Rua excited for chance to play at Progressive Field

Rangers' outfielder grew up just outside Cleveland

Rua excited for chance to play at Progressive Field

ARLINGTON -- Progressive Field is a special place for Ryan Rua, but his only appearance there was in a high school All-Star Game.

Rua could make his first Major League appearance at Progressive Field this week when the Rangers open a three-game series against the Indians on Monday.

"It is a big deal," Rua said. "Growing up 20-25 minutes outside the city, I'm sure I'll have a lot of family and friends there."

Rua was born, raised and still lives in Amherst, Ohio, a small town to the west of Cleveland. He played college baseball on the other side of Cleveland, at Lake Erie College in Painesville. He grew up an Indians fan.

"Always," Ryan said. "That's who I am. I remember Omar Vizquel, Roberto Alomar, Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez when he was there ... the '95 and '97 World Series. I probably went to 25 games a year with my family."

Rua was 0-for-1 with a walk in his one game playing at Progressive Field in 2008, his senior year at Amherst Steele High School.

"Every summer, my mom, dad, family would go," Rua said. "When I got old enough, me and my friends. It was always a good summer hangout ... always a big part of my childhood."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.