State News

May 13, 2013 8:57 AM

Fans Get To Camp In Outfield Of Rangers Ballpark

ARLINGTON - About 2,000 campers woke up on Mother's Day morning in what may be the classiest campground in Texas.

The Texas Rangers opened up the outfield grass of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for its first Fan Sleepover.

While the outfield has been available for scout groups and other small outings, this weekend's campout was the first for the general public, who gobbled up 2,000 tickets so they could plant their sleeping bags on the manicured grass where major league outfielders normally roam, said Sean Decker, director of sales for Texas Rangers Enterprises.

Susan McCutchan, her husband, their two daughters and one of their friends came from Dumas, 350 miles to the northwest in the Texas Panhandle.

"We thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip for the girls," said McCutchan, whose family tries to go to a Rangers game at least once a year.

To help pass the time Saturday night, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported a trailer-mounted big screen televised the Rangers' victory over the Houston Astros a couple hundred miles away.

The campers also got a chance to watch "The Sandlot," a 1993 coming-of-age baseball movie. This year is the film's 20th anniversary and director David M. Evans and Patrick Renna, who played "Hamilton 'Ham' Porter," made an appearance.

"We thought it was a natural fit," Mary Hyink, marketing director for Fox Sports Southwest, the Rangers' TV broadcast network, said. "The movie has a timeless, positive message."

Dakota Daniel, of Haltom City, brought her 12-year-old brother, Dayne, to the campout for an early birthday present. They were joined by Tommy Husch, who was with his soon-to-be-10-year-old nephew, Eean Coin.

Eean volunteered that his favorite Ranger was second baseman Ian Kinsler.

"We have the same first name," he said.

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