Texas Rangers fans have been waiting a long time for the team to bring home a championship.
It’s been 40 years for longtime public address announcer Chuck Morgan, who began the celebration ceremony Friday outside Globe Life Field in Arlington.
“Our lives are now complete,” Morgan told the thousands who gathered outside Globe Life Field.
An estimated 500,000 people packed Arlington’s entertainment district as players, coaches and team staff snaked their way along the 1.9 mile parade route. More than 100,000 stuck around after the parade to hear from the team after their World Series win.
The parade started just after noon with legions of marching band students from Arlington high schools. Flag-waving, jersey-wearing crowds 10-people deep, standing on benches and even climbing up trees, lined the route around Globe Life Field, where some had camped overnight.
The parade lasted about an hour before the ceremony in front of Globe Life Field, the $1.2 billion stadium that opened in 2020 across the street from what is now Choctaw Stadium.
“Welcome to the American dream city, Arlington Texaaaaaaas!” Mayor Jim Ross told the crowd after players on stage took turns holding up their first World Series trophy while Creed’s “Higher” blasted. “And does anybody believe that the Rangers made the dream come true?”
Rangers manager Bruce Bochy took the stage with, “How sweet it is, huh? How sweet it is! You guys can party, I love it.”
Rangers General Manager Chris Young thanked the fans for their constant support.
“The wait is over. Congratulations, you are champions,” he said as the crowd roared in response.
Despite the injuries and losing streaks, the Rangers didn’t give up, Young said.
“I hope for each of you, when you are going through hard times, this team can inspire you to keep fighting and keep believing,” Young said.
After World Series MVP Corey Seager took his turn to thank the fans, he made brief remarks, taking a shot at Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman.
Bregman used a Kanye West reference to tease the Rangers after the team lost American League West division championship on the final game of the regular season.
“People have wondered what would happen if the Rangers didn’t win the World Series. I guess we’ll never know,” Seager said as the crowd laughed and cheered.
Winning championships doesn’t get old, said Bochy, who won three with the San Francisco Giants. It can’t get old when you have a team that comes together with the heart and determination to win a championship, he said.
Bochy closed his remarks with an anecdote about riding with his granddaughter in the parade.
“She goes ‘Papa, I want to do that again.’ I’m with you I want to do this again,” he said.