ARLINGTON -- Not surprisingly, the first postseason game at Globe Life Park in three years had a decidedly Texas feel to the pregame ceremonies, from the giant state flag on the center-field berm to the ceremonial first pitch.
Ivan Rodriguez, who played in 10 postseason games for the Rangers from 1996 through 1999 before winning a World Series title with the Marlins in 2003, was on the receiving end of the first pitch from Arlington mayor Jeff Williams before Sunday night's Game 3 of the American League Division Series. It was fitting for arguably the best catcher of his generation.
Rodriguez, who spent 13 seasons of his 21-year big league career in a Rangers uniform, remains a regular presence here, both on broadcasts and within the organization.
Sgt. Ray Polk of the Arlington Police Department performed the American national anthem to a rousing ovation, after Michael Bortz performed the Canadian anthem.
Before the ceremonies, the Rangers introduced their staff and postseason roster, in addition to Nick Martinez. The pitcher didn't make the ALDS roster and was sent to the Rangers' Spring Training facility in Arizona to stay fresh, but he returned to be recognized with the rest of the team. Martinez made 21 starts for the Rangers this season, going 7-7 with a 3.96 ERA in 125 innings.
Former President and ex-Rangers owner George W. Bush was in his usual spot for the game, taking his seats with former First Lady Laura Bush.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.