It was obvious that despite a second World Series loss, these fans' spirits were far from broken.

“It was a magical season,” Rangers fan Stuart Blake said.  “Too bad we couldn’t get it done, but we’ll get it next year.”