Texas Rangers: John Burkett

Fan Fest schedule: Doors open at 4 p.m.

January, 11, 2013
1/11/13
10:00
AM CT
The Texas Rangers Fan Fest and Dr Pepper Awards Show takes place today and Saturday at the Arlington Convention Center. Here's a look at what you need to know if you're planning on heading out to Arlington this afternoon:

* Doors open at 4 p.m. and the Fan Fest is open until 10:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door or you can purchase them here. Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children 13 and under for a one-day pass and $40 for adults and $25 for children 13 and under for a two-day pass. The ticket office (Southeast Gallary at the Convention Center) will be open two hours prior to the doors opening on each day (the Fan Fest goes from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, FYI).

* The Dr Pepper Awards Show is tonight from 8 to 10 p.m. and any fan with a ticket to Fan Fest today can see the show (there's no extra charge).

* ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM will be out there as well. Galloway & Company will broadcast inside the exhibit hall and ESPNDallas.com live with Joe Trahan and me (popping in and out between interviews) will start at 6 p.m. and go until 9 p.m. So we'll have lots of good Rangers talk and guests for you, so be sure to listen. If you're in Arlington, stop by and say hello too.

* Some of the activities at Fan Fest:

Batting Cage: Life size batting cage with top of the line-pitching machine will pitch safety balls to fans.
Speed Pitch: Fans will get the opportunity to stand on a mound and test their arms.
Home Run Derby Field: Fans can hit one “out of the park”…literally. This mini Rangers Ballpark will provide fun and entertainment for all ages.
Locker Room/American League Trophy display: This great photo opportunity will allow fans to feel they are in the real Rangers clubhouse and have their pictures taken with the 2010 and 2011 American League Trophies.
Ground Ball/Fly Ball catch: Fans will be able to test their skills against a pop-fly or ground ball in this area.
Team Photo Opportunity: Fans will be able to have their picture taken with the 2012 team! Fan Fest will feature a life-size team photo cut out.
Lil Sluggers: This interactive will be for the young Rangers fans (8 and under). It will be decorated with MLB Mascots – kids can step up and hit the whiffle balls off a tee.
Event Stage: The Event Stage will be a highlight of the event. Fans will be treated to Q&A sessions with current and former players as well as special interest topics about the Texas Rangers. The stage will also have a dance contest, giveaways, and much more throughout the weekend!
Steal Home Challenge: Fans can race against the clock from third base to home plate and compare their speed with their favorite Rangers.

Autograph Stages will be located in the main Exhibit Hall. Autographs signings will be posted approximately two hours in advance of each session and will include numerous current and former Rangers.

Photo Stage: Throughout the event, fans will be able to get their photos taken with their favorite Rangers personalities.

* Autograph sessions for Friday are 5, 6 and 7 p.m. with Adrian Beltre, Steve Buechele, John Burkett, Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Joe Nathan and A.J. Pierzynski signing.

* Lewis and Nathan will also participate in a Q&A session.

* Hall of Famers Scheduled in the Fergie Jenkins Foundation Booth: Rollie Fingers, Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry.

* Autograph procedures:

-- Fan Fest autograph schedules will not be announced in advance other than what is listed above.

-- Television monitors located at the information booths in the Grand Hall and near the entrance of the Exhibit Hall and the television screens located near the main stage will post who is signing during each session 1 hour prior to the start of that session.

-- Entrance to the designated line will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals who use wheelchairs must adhere to the same first-come, first-served process as all other fans.

-- When lines are at the designated capacity, an “END OF LINE” sign will be posted and no further guests will be allowed to enter the line.

-- There are six designated autograph sessions throughout the weekend where all fans in attendance 1 hour prior to the start of the autograph session will be eligible to participate. Participants will be selected randomly. More information on players and scheduled times will be available on each day of Fan Fest.

-- One autograph per person is allowed, no exceptions.

-- Players will sign approximately 225 autographs per session. Players will not sign beyond their allotted time.

-- Prior to the 2013 Fan Fest, Fast Passes were sold online at texasrangers.com. Sixty guests will have the opportunity to skip to the front of each autograph session on each day of the event.

Former teammates honor Ivan Rodriguez

April, 23, 2012
4/23/12
4:39
PM CT

ARLINGTON, Texas – Former Rangers pitcher John Burkett’s first dealing with Pudge Rodriguez came flying past him at speeds over 90 miles per hour.

After Rodriguez’s official retirement announcement at Rangers Ballpark on Monday, Burkett recounted his first appearance with Texas against Toronto in 1996, which was his first chance to witness a Rodriguez throw to second base.

“Luckily whenever I throw a pitch, I fall off to the side because when that ball came flying by me I heard, ‘Going,’ and that ball came flying by me waist high,” Burkett said. “I thought it was going to hit the ground and when I turned around it was right on the bag.”

It was Burkett’s first time to really see the talent Rodriguez showcased in Arlington for 12 seasons and then a brief stint in 2009.

His initial reaction, simply, “Wow.”

Another of Rodriguez’s frequent battery-mates, Ken Hill, remembered the catcher for the guy he was in the clubhouse and the effort he put into becoming the accomplished player he is today.

“He was a great teammate,” Hill said. “We had a lot of fun together. Pudge worked hard. Pudge always kept himself in shape and worked hard at it and it showed. Twenty-one years in the game -- that’s a long time.”

Rodriguez officially ended his career in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame on Monday, and Burkett said it wouldn’t be long until he’ll be giving another speech at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

“When you put both offense and defense together I don’t think there’s anybody that compares to Pudge,” Burkett said. “Being a catcher here in Texas for most of his career in the heat, accumulating 2,800-plus hits, he just did it all across the board.”

Pregame ceremonies for Games 3, 4

October, 6, 2010
10/06/10
3:04
PM CT
The Texas Rangers will celebrate their past when they host the Tampa Bay Rays for Games 3 and 4 (if necessary) of the ALDS on Saturday and Sunday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

SATURDAY: The first pitch will be thrown out by Johnny Oates II, the 8-year-old grandson of late Rangers manager Johnny Oates, who guided the team to AL West titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999. Johnny will be accompanied to the mound by former second baseman Mark McLemore, and former outfielder Rusty Greer will be the ceremonial catcher.

Country legend Charley Pride, a member of the club’s new ownership group, will sing the National Anthem. God Bless America will be performed during the seventh-inning stretch by Phillips, Craig & Deen, who recorded "Rangers Deer" and "The Claw." There will be a pregame flyover by four F-16s from the 301st Fighter Squadron of the Fort Worth Naval Air Station. All fans over the age of 21 will receive a Rangers Rally Towel.

SUNDAY: More former members of the 1996 Rangers -- pitchers John Burkett, Mike Henneman, Ken Hill and designated hitter Mickey Tettleton -- will take part in the ceremonial first pitch. Country star Neal McCoy will sing the National Anthem, and Scott and Lauren Hoying will sing God Bless America. The first 40,000 fans receive a Rangers Rally Towel.

Parking lots will open five hours before the start of each game. Gates to the stadium will open three hours prior to first pitch.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.97 142 115
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .341
HRA. Beltre 13
RBIA. Beltre 50
RA. Beltre 50
OPSA. Beltre .929
ERAY. Darvish 2.97
SOY. Darvish 142