Excitement is revving up and our in-house baseball fanatic and baseball industry veteran, Rich Herrera, has some thoughts on who could come out ahead by the end of the series:
The Rangers have home-field advantage for the 2023 World Series, and if we get to game seven, it will be in Texas. But how important is that after the ALCS, where the home team lost every game in that series? So, if we toss that aside, let's go further down the rabbit hole and see who has the edge.
Managers – Both teams have accomplished skippers who played in the big leagues. Torey Lovullo played in the majors for eight years, collected 165 hits, and hit 15 homers as an infielder. Bruce Bochy was a big-league catcher who played nine years, had 192 base hits, and smashed 26 home runs. Lovullo was National League manager of the year in 2017, and Bochy won the same award in 1996.
Both managers have been in the World Series. Lovullo won the World Series as a coach for the Boston Red Sox in 2013. But Bochy is making his 5th trip to the Fall Classic, winning three times with the San Francisco Giants.
Rich’s take: Kings Have Rings – Edge Texas Rangers and Bruce Bochy.
Famous Sports Fans – Both teams have plenty of support in each city. The Rangers have counted on Basketball Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki and Current NBA Star Luka Doncic pulling for them. Former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been seen at Rangers games wearing a Rangers cap and Jersey in Arlington. The Arizona Diamondbacks count on NFL great Larry Fitzgerald as a fan who has thrown out a first pitch. The other DBacks sports fan they can count on is Michael Phelps, who holds 23 Olympic Gold Medals to his name.
Rich’s take: If you have 23 Gold Medals pulling for you, no Contest – Edge Arizona Diamondbacks.
Face of the Franchise – Every team has one player who is the face of the franchise. In New York, it’s Babe Ruth; in Boston, it’s Ted Williams; in San Francisco, it’s Willie Mays. The Arizona Diamondbacks are just 25 years old. But in their short history, one player is number one in the hearts of Arizona baseball fans throughout the state: Luis Gonzalez is the face of the franchise, and when you walk through the ballpark, you see Gonzo jerseys everywhere. He is always the fan favorite when the team has the Legends race, as a giant Luis Gonzales races Randy Johnson, Mark Grace, and Matt Williams. The Rangers have one player that pops into your heart when you see that Rangers jersey: Nolan Ryan. Ryan tossed seven no-hitters in his hall-of-fame career, including his last while wearing a Rangers jersey at the age of 44.
Rich’s take: Nolan Ryan is a baseball icon, and you can’t stop the Ryan Express – Edge Texas Rangers.
Chase Field vs. Globe Life Field – Every ballpark has something unique, from the Green Monster in Boston or the Rays tank in Tampa Bay. It gives the game character. In Texas, people talk about the food at Rangers games. Perhaps their most famous ballpark dish is the Broomstick Burger. It features a 2-foot Nolan Ryan beef patty with chili, nacho cheese, jalapenos, and onion rings. It feeds four people and will set you back almost $35. Arizona's ballpark is famous for its swimming pool in Right Field, just beyond the outfield fence. Depending on the game, you can bring 35 people to enjoy a game poolside in Phoenix and enjoy food and drink for anywhere between $5-$7K!
Rich’s take: We want to try the broomstick burger, but if you have ever been to Phoenix in the middle of summer when it was 116 degrees, we have to go with a dip in the pool when we sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” Get your swim trunks, baseball fans – Edge Arizona.
Baseball Legacy – This is a tough one. The newly minted Diamondbacks won a title faster than anyone in the game's history in 2001 in just their fourth season. This is the seventh time they have made the postseason and their second trip to the World Series. The Texas Rangers were born in 1961 as the second edition of the Washington Senators. They moved to Texas back in 1972. This is the Ranger's ninth time in the postseason and their third time in the World Series. They are looking for their first World Series trophy after falling short in 2010 and 2011.
Rich’s take: We love the Diamondbacks, who fought to the World Series when no one believed in them. (They play a video montage of so-called experts doubting them, and I’ll be thrilled if I am wrong.)
The Rangers came close over a decade ago, and Texas would love to win it all once and for all. Future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy has been here before and knows what needs to be done. History is waiting to be written – Edge Texas.
But we all know the real winners will be baseball fans because this postseason has been memorable.