The first official work stoppage in Major League baseball
took place at the beginning on the 1972 season. From April 1 to April 12th
the players union and the owners had been unable to come to an agreement over
pension funding and arbitration. The players went on strike and held up the
beginning of the season.
Fans in Texas had been waiting years for a Major League team
near Dallas, now they would have to wait just a little longer.
After two weeks of negotiations between the players and the
league, both sides came to an agreement. The owners would add an additional
$500,000 to the pension fund and give the players the right to salary arbitration.
In return, the players gave up 8 game checks for the ’72 season.
On Saturday April 15th, Lenny Randle stepped to
the plate against Andy Messersmith of the California Angels. He would be the
first batter in Texas Rangers history. He struck out.
The Rangers first hit was a seventh inning single by catcher
Hal King, he was forced out by a groundball double play from the next hitter,
The Rangers pitcher that day was Dick Bosman. Bosman and
Messersmith both pitched fine games and the game was scoreless heading into the
bottom of the ninth.
Bosman walked the first batter, Sandy Alomar. The next
hitter, Mickey Rivers, attempted a sacrifice; there was an error on the play
and the Angels had runners on first and second. Bosman then walked Leo Cardenas
to load the bases with no outs.
Paul Lindblad came on in relief of Dick Bosman to face Jim
Spencer. Lindblad threw a wild pitch, Alomar scored from third, and the Angels
won 1-0 on an unearned run.
Texas went 54-100.
And now, just 39 short years**
later, The Texas Rangers are going to their first World Series after beating
the New York Yankees last night to win the American League Pennant.
Congrats Texas Rangers and their fans
** As a Cubs fan, I can tell you
that 39 years is short